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Peter Neal Peregrine

Professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies, Lawrence University

I explore cultural evolution through the lens of complex adaptive systems. Right now my research focuses on how societies build resilience to climate-based natural disasters. I just completed a study examining resilience among 21 pre-Columbian societies and will soon be adding 13 Old World cases. The results so far suggest that the most resilient societies are those that encourage political participation at all levels. I also teach archaeological methods by having students survey abandoned and pioneer cemeteries in Wisconsin with non-invasive geophysical methods. Finally, I curate a large collection of ethnological and archaeological materials that students work with and occasionally destroy. I am a registered professional archaeologist (RPA), a Fellow of the AAAS, and hold positions as a research associate at Human Relations Area Files Advanced Research Center (hrafARC) and on the external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute.


  • 1995–present
    Professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies, Lawrence University


  • 1990 
    Purdue University, Ph.D Anthropology