Franz Boas PapersWestern Social Science

Alexis Dolphin

Histological and microspatial chemical analyses (LA-ICP-MS, synchrotron) of ancient teeth and bones,  situating laboratory results within larger public and academic discussions regarding embodiment, lived experience, power, inequality and diversity.  As an anthropologist dedicated to taking a critical biocultural approach to understanding humans, Dr. Dolphin also conducts research related to the body and its shifting location in debates regarding ownership of biomaterials, sex/gender and sexuality, and the evolution of human behavioural universals. 


Alexis Dolphin, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo, received her Ph.D. in 2006 from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.  She then completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Western Ontario, prior to becoming a full-time faculty member there for several years.  

As a biological anthropologist, she specializes in dental anthropology, human osteology, bioarchaeology, paleonutrition and paleopollution, with a particular emphasis on reconstructing the experiences of children in the past.  Dr. Dolphin has conducted fieldwork in Ontario, Belize, Mexico and Iceland, and analyzed ancient and contemporary samples from Belize, Sudan, Egypt, Mexico, and Norway.  She recently completed a project examining the health of children living in early medieval Bergen, Norway, during a period of rapid urbanization.  She is currently working with the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study on a project aimed at determining baseline chemical variations in teeth and what they do/do not reveal about the lives of their owners.