Helina Woldekiros' work focuses on human adaptations in the Horn of Africa during the beginnings of food production, agricultural diets, pastoralism, and mobile responses to climatic change in extreme ecological/environmental settings.
She uses an integrated ethnoarchaeological, GIS, and archaeological approach and the concept of niche economies to discuss the subsistence and economic organization.
Woldekiros completed her dissertation at Washington University in St. Louis before receiving a Volkswagen postdoctoral fellowship at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. She then returned to WashU, where she served as a postdoctoral associate before joining the anthropology department as assistant professor. In fall 2017, her team unearthed the oldest known physical evidence for the introduction to domesticated chickens to the continent of Africa.