Dr. Kennett is a Professor of Environmental Archaeology and Human Behavioral Ecology. His current interests include the study of human sociopolitical dynamics under changing environmental conditions, human impacts on ancient environments, and behavioral response to abrupt climate change in the past. He has held faculty positions at California State University Long Beach (1998-2001) and the University of Oregon (2001-2011). He is the author of The Island Chumash (University of California Press, 2005) and co-editor, with Bruce Winterhalder, of the book Behavioral Ecology and the Transition to Agriculture (University of California Press, 2006). He is also the co-editor, with Atholl Anderson, of Taking the High Ground: the Archaeology of Rapa, a fortified island in remote East Polynesia (Australia National University Press, 2012).
Research interests include evolutionary and ecological theory, human paleoecology, human behavioral ecology, environmental archaeology, human effects of abrupt climate and environmental change, economic intensification (including the transition to agriculture), emergence of social hierarchies, Mesoamerica, Maya, Oceania, Polynesia, California, coastal and island archaeology, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, isotope ecology, AMS 14C dating, archaeometry, and GIS.