- Department Chair, Associate Professor of Anthropology
- Chafee Hall, Rm 508
- Phone: 401.874.7297
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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in biocultural anthropology with new and original approaches aimed at overturning evolutionary misconceptions and outdated evolutionary dogma that students bring to college.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
- Patel B, Organ J, Jashashvili T, Bui S, and HM Dunsworth. 2018. Ontogeny of hallucal metatarsal rigidity and shape in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) and common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Journal of Anatomy 232(1): 39–53.
- Dunsworth HM. 2017. How Donald Trump Got Human Evolution Wrong. Washington Post
- Dunsworth HM and A Buchanan. 2017. Sex makes babies. Aeon Magazine August 9, 2017
- Dunsworth HM. 2016. Chapter 2: The ‘obstetrical dilemma’ unraveled. In Trevathan W and K Rosenberg, editors: Costly and Cute: Helpless infants and human evolution. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research.
- Dunsworth HM. 2016. Thank your intelligent mother for your big brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 113(25): 6816–6818.
- Dunsworth HM. 2016. Do animals know where babies come from? Scientific American 314(1): 66-69.
- Dunsworth HM and L Eccleston. 2015. The evolution of difficult childbirth and helpless hominin infants. Annual Review of Anthropology 44: 55-69. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-anthro-102214-013918
- Dunsworth HM, Warrener A, Deacon T, Ellison P, and H Pontzer. 2012. Metabolic hypothesis for human altriciality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109(38): 15212-15216.