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Christyann M. Darwent


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Missouri–Columbia, 2001
  • M.A., Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Canada, 1995
  • B.Sc., Archaeology, University of Calgary, Canada, 1992


Christyann Darwent is a zooarchaeologist interested in how humans adapt to arid, high arctic environments and coastal ecosystems. She is currently editor of the journal Arctic Anthropology, manages the Zooarchaeology Lab and comparative skeletal collections, is a member of the Forensic Science graduate program. 

Research Focus

Professor Darwent’s interests lie primarily in animal skeletal remains from archaeological sites and how these remains can shed light on past human subsistence economies and past environments. Over the past 25 years her arctic field research has taken her to western Alaska, northwestern Greenland, and the high arctic islands of Nunavut. In collaboration with Bowdoin College and the Greenland National Museum, research continued at the site of Iita in northwestern Greenland with support of the National Science Foundation in 2016. Since 2013, graduate students at UC Davis have been working in collaboration with the Native village of Shaktoolik, Alaska, to investigate subsistence fishing and the archaeological record in this part of Norton Sound. 

Selected Publications

  • Miszaniec, J. I., Darwent, J. & Darwent, C.M. (2019) Small Game, Estuaries, and Nets: New Perspectives on Norton Coastal Adaptations from a Shell Midden in Norton Sound, Alaska. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology https://doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2019.1701148 .

  • Ameen, C., Feuerborn, T. R., Brown, S.K.., Linderholm, A. . . . Dalén, L., Hansen, A., Gilbert, M.T.P., Sacks, B.N., Frantz, L. Larsen, G., Dobney, K., Darwent, C.M., & Evin, A. (2019) Specialised Sledge Dogs Accompanied Inuit Dispersal Across the North American Arctic. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286: 2191929. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1929

  • Darwent, J., LeMoine, G. M., Darwent, C. M., & Lange, H. (2019) Late Dorset Deposits at Iita: Site Formation and Site Destruction in Northwestern Greenland. Arctic Anthropology  56(1):96–118. https://doi:10.3368/aa.56.1.96   

  • Darwent, J., Savelle, J., DarwentC.M., Dyke, A., Lange, H. & LeMoine, G.M. (2018) Triangular Late Dorset Axial Features in the Canadian Arctic and Northwest Greenland: Origin and Dispersal. American Antiquity 83(3):725–735. https://doi:10.1017/aaq.2018.18 

  • Darwent, J.,  Darwent, C. M., Eldridge, K. A. & Miszaniec J. I. (2016) Recent Archaeological Investigations near the Native Village of Shaktoolik, Norton Sound, Alaska. Arctic 69(5, Suppl. 1):1–12 http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic4677

  • Darwent, C.M. & Darwent, J. (2016) The Enigmatic Choris and Old Whaling Cultures of the Western Arctic. In The Oxford Handbook of the Prehistoric Arctic, edited by T. Max Friesen and Owen K. Mason, pp. 371–394. Oxford University Press.  https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199766956.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199766956-e-22

  • LeMoine, G.M. & Darwent, C.M. (2016) Development of Polar Inughuit Culture in the Smith Sound Region. In The Oxford Handbook of the Prehistoric Arctic, edited by T. Max Friesen and Owen K. Mason, pp. 873–896. Oxford University Press.  https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199766956.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199766956-e-43


Christyann Darwent teaches upper, lower and graduate level courses in Anthropology including Introduction to Archaeology, Vikings, Arctic Peoples, Zooarchaeology, First Inhabitants of Ice Age America, Archaeological Theory and Method, Laboratory Methods, Research Design, and Personal Identification in Forensic Science.


UC Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award (2020); UC Davis College of Letters and Sciences, Division of Social Sciences Dean’s Leadership Award (2015). Co-Organizer with Jessica Bissett-Perea (Native American Studies) of the 2015 workshop Arctic Indigeneities, Media and Social Justice with funds from the UC Center for New Racial Studies. Various research grants from NSF Polar Programs (n=10, 2003present).