Tønnes Bekker-Nielsen received his M.A. degree in history and art history from the University of Aarhus in 1981, his PhD in 1987 and the Dr.Phil. degree from the University of Southern Denmark in 2004. After graduation he served as co-editor of the popular archaeological magazine Sfinx and held a research fellowship before joining Aarhus University Press as founding director in 1985. He was appointed external associate professor at the University of Bergen in 1993 and left publishing in 2000 to become a full-time associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark.
He has participated in several interdisciplinary research projects: the Danish Akamas project, the Danish Black Sea Centre, the History of Marine Animal Populations program and currently the ‘Where East meets West’ project, of which he is director. His publications include The Geography of Power (Oxford 1989), The Roads of Ancient Cyprus (Copenhagen 2004) and Urban Life and Local Politics in Roman Bithynia (2008).