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Archaeological Cladistics Department of Anthropology University of Missouri Michael J. O'Brien
In Press/Under Review
Invited Presentations and Workshops
Postdoctoral Fellow
Graduate Students


My My main areas of research focus on the integration of evolutionary theory into the social sciences, in particular archaeology and anthropology.

In the late 1990s, I began concentrating on the use of phylogenetic methods, especially cladistics, in archaeology. This was extremely controversial, as was the application of evolutionary principles to cultural phenomena generally. Today, however, evolutionary theory is well at home in archaeology, and studies employing phylogenetic methods appear routinely.

No one thinks or works in a vacuum, and over the years I've benefited from collaborative interactions with numerous archaeologists and other social scientists, especially Lee Lyman and Todd VanPool (University of Missouri), Alex Mesoudi (University of Exeter), Mark Collard (Simon Fraser University), Briggs Buchanan (University of Tulsa), and Matt Boulanger (Southern Methodist University), Metin Eren (Kent State University), Kevin Laland (St Andrews University), Alex Bentley (University of Houston), Camila Caiado (Durham University), and Buz Brock (University of Wisconsin).

On the personal side, I have a wonderful wife, Gloria, five grown kids, and a lazy cat, Marley, who pretty much rules the house.

On July 15 I became provost and academic vice president at Texas A&M University–San Antonio, although I am keeping strong ties to the anthropology department at the University of Missouri.

e-mail: obrienm@missouri.edu

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