Robert MacDonald, PhD

Managing Partner

Robert I. MacDonald has been on the staff of ASI since 1982 and now serves in the position of Managing Partner. In 2020, he also became a Director of Yändata’ Limited Partnership, a joint venture majority-owned by the Huron Wendat Nation with ASI as the minority shareholder. Rob holds 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 management plans of fifteen municipalities, including the District Municipality of Muskoka, the City of Brantford, the Regional Municipality of Halton, the Regional Municipality of Niagara, Simcoe County, the City of Ottawa, the City of Kingston, the City of Sault Ste. Marie, and the City of Toronto. His 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 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 an appointment as an Adjunct Faculty member of the Anthropology Graduate Program at Trent University. 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 and 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. 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 (OAS), a Provincial Heritage Organization, serving a two-year term as president in 2014/15. He has thrice served as an organizer of the annual OAS symposium. Dr. MacDonald has over forty scholarly publications and presentations.  In 1998, with Dr. Ron Williamson, he co-authored the book, 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.

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