Principal research themes include the origins of agriculture, the domestication of animals, human and animal dispersal, diet and health, palaeopathology and palaeoeconomics.
Professor Dobney began his zooarchaeological career working as a Research Assistant to Don Brothwell at the Institute of Archaeology in London.
Early research into human and animal palaeopathology and zooarchaeology led to a PhD in Archaeological Science at the University of Bradford, to freelance work in Britain and the Middle East, then to a research post funded by English Heritage at the Environmental Archaeology Unit, University of York. From the EAU in York, Keith moved to the Archaeology Department at Durham University where he held two consecutive Wellcome Trust Bioarchaeology Research Fellowships from 2000-2008. He became a Reader in the Archaeology Department at Durham prior to being appointed in Aberdeen in 2009.
For the last 25 years, Keith has been actively involved in bioarchaeological research in Britain, the Middle East, Central Asia and Central America, and since 2000, has developed international collaborative research in East Asia and Oceania. With the main material focus of his work being the study of animal and human remains, Keith's research incorporates a broad temporal and geographic spread, and involves the use of traditional and novel techniques and approaches.
Keith has organised several major international conferences and workshops, has been invited to give research seminars and presentations at academic and research institutions across the world and has held several visiting research fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. and the Australian National University in Canberra. He is currently one of two project leaders of a CNRS funded Projet de Groupement De Recherche Européen (GDRE) entitled - BIOARCH- Bioarchaeological Investigations of the Interactions between Holocene Human Societies and their Environments - and the Director of a recently funded Co-Reach Chinese-European research grouping (EUCH-BIOARCH).