Christopher Jazwa

Christopher Jazwa

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 2015  

Ansari Business Building Room 619
(775) 682-7623

Office Hours Fall 2019: Tuesdays 12:00-3:00 PM, EJCH 204


Human-environmental dynamics, human behavioral ecology, zooarchaeology, isotope ecology, hunter-gatherers.


I am broadly interested in how patterns of human settlement, subsistence, and mobility are influenced by the changing environment and cultural factors that mediate human-environmental dynamics. In particular, much of my work focuses on how the distribution and availability of environmental resources, along with cultural factors that affect how people use those resources, influence the distribution of human settlement.

I am primarily involved in an active research project in California. My work on California's Channel Islands has been ongoing since 2004. There, I use a combination of hydrology and human behavioral ecology models to understand the establishment, expansion, and contraction of human settlement on the islands through time. My current work involves the use of stable isotopic signatures to reconstruct environmental change on both long-term (climate change) and short-term (ENSO, inter-annual variation, seasonality) scales and the effects on patterns of human mobility.

I am also interested in applying Human Behavioral Ecology models to the Classical World. This includes applying models to settlement patterns for Bronze Age Greece. I have also joined the Gardens of the Hesperides project in the Loukkos River Valley, Morocco, under the direction of Stephen Collins-Elliot of the University of Tennessee. In this project, I am using the Ideal Free Distribution model to trace changes in settlement patterns outside of the primary site of Lixus.

I have recently completed a project that I began as a post-doc in Australia's Western Desert. There, I collaborated with colleagues at Penn State University to understand past settlement patterns and use stable isotopic analysis of faunal remains to track patterns of anthropogenic fires in the past.

I am co-director (with Christopher Morgan) of the Human Paleoecology and Archaeometry Laboratory at UNR. This laboratory includes a comparative faunal collection of terrestrial and marine species with a particular focus on North America. The laboratory also includes capabilities for stable isotope and radiocarbon sample processing, including organic, carbonate, and bone collagen samples. I encourage students interested in similar theoretical or methodological research questions to contact me.

My most recent CV


  • Anth 202 - Archaeology
  • Anth 440a/640a - Archaeology of North America
  • Anth 445/645 - Zooarchaeology
  • Anth 449C/649C - Lab Methods in Archaeology
  • Anth 708 - Advanced Seminar in Quaternary Studies