Robert J Losey, PhD, MSc, BA

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Anthropology Dept
Director Undergraduate, Faculty of Arts - Anthropology Dept

Contact

Professor, Faculty of Arts - Anthropology Dept
Email
rlosey@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-1143
Address
B-40 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H4

Director Undergraduate, Faculty of Arts - Anthropology Dept
Email
rlosey@ualberta.ca

Overview

Area of Study / Keywords

Anthropology Zooarchaeology Arctic Research Bison Human–Animal Relationships Animal Domestication Canine Domestication Reindeer Domestication Arctic Great Plains Prehistoric Research


About

A professor in the University of Alberta’s Anthropology Department, Robert Losey has travelled across the North American and Siberian Arctic and the prairies of Saskatchewan for his field research. Through his research, Losey studies the archaeology of human–animal relationships, his recent work focusing on the domestication of dogs and reindeer. In 2022, he and a team of researchers studied the impact that domestication — and access to human scrap food — had on the evolution of canines in the Arctic. His work studying the distant ancestors of modern dogs has also dealt with topics such as the impact that trade and migration has had on the species, and the genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs.

Beyond his extensive zooarchaeological research, Losey is also interested in the fields of ethnoarchaeology and the broader field of human–animal studies, and has studied additional Arctic species. In one 2023 paper, Losey and his colleagues investigate seal hunting in the Holocene in Siberia’s Lake Baikal by comparing samples dating back up to 9,000 years with modern seal bodies and bones.

Losey graduated with a bachelor of science in anthropology from Kansas State University before moving across the United States to study at the University of Oregon. There he earned his masters of science and PhD in archaeology. Later, Losey joined the U of A as an associate professor and then, in 2019, became a full professor, and is currently teaching numerous graduate and undergraduate courses.


