Professor Keith Dobney


Keith is first and foremost an archaeologist, but has always been fascinated by the biology of the past and how that intersects with and impacts human behaviour, health and cultural development. The inherent cross-disciplinary nature of archaeology has allowed him to develop this interest further through the intersection of a range of other disciplines, including genetics and microbiology.

Image of Prof Keith Dobney

For the last 30 years, Keith has been actively involved in bioarchaeological research in Britain, the Middle East, Central Asia, East Asia, Central America, and Oceania. His ongoing research involves major projects on the domestication and dispersal of pigs and dogs; human colonisation and migration history as seen through commensal rodents; and the evolution of our oral microbiome.

He began his zoo archaeological career working as a Research technician at the Institute of Archaeology in London where he began work on early diet, before gaining a PhD in Archaeological Science at the University of Bradford. From there, Keith went on to hold an English Heritage funded contract post at the Environmental Archaeology Unit, University of York; two Wellcome Trust Fellowships in the Archaeology Department at Durham University and a 6th Century Chair in Human Palaeoecology (and research lead) in the Archaeology Department at Aberdeen University. He is now Head of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool.

He was one of two project leaders of a CNRS-funded Projet de Groupement De Recherche Européen (GDRE) entitled – BIOARCH- Bioarchaeological Investigations of the Interactions between Holocene Human Societies and their Environments – and was also the Director of a Co-Reach funded Chinese-European research collaboration (EUCH-BIOARCH).