Department of Sociology & Anthropology

507 Chafee Building, 10 Chafee Road, Kingston, RI 02881

401.874.2587 (ph); 401.874.2588 (f)

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Dr. Holly Dunsworth

  • Department Chair, Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Chafee Hall, Rm 508
  • Phone: 401.874.7297
  • Email:


Dr. Holly Dunsworth is an evolutionary-minded anthropologist. She teaches courses in biocultural anthropology with new and original approaches aimed at overturning evolutionary misconceptions and outdated evolutionary dogma that students bring to college. Although she began her career as a paleoanthropologist, she has a broad background that is carrying her interests beyond the fossil record. At the early Miocene sites on Rusinga Island, Kenya she has performed paleontological research where ancient fossil apes are preserved, but she is increasingly learning about live and recently live primates including, of course, humans. Dr. Dunsworth is particularly interested in how the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral traits related to making, growing, and raising offspring evolved, how we narrate that evolutionary history, and how our narratives impact other realms of knowledge and practice, like parenting, healthcare, and medicine. She has contributed her research, scholarship, and writing to various books and journals. She regularly contributes to the science blogs The Mermaid’s Tale and Origins.

Dr. Dunsworth teaches the following courses in biocultural anthropology at the University of Rhode Island: Human Origins and Evolution (APG 201), Sapiens: The Changing Nature of Human Evolution (APG/BIO 282G), Human Variation (APG 350), Sex and Reproduction in Our Species (APG 399), and Paleoanthropology (APG 411).


  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University, 2006
  • M.A. (with distinction) in Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University, 2001
  • B.A. (with high honors) on Anthropology, University of Florida, 1999



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