Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
Graduate Program Director
Faculty, Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology
Ph.D., University of California, Davis 2006
Ansari Business Building Room 513
Hunter-gatherer archaeology, human and behavioral ecology, lithic technology, GIS, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, cultural resource management, quantitative methods
My research focuses on the hunter-gatherer archaeology of the American West and East Asia, with an emphasis on behavioral adaptations to high-altitude, desert and other marginal environments. I am particularly interested in the ways mobility, storage and settlement patterns relate to paleoenvironmental change and the evolution of different degrees of hunter-gatherer sociocultural complexity. In the America West, I study the spread of Numic-speaking peoples across and beyond the Great Basin, the evolution of Archaic lifeways, and the different ways hunter-gatherers in the region exploited mountain environments. In East Asia, I focus on more fundamental evolutionary questions: Lower to Upper Paleolithic transitions, the arrival or evolution of modern humans and human behavior in the region, and the forager to farmer sequence between the Yellow and Wei rivers.
I am currently working on an ongoing, multi-year research project focused on intensive, high-altitude residential use of Wyoming’s Wind River Range and on tracking the Upper Paleolithic-Neolithic transition in North China.
I maintain a personal research webpage and am part of a collaborative group of American and Chinese scholars interested in Quaternary climate change and human behavioral evolution.
I am always looking for graduate students with a strong undergraduate education and experience in archaeology. If you are interested in these or other related research topics and would like to pursue either a Master’s or Ph.D. at UNR, please contact me and be sure to visit our graduate program webpages in the appropriate embedded hyperlinks above.
- Anth 202 Archaeology
- Anth 441A/641A Archaeology of the Old World
- Anth 443/643 Environmental Archaeology
- Anth 448a/648a Field School in Archaeology
- Anth 455/655 Archaeological Theory
- Anth 493R/693R Research Design & Quantitative Methods
- Anth 706 Seminar in Anthropological Problems: GIS and Archaeology
- Anth 706 Seminar in Anthropological Problems: Geoarchaeology
- 2015 Morgan, Christopher. Is it Intensification Yet? Current Archaeological Perspectives on the Evolution of Hunter-Gatherer Economies. Journal of Archaeological Research in press.
- 2014 Bettinger, Robert L., Christopher Morgan & Loukas Barton. The North China Nanolithic. In, Lithic Technological Systems and Evolutionary Theory, edited by Nathan Goodale and William Andrefsky. Cambridge University Press. In Press.
- 2014 Morgan, Christopher, Robert L. Bettinger and Mark Giambastiani. Aboriginal Alpine Ceremonialism in the White Mountains, California. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 34(2):153-171.
- 2014 Morgan, Christopher. Was it Euphoria or Oxygen Deprivation? Reflections on Conducting Research in Alpine Settings. The SAA Archaeological Record 14(2):31-35
- 2014 Morgan, Christopher, Loukas Barton, Xing Gao, Mingjie Yi, Robert Bettinger and Fie Peng. Re-Dating Shuidonggou Locality 1 and Implications for the Initial Upper Paleolithic in East Asia. Radiocarbon 56(1):165-179.
- 2014 Morgan, Christopher, Ashley Losey and Lukas Trout. Late Holocene Paleoclimate and Treeline Fluctuation in Wyoming's Wind River Range, USA. The Holocene 24(2):209-219
- 2013 Morgan, Christopher, Molly Boeka Cannon, and Benjamin Fowler. Statistical Means for Identifying Hunter-Gatherer Residential Features in a Lithic Landscape. Journal of Archaeological Science 40(8):3117-3128.
- 2013 Yi, Mingjie, Loukas Barton, Christopher Morgan, Xing Gao, Huimin Wang, Yue Zhang, and Robert L. Bettinger. Microblade Technology and the Rise of Serial Specialists in West-Central China. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32(2):213-223.
- 2012 Morgan, Christopher. Modeling Modes of Hunter-Gatherer Food Storage. American Antiquity 77(4):714-736.
- 2012 Morgan, Christopher, Ashley Losey, and Richard Adams. High Altitude Hunter-Gatherer Residential Occupations in Wyoming‘s Wind River Range. North American Archaeologist 33(1):35-79.
- 2012 Morgan, Christopher, Jacob Fisher, and Monique M. Pomerleau. High-Altitude Intensification and Settlement in Utah's Pahvant Range. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 32(1):27-45.
- 2012 Morgan, Christopher, and Monique M. Pomerleau. New Evidence for Extreme and Persistent Terminal Medieval Drought in California's Sierra Nevada. Journal of Paleolimnology 47:707-713.
- 2012 Morgan, Christopher, and Robert L. Bettinger. Chapter 16: Great Basin Foraging Strategies. In The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology, edited by T. Pauketat, pp. 185-198. Oxford University Press, New York.
- 2012 Bettinger, Robert L. and Christopher Morgan. Hunter-Gatherers, North American Archaic. In The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Second Edition, edited by Neil Asher Silbermnan, pp. 56-59. Oxford University Press, New York.
- 2011 Morgan, Christopher, Loukas Barton, Robert Bettinger, Fahu Chen & Zhang Dongju. Glacial Cycles and Palaeolithic Adaptive Variability on China’s Western Loess Plateau. Antiquity 85:365-379.
- 2010 Morgan, Christopher. Numic Expansion in the Southern Sierra Nevada. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 30(2):157-174.
- 2010 Bettinger, Robert L, Loukas Barton, Christopher Morgan, Fahu Chen, Hui Wang, Thomas P. Guilderson, Duxue Ji, Dongju Zhang. The Transition to Agriculture at Dadiwan, PRC. Current Anthropology 51(5):703-714.
- 2010 Zhang, DJ, Chen FH, Bettinger RL, Barton L, Ji DX, Morgan C, Wang H, Cheng X, Dong GH, Guilderson TP. Dadiwan kǎogǔ jìlù zài guòqù de 60 wàn nián hé nóngyè gǔzi qǐyuán (Archaeological Records of Dadiwan in the Past 60 ka and the Origin of Millet Agriculture). Chinese Science Bulletin 55(1):887-894 (in Chinese).
- 2010 Zhang, DJ, Chen FH, Bettinger RL, Barton L, Ji DX, Morgan C, Wang H, Cheng X, Dong GH, Guilderson TP. Archaeological Records of Dadiwan in the Past 60 ka and the Origin of Millet Agriculture. Chinese Science Bulletin 55(16):1636-1642 (in English).
- 2010 Bettinger, Robert L., Loukas Barton & Christopher Morgan. The Origins of Agriculture in North China: A Different Kind of Agricultural Revolution. Evolutionary Anthropology 19:9-21.
- 2009 Morgan, Christopher. Optimal Foraging Patterns in the Sierra Nevada, Alta California. California Archaeology 1(2):205-226.
- 2009 Morgan, Christopher. Climate Change, Uncertainty and Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Mobility. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 28(4):382-396.
- 2009 Barton, Loukas, Christopher Morgan & Robert Bettinger. Harvests for the Hunters: The Origins of Food Production in Arid Northern China. The SAA Archaeological Record 9(3):28-31.
- 2008 Morgan, Christopher. Reconstructing Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Foraging Radii: A Case Study from California’s Southern Sierra Nevada. Journal of Archaeological Science 35(2):247-258
- 2013 Morgan, Christopher. Review of Meetings at the Margins, Prehistoric Cultural Interactions in the Intermountain West, edited by David Rhode. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. California Archaeology 5(1):139-141.
- 2013 Morgan, Christopher. Review of Hunter-Gatherer Behavior, Human Response During the Younger Dryas, edited by Metin I. Eren. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 33(1):106-108.