Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Biography

My principal research focus is examining the effect of climate variation on human evolution. I am undertaking this research on sediments from archaeological rock shelter sites in South Africa, Indonesia and Australia that have long records of human occupation. I am applying methods including geophysics, sediment analysis and isotope geochemistry to develop new climate proxies and understand the depositional history of these sites.

A related area of interest, which I first developed during my PhD, is the isotopic and trace element analysis of biogenic carbonates (including tooth, bone and otoliths) to examine mobility, diet, maternal behaviour and climate. This includes the analysis of the mobility of animals in Palaeolithic France and Israel, the maternal behaviour of early hominins and the diet and mobility of colonialera migrants in Adelaide. This research makes use of recent developments in the field of laser ablation analysis to undertake spatially resolved in-situ measurements.

I'm also interested in the investigating archaeological sites on a landscape scale, taking advantage of new advances in survey technology, including RTK GPS, UAV’s and multi-sensor geophysical instruments. Specific projects include investigating the spatial organisation of Neolithic and classical archaeological sites in Greece, the transition to pastoralism in Mongolia, examination of Angkorian and post-Angkorian period sites in Cambodia, studying rock art sites in Northern Australia, investigating the history of frontier conflict in the South Australian Riverland and examining Indigenous relationships to food on a landscape scale on Cape York.

I have held academic appointments as a Commonwealth Rutherford Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge, a Research Associate at Homerton College and a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies. I've also worked in commercial roles for Precipice Training, Archaeometry Pty Ltd and Ecophyte Technologies.

Research Interests

  • Archaeological Geophysics
  • Isotope Geochemistry
  • Sedimentology
  • Sequence Stratigraphy
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Site Formation Processes

Supervised Students Successes

  • Anthea Vella - Won the Australian Archaeological Association Best Student Presentation Paper (Archaeological Science)
  • Belinda Duke - Obtained a Digital Globe Imagery Grant
  • Marian Bailey - Was awarded the Diamond Jubilee Bursary by the Australian Federation of University Women-South Australia

Completed Supervisions

Associate Supervisions:
  • Archaeological Science (1)


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Archaeology

Supervisory Interests

  • Geochemistry
  • Geomatics
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Archaeological geophysics


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