Joseph V. Ferraro, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Ph.D., Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2007
M.A., Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1998
B.A., Anthropology & History, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1992

Major Area of Research
Human behavior and ecology, zooarchaeology, paleoanthropology, African prehistory, vertebrate paleontology

Current Courses
  ANT/FORS 3331 Human Osteology
  ANT 4302 Archaeological Theory
ANT 4116 Human Evolutionary Anatomy Laboratory
ANT 4316 Human Evolutionary Anatomy
  ANT 4335 The Human Fossil Record
  ANT 4344 African Archaeology
  ANT/FORS 4355 Forensic Anthropology

I am an anthropologist with broad interests in the evolution of human biology. In short, I am interested in why we look and act the way we do. How are we different from other animals? How are we similar? Why? What was the course and context of our evolutionary journey over the last 8 million years or so that saw us transformed from what was presumably a rather run-of-the-mill African ape into something inarguably… well, odd (but incredibly interesting!)?

In terms of method and theory, I use paleontology and archaeology as tools to address research questions firmly grounded in biological theory. Recently, I have published the earliest zooarchaeological evidence for early human hunting and scavenging activities, with implications for the evolution of hominin diets, encephalization, foraging ecology, biogeography, and sociality. My other interests include Paleolithic technology, vertebrate paleontology, and reconstructing hominin paleoenvironments.

I conduct fieldwork in East Africa and am currently analyzing archaeological and paleontological materials from several sites that range in age from 4.5 million years ago to the present.

I have published in the Journal of Human Evolution, Journal of Archaeological Science, PLoS ONE, Antiquity, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Forensic Science International, Nature Education Knowledge, African Archaeological Review, and American Anthropologist, as well as in several edited volumes.

Selected Publications