Janni Pedersen

Asking questions is a sign that learning is taking place, and that the student is reflecting on the material.

Janni Pedersen, PhD



Dr. Janni Pedersen, the chair of Ashford University’s Cultural Anthropology program, has been with Ashford University since 2012.  She earned her doctoral degree from Iowa State University, where she taught courses in biological cultural anthropology, and philosophy. Her research interests focuses on primatology and the lessons regarding human evolution we can learn from studying apes. While in Iowa, she conducted research with language trained bonobos (a form of chimpanzee) at the Great Ape Trust of Iowa. She has published research on using analytical methods, normally reserved for human-human conversations. She now conducts studies of the apes residing at San Diego Zoo and ethnographic studies of festivals in Panama. She blogs about anthropology and her research at Adventures in Anthropology

Dr. Pedersen was excited to join Ashford because “I strongly believe in the goal to provide access to high-quality instruction for all groups in society.”  She advises her students to see their education as beneficial not only for professional and employment purpose, but as interesting and important in itself.  When teaching, she enjoys questions from students “Asking questions is a sign that learning is taking place, and that the student is reflecting on the material”.

Dr. Pedersen is a native of Denmark. Before moving to the US to work on her doctoral degree, she worked at an internet marketing agency in Brussels, Belgium. She now lives in La Mesa with her husband, and the real masters of the house, their dogs and cats. In her free time, Dr. Pedersen enjoys hiking, gardening, wine-making, and reading literature.

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See Dr. Pedersen discuss Ashford's Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology program.


Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology
Iowa State University
Master of Arts
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
University of Aarhus