Torben C. Rick is the curator and archaeologist in the anthropology division of Human Ecology and Archaeobiology in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
He specializes in North American Archaeology and Human Environmental Interactions.
Rick conducts research on the North American Pacific Coast, with much of his fieldwork investigating a 13,000 calendar year archaeological record on California’s Channel Islands. Focusing on the interactions of ancient people with coastal and terrestrial ecosystems, Rick’s research has investigated the impacts of people on ancient kelp forests and other marine ecosystems, the effects of human hunting on marine mammals, birds, and fishes, evidence for the introduction and movement of ancient wild and domesticated animals to offshore islands, and the evolution of complex hunter-gatherers. Most of his research is collaborative and interdisciplinary, seeking to integrate the biological sciences and anthropology.