Dr. Andrew Nelson's research interests are centred in two of the major subfields of anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology. In the field of biological anthropology his research focus is human evolution. In the field of archaeology his research focus is the study of human remains from ancient cultures.
Dr. Nelson's work in human evolution involves the detailed analysis of morphological and metric traits of the bones of the skeleton of primates, fossil hominids and modern humans. His recent research has focussed on growth and development in fossil hominids, particularly Neandertals. He is also interested in the reconstruction of body size in extinct hominids, and how body size has changed over the course of our evolution.
Dr. Nelson's archaeological research is based on the North Coast of Peru. Between 1995 and 1997 he was the codirector, with colleagues from the United States (California State University Northridge) and Peru (Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru), of a field project at the site of San Jose de Moro in the Jequetepeque Valley. His component of the project involved the excavation and analysis of rich burials representing the "upper middle" class of this society. This analysis, when combined with other work on higher and lower status cemeteries, is providing a great deal of information regarding the structure of this society and the distribution of resources within it. Since 1998 Dr. Nelson has been working on the excavated material from San Jose de Moro, as well as from several other sites in the Jequetepeque Valley. The objective of this work is to obtain an understanding of the interactions of biology and culture within and between cultural horizons.
This work has been generously funded by the SSHRC and the G.L. Bruno Foundation. In addition, support has been provided by KODAK Canada (Health Sciences Division), Victorinox, Novack's (London) and Aeroperu.
He is also involved in local archaeological and forensic projects. Dr. Nelson functions as a consultant to local contract archaeology firms, and to the London Police Services.