Research

Recent Publications

  • Living with birds in Northwest Siberia: Birds and Bird Imagery at Ust'-Polui. T. Nomokonova, RJ Losey, NV Fedorova, AV Gusev, Reimagining Human-Animal Relations in the Circumpolar North. pp. 169-190. Routledge, 2023
  • A body size approach to understanding Holocene seal hunting at Lake Baikal in Siberia. RJ Losey, T Nomokonova, MV Pastukhov, A Hunter, AG Novikov, … Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 15 (4), 49. 2023
  • Dogs and wolves on the northern plains: A look from beyond the site in Alberta. RJ Losey, AG Drake, PE Ralrick, CN Jass, AR Lieverse, M Bieraugle, … Journal of Archaeological Science 148, 105690. 2022
  • The evolution of dog diet and foraging: Insights from archaeological canids in Siberia. RJ Losey, T Nomokonova, E Guiry, LS Fleming, SJ Garvie-Lok, … Science Advances 8 (29), eabo6493. 2022
  • Domestication is not an ancient moment of selection for prosociality: Insights from dogs and modern humans. RJ Losey. Journal of Social Archaeology 22 (2), 131-148. 2022
  • Entangled with Antlers on the Iamal Peninsula of Arctic Siberia. T Nomokonova, RJ Losey, SE Razdymakha, S Okotetto, AV Plekhanov, … Journal of Ethnobiology 42 (1), 3-19. 2022
  • Reindeer Demographics at Iarte VI, Iamal Peninsula, Arctic Siberia. T Nomokonova, RJ Losey, PA Kosintsev, AV Plekhanov. Environmental Archaeology, 1-10. 2021
  • Modern Siberian dog ancestry was shaped by several thousand years of Eurasian-wide trade and human dispersal. TR Feuerborn, A Carmagnini, RJ Losey, T Nomokonova, A Askeyev, … Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118 (39), e2100338118. 2021
  • An integrative examination of elk imagery in Middle Holocene Cis-Baikal, Siberia. RJ Losey, VI Bazaliiskii, T Nomokonova. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 63, 101311. 2021
  • The variable histories of reindeer scapulae on the Iamal Peninsula of Arctic Siberia (vol 21, 100176, 2020). T Nomokonova, RJ Losey, AV Plekhanov, HJ McIntyre. ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN ASIA.         2021
  • Domestication as enskilment: harnessing reindeer in Arctic Siberia. RJ Losey, T Nomokonova, DV Arzyutov, AV Gusev, AV Plekhanov, … Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 28, 197-231. 2021
  • Reindeer imagery in the making at Ust’-Polui in Arctic Siberia. T Nomokonova, RJ Losey, NV Fedorova, AV Gusev, DV Arzyutov. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 31 (1), 161-181. 2021
  • Age estimation of archaeological dogs using pulp cavity closure ratios. T Nomokonova, RJ Losey, K McLachlin, OP Bachura, AV Gusev, … Journal of Archaeological Science 123, 105252. 2020
  • Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs. A Bergström, L Frantz, R Schmidt, E Ersmark, O Lebrasseur, … Science 370 (6516), 557-564. 2020
  • Temporal and structural genetic variation in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) associated with the pastoral transition in Northwestern Siberia. KH Røed, KS Kvie, RJ Losey, PA Kosintsev, AK Hufthammer, MJ Dwyer, .... Ecology and Evolution 10 (17), 9060-9072. 2020
  • Storing fish?: a dog’s isotopic biography provides insight into Iron Age food preservation strategies in the Russian Arctic. RJ Losey, E Guiry, T Nomokonova, AV Gusev, P Szpak Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 12, 1-12. 2020
  • Dog body size in Siberia and the Russian Far East and its implications. RJ Losey, T Nomokonova, PA Kosintsev, OP Bachura, AV Gusev, … Quaternary Science Reviews 241, 106430. 2020
  • The variable histories of reindeer scapulae on the Iamal Peninsula of Arctic Siberia. T Nomokonova, RJ Losey, AV Plekhanov, HJ McIntyre. Archaeological Research in Asia 21, 100176. 2020
  • Conclusion: Conceptualizing and Investigating our Relationships with Dogs. RJ Losey. Dogs: Archaeology Beyond Domestication, 253-262      2. 2020
  • Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs. L Frantz, R Schmidt, E Ersmark, O Lebrasseur, L Girdland-Flink, AT Lin, Science… 2020
  • Genomic insight into the population history of Siberian dogs. T Feuerborn, A Carmagnini, S Gopalakrishnan, R Losey, M Appelt, PNAS… 2020
  • Specialized sledge dogs accompanied Inuit dispersal across the North American Arctic. C Ameen, TR Feuerborn, SK Brown, A Linderholm, A Hulme-Beaman, … Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286 (1916), 20191929. 2019
  • Learning to use atlatls: Equipment scaling and enskilment on the Oregon Coast. RJ Losey, E Hull. Antiquity 93 (372), 1569-1585. 2019
  • Spondylosis deformans as an indicator of transport activities in archaeological dogs: A systematic evaluation of current methods for assessing archaeological specimens. KJ Latham, RJ Losey. Plos one 14 (4), e0214575. 2019

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=CfrDhogAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra





Teaching

Courses taught at the University of Alberta:

Anth 206: Introduction to Archaeology

Anth 219: Introduction to World Prehistory

Anth 303: History of Anthropological Archaeology

Anth 480: Development of Anthropological Archaeology

Anth 477/577: Northwest Coast Archaeology

Anth 480/580: Zooarchaeology

Anth 481: Development of Anthropological Archaeology

Anth 484/584: Archaeology of Animals in Ritual

Anth 484/584: The Archaeology of Dogs

Anth 486/586: Archaeology of Aquatic Adaptations

Anth 486/586: People and Animals

Anth 580: Great Plains Archaeology

Anth 584: Modern Archaeological Theory

Anth 584: Advanced Zooarchaeology


Courses

ANTHR 499B - Honors Seminar and Research Project

A review and discussion of contemporary issues in Anthropology leading to the conception, preparation, and completion of the BA Honors essay under the supervision of an individual faculty member.


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