The focus of Mark’s research is on the study of past modern human populations, due to the unique evolutionary history of our species, and the role sociocultural developments had in shaping modern human variation worldwide. Within this larger area of interest, his research has revolved around two major axes. The first addresses aspects of human dispersion across large areas, with a special interest in the settlement of South America. In this topic, his studies have combined micro-evolutionary theory with the studies of craniometrics variation to try to model the pattern of early human dispersion in the continent. This axis has benefited immeasurably from working with colleagues and mentors like Walter Neves, Katerina Harvati, and Noreen Von Cramon-Taubadel. These are their most important papers in this area: Hubbe et al. 2010, 2011, 2015; Strauss et al. 2015; Neves and Hubbe 2005.
The second axis relates to the study of the origins of social inequality and its impact on the life of Late Holocene populations that inhabited the Atacama Oases, in Northern Chile. This is a unique region for this type of inquiry given the rich history of population interaction and cultural exchange between this area and neighbor regions from the South-Central Andes. Again, his research in this area is the result of his collaboration with his most esteemed colleagues Christina Torres-Rouff and Will Pestle. Their most relevant articles in this area are: Pestle et al., 2016, 2015; Torres-Rouff et al., 2013; Hubbe et al., 2012.
Since the establishment of HEADS, he has also contributed to a series of papers reviewing some of the methodological and theoretical assumptions in Bioarchaeology, which derive from his interest in developing more relevant questions for researchers interested in the study of human’s past. While this is a relatively recent development in his career, it has been gaining momentum as multiple collaboration projects within HEADS have been exploring different aspects of the topic. Some articles dealing with this new focus are already out (Piperata et al., 2014), and a few more are coming out in near future.