Assistant Professor

Alexis Dolphin

Office:  PAS 2015

Phone: 519-888-4567 x32603



Alexis Dolphin, Assistant Professor, 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.  From a methodological perspective, Dr. Dolphin focuses on histological and microspatial chemical analyses (LA-ICP-MS, synchrotron) of ancient teeth and bones.  She works to situate 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. 


2016 - Dolphin, AE, Teeter, M, White, CD, Longstaffe, F.  Limiting the impact of destructive analytical techniques through sequential microspatial sampling of the enamel from single teeth.  Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 5:537-541.                                        

2013 - Dolphin, AE, Nelson, A, Naftel, S, Martin, RR.   Bromine in teeth and bone as an indicator of marine diet.  Journal of Archaeological Science 40:1778-1786.

2012 - Dolphin, AE, Dundas, SH, Kosler, J, Tvinnereim, HM, Geffen, A.   A comparison of techniques measuring the trace element content of human teeth: laser ablation ICP-MS versus solution ICP-MS of micromilled enamel. International Journal of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2(3):189-195.

2009 - Dolphin, AE, and Goodman, AH.  Maternal Diets, Nutritional Status and Zinc in Contemporary Mexican Infants’ Teeth: Implications for Reconstructing Paleodiets.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 140(3):399-409

2006 - White, CD, Maxwell, J, Dolphin, A, Williams, J, Longstaffe, F.   Pathoecology and paleodiet in Postclassic/Historic Maya from northern coastal Belize.   Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 101(Suppl. II): 35-42

2005 - Dolphin, AE, Goodman, AH, Amarasiriwardena, D.  Variation in elemental intensities among teeth and between pre- and postnatal regions of enamel.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology                 128(4):878-888

2003 - Goodman, AH, Dolphin, AE, Klein, R, Backstrand, JR., Amarasiriwardena, D., and Reid, J.B. Jr.  Tooth rings: dental enamel as a chronological biomonitor of elemental absorption from pregnancy to adolescence.  Journal of Children’s Health 1(2):203-214

University of Waterloo
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