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Personal profile

Research Biography

Professor Mike Smith is a pioneering desert field archaeologist. For several decades he has worked across the Australian arid zone attempting to piece together a picture of its human and environmental histories. He was awarded an Order of Australia for his work in 2013 and is author of several books, including The Archaeology of Australia's Deserts(2013, Cambridge University Press). His previous appointments include the post of field archaeologist with the Northern Territory Museum in Darwin and Alice Springs, research fellow in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University, lecturer in archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University and senior curator and director of research and development at the National Museum of Australia, where he set up the Museum's Centre for Historical Research.

Research Interests

Prehistory and human ecology of Australian deserts.
Late Pleistocene archaeology and initial human settlement of Australia.
The archaeology of northern Australia.
The social and cultural history of traditional Aboriginal societies.

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Research Output

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Human occupation of northern Australia by 65,000 years ago

    Clarkson, C., Jacobs, Z., Marwick, B., Fullagar, R., Wallis, L., Smith, M., Roberts, R., Hayes, E., Lowe, K., Carah, X., Florin, S., McNeil, J., Cox, D., Arnold, L., Hua, Q., Huntley, J., Brand, H., Manne, T., Fairbairn, A., Shulmeister, J. & 8 others, Lyle, L., Salinas, M., Page, M., Connell, K., Park, G., Norman, K., Murphy, T. & Pardoe, C., 2017, In : Nature. 547, 7663, p. 306-310 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 251 Citations (Scopus)
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)

    Human predation contributed to the extinction of the Australian megafaunal bird Genyornis newtoni ~47 ka

    Miller, G., Magee, J., Smith, M., Spooner, N., Baynes, A., Lehman, S., Fogel, M., Johnston, H., Williams, D., Clark, P., Florian, C., Holst, R. & DeVogel, S., 2016, In : Nature Communications. 7, p. Art: 10496 7 p., 10496.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 26 Citations (Scopus)

    A continental narrative: Human settlement patterns and Australian climate change over the last 35,000 years

    Williams, A., Veth, P., Steffen, W., ULm, S., Turney, C., Reeves, J., Phipps, S. & Smith, M., 1 Sep 2015, In : Quaternary Science Reviews. 123, p. 91-112 22 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 51 Citations (Scopus)