Staff Detail

Robert MacDonald


Robert I. MacDonald has been on the staff of ASI since 1982 and now holds the position of Managing Partner. He holds an Honours BSc and MA degrees from Trent University, and a PhD from McGill University, all in anthropology, and is accredited by the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA). His special areas of expertise include ecological archaeology, archaeological site potential modelling, geographical information system (GIS) applications in archaeology, Iroquoian archaeology, and lithic analysis.

Throughout his career with ASI, Rob MacDonald has served as Project Director and/or Field Director on hundreds of single- and multi-phased archaeological assessment and salvage excavation projects throughout southern and eastern Ontario. He has also played a key role in the development of pre-contact Indigenous site potential models for the archaeological master plans of ten municipalities, including the District Municipality of Muskoka, the City of Brantford, the Town of Fort Erie, the Regional Municipality of Halton, the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, the City of Kingston, the City of Sault Ste. Marie, and the City of Toronto. His recent archaeology and heritage management projects include the Highway 407 East project undertaken on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

Since 2004, Dr. MacDonald has also held an appointment as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Waterloo and as a Research Fellow of the Trent University Archaeological Research Centre. He also holds appointments as an Adjunct Faculty member of the Anthropology Graduate Program at Trent University and as a member of the Executive of the Heritage Resources Centre at the University of Waterloo. As a former Deputy-Director of the Quaternary Sciences Institute at the University of Waterloo, in 1991 Rob co-organized (with Professor Barry Warner) an international conference for the Institute.In 1994 he edited and published the proceedings of that symposium under the title Great Lakes Archaeology and Paleoecology: Exploring Interdisciplinary Initiatives for the Nineties.

He has twice co-organized the annual symposium of the Ontario Archaeological Society, hosting it at the University of Waterloo in 1999 (with Professors Robert Park and Dean Knight) and in 2009 (with Professor Robert Park). In 1997 he co-edited, with Ron Williamson, the inaugural volume of the ASI Occasional Publications series, In the Shadow of the Bridge: The Archaeology of the Peace Bridge Site (AfGr-9), 1994-1996 Investigations. This was followed, in 1998, by the book, co-authored with Ron Williamson, Legacy of Stone: Ancient Life on the Niagara Frontier, published by eastendbooks. In 2008, he co-authored (with William Lovis) an article in the 4 volume encyclopedia Archaeology in America, published by Greenwood Publishing Group, and contributed a chapter to the book Toronto: An Illustrated History of Its First 12,000 Years, edited by Ron Williamson and published by James Lorimer & Company. In 2010-2011 he consulted on the development of the First Nations exhibit for the new Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener.  In 2013 he was elected to the Executive Board of the Ontario Archaeological Society, a Provincial Heritage Organization, serving a two-year term as president in 2014/15.