Last Updated on
Professor of Anthropology, UH Mānoa
kirch [at] hawaii [dot] edu
Born and raised in Hawai’i, Kirch received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. from Yale University. Before joining the University of Hawai’i faculty in 2019, Kirch held positions at the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, the University of Washington, and at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught from 1989-2017. An anthropologist and archaeologist of Oceania, Kirch’s research interests include the evolution of complex societies, indigenous agricultural systems, and the dynamic interactions between human populations and their environments. Kirch uses islands as “model systems” for understanding both cultural evolution and the complex dynamics between humans and their island ecosystems. He has carried out archaeological fieldwork in the Mussau Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Futuna, the Cook Islands, Society Islands, Mangareva Islands, and Hawaiian Islands. Kirch has published some 25 books and monographs, and more than 300 articles and chapters on the results of his research in the Pacific. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Bishop Museum.