About Dr. Michael B. C. Rivera

Meet Dr. Michael B. C. Rivera, a multi-talented individual with a passion for unraveling the mysteries of human biology, behavior, and cultures. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Dr. Rivera’s journey into the realms of archaeology and anthropology is as captivating as the subjects he explores. Join us as we delve into his remarkable story and the fascinating world he shares through The Arch and Anth Podcast.

A black and white logo with the words arkhadeology on it

Where it all began

Michael’s upbringing was marked by resilience and curiosity. Raised by a single mother who worked as a schoolteacher, he was provided with opportunities for a quality education. Growing up amidst the diverse backdrop of Hong Kong, Michael’s inquisitive nature thrived. He delved into various subjects, from dinosaurs and astronomy to the intricacies of human anatomy.

As a teenager, Michael went through a rebellious phase, grappling with the challenges of his parents’ divorce and seeking answers online. However, these experiences ultimately led him on a path of self-discovery and a deeper understanding of his life’s purpose.

My first exposure to anthropology

In 2006, during a late-night internet search, Michael stumbled upon the term “anthropologist.” He wondered if this career was more than just a fictional portrayal on television. Little did he know that this moment would ignite his lifelong passion.

The PhD years

Michael’s academic journey took him through three universities, including the University of Kent, where he pursued a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Anthropology. Here, he encountered thought-provoking questions about human evolution and cultural diversity. His time in Copenhagen exposed him to Scandinavian culture and the intriguing study of bog bodies.

Throughout his Bachelor’s degree, Michael delved into the evolution of the human skeleton and the art of using bones to decipher our ancestors’ lives. He even developed a method to estimate an individual’s sex from simple bone measurements.

Life after the PhD

Transitioning into the post-PhD phase posed unique challenges. The job market for academics, especially for couples dealing with the “two-body problem,” was demanding. Michael’s partner, Massimo, also pursued a doctorate, and together they navigated the complexities of finding suitable career opportunities.


In 2017, Michael received a public engagement starter fund from the University of Cambridge, sparking the birth of The Arch and Anth Podcast. This endeavor allowed him to explore the world of podcasting, from audio editing to science communication.

Despite setting aside aspects of his academic career temporarily, Michael’s commitment to podcasting and science communication remained unwavering. He is determined to provide engaging content, write popular science books, create educational videos, and expand the podcast’s reach with the support of a vibrant community.

Michael’s journey, from a curious child in Hong Kong to a prominent archaeologist, anthropologist, and dedicated podcaster, serves as an inspiration to all. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and commitment to sharing it with the world through The Arch and Anth Podcast showcases the power of passion and determination.