J. M. Adovasio received his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1965 and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Utah in 1970. Since that time, he has served as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution (1972 - 1973) and as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh (1973 - 1990). In 1990, Dr. Adovasio moved to Erie, Pennsylvania to assume the positions of Chairman of the Department of Anthropology/Archaeology and Director of Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute, where he served until 2015 and was also appointed Provost, Senior Counselor to the President, and Dean of the Zurn School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He is currently Director of Archaeology at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University
Though probably best known for his state-of-the-art excavations at Meadowcroft Rockshelter, southwestern Pennsylvania, and his attendant contributions to the highly controversial Pre-Clovis/Clovis debate, Adovasio is generally considered to be the world’s leading authority in the arena of perishable artifact analysis. Since 1970, he has published more than 400 books, or book chapters, manuscripts, and technical papers. These notably include The First Americans (with Jake Page) and the Invisible Sex (with Olga Soffer and Jake Page). Most recently he has served as the co-principal investigator of a multi-year NOAA sponsored project to locate and excavate submerged Paleoindian sites on the inundated continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico.