Andrew Somerville

I am a biological anthropologist and archaeologist in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Iowa State University. I received by BA in anthropology from Arizona State University (2001-2006) and an MA and PhD from the University of California San Diego (UCSD, 2007-2015). At UCSD, I spent two years as a NSF-IGERT Fellow with Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s project, Global Climate Change, Marine Ecosystems, and Society. After my graduate training, I spent a year lecturing in the Anthropology Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills (2016-2017) and a year serving as a UCMEXUS postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Geology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City (2017-2018). In 2018, I joined the faculty of the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Iowa State University where I am currently an assistant professor of anthropology and director of the Paleoecology Laboratory. 


My research combines skeletal analysis and archaeological excavation methods with stable isotope analyses of human and animal bones to gain insights about past practices of food production, distribution, and consumption. I am particularly interested in the relationship between food production systems and the processes of social change. Some of my recent research has focused on reconstructing food systems at the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan, investigating  patterns of ancient Maya diet and residential mobility, and studying the origins of agriculture in the Tehuacan Valley of southern Puebla, Mexico. My research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Sigma Xi, an IGERT Fellowship, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the University of California, and Iowa State University.