Clark Spencer Larsen, Anthropology

Clark Larsen, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Ohio State, is a biological anthropologist whose research focuses on the history of the human condition viewed from the perspective of health, quality of life, adaptation and lifestyle over the last 10,000 years of human evolution.

Larsen launched the La Florida Bioarchaeology Project, an interdisciplinary research program focused on the study of colonization and agricultural intensification on native populations living in the American Southeast region controlled by Spain during the 16th, 17th, and early 18th centuries. In partnership with the American Museum of Natural History, this 40-year, collaborative project studies the health, dietary, and economic changes prior to and after the arrival of Europeans and the establishment of the mission system in Spanish Florida.

Larsen was also part of a 25-year project at Çatalhöyük, a site in present day south-central Turkey that was continuously occupied for more than 1,150 years. Through his research, he was able to detail how the city dealt with modern problems, including overcrowding, infectious disease, environmental issues and violence. For this research he received the 2019 Cozzarelli Prize from the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.