Marcus Baynes-Rock

Postdoctoral Research Associate (2015–18)

Marcus Baynes-Rock


Ph.D., Macquarie University
B.A. (Hons), Archeology/Anthropology, James Cook University
B.A., Archeology/Paleoanthropology, University of New England


Marcus Baynes-Rock is an Australian anthropologist. His academic interests lie in the relationships between humans and other animals, including these relationships throughout evolutionary history. Marcus' research has led him to Ethiopia where he studied the unusual relationship between people and spotted hyenas in the ancient city of Harar, which is the subject of his recent book, Among the Bone Eaters (Penn State University Press, 2015). Within the John Templeton Foundation funded Human Distinctiveness project, Marcus investigates how animal domestication reflects a profound shift in the human niche. By examining processes of domestication in Australia where native species are being farmed, and comparing these with indigenous Australian ways of being in the land, he seeks to understand the ways in which domestication reconfigures human ecologies. His current research is the subject of his blog Among Animals and a forthcoming book to be published by Penn State Press. 

Selected Publications

  • Baynes-Rock, Marcus. Among the Bone Eaters: Encounters with Hyenas in Harar. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015.

  • Baynes-Rock, Marcus. "Converging on Ancient Bones: A Review of the Evidence for the Close Relatedness of Humans (Homo sapiens) and Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta)." Humanimalia 7.1 (2015): 1–22.

  • Baynes-Rock, Marcus. "De-Centering Humans Within Cognitive Systems." Evolution of Wisdom: Major and Minor Keys, edited by Agustín Fuentes and Celia Deane-Drummond. Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing, 2019.

  • Baynes-Rock, Marcus. "Ethiopian Buda as Hyenas: Where the Social is More than Human." Folklore 126.3 (2015): 266–82.

  • Baynes-Rock, Marcus. "Human Perceptual and Phobic Biases for Snakes: A Review of the Experimental Evidence." Anthrozoös 30.1 (2017): 5–18.

  • Baynes-Rock, Marcus. "In the Minds of Others." In The Evolution of Human Wisdom, edited by Celia Deane-Drummond and Agustín Fuentes, 47–67. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2017.

  • Baynes-Rock, Marcus. "The Ontogeny of Hyena Representations among the Harari People of Ethiopia." Africa 86.2 (2016): 288–304.

  • Baynes-Rock, Marcus. "Precious Reptiles: Social Engagement and Placemaking with Saltwater Crocodiles." Area (2018):1–8.

  • Baynes-Rock, Marcus, and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. "We Are Not Equals: Socio-Cognitive Dimensions of Lion/Human Relationships." Animal Studies Journal 6.1 (2017): 104–28.

  • Fijn, Natasha, and Marcus Baynes-Rock. "A Social Ecology of Stingless Bees." Human Ecology 46.2 (2018): 207–16.

  • Fuentes, Agustín, and Marcus Baynes-Rock. "Anthropogenic Landscapes, Human Action and the Process of Co-Construction with other Species: Making Anthromes in the Anthropocene." Land, 6:1 (2017).


Human Distinctiveness

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