André Colonese
Lecturer in Bioarchaeology



My research experience combines environmental and biomolecular archaeology, encompassing skills such as fieldwork, teaching and laboratory science. My career has been devoted to the study of past human-environment interaction in European and South American regions using an interdisciplinary approach involving archaeozoology (malacology), statistical analysis, light stable isotopes (C, N, O, S) and molecular analysis (lipids) on human, faunal (shells, bulk collagen, amino acid, fatty acid) and artefact remains (pottery). I have a particular interest in past coastal adaptations, in the extraction of environmental and socio-economic information from ancient biomolecules.



My areas of interest include:

  • Stable isotope and molecular characterization of organic residues and animal bone remains.
  • Ancient coastal adaptation, traditional knowledge and poverty alleviation in small-scale artisanal fisheries.
  • Late Pleistocene and Holocene human-environment interaction in southern Europe. 


Chicken Coop

Changing Cultural and Scientific Perspectives of Human-Chicken Interactions

AHRC-funded project

Chickens (also known as 'domestic fowl') are native to South East Asia but, today, they have a worldwide distribution. Their diffusion is almost entirely due to human-assisted transportation and, as such, their natural history is a reflection of human history.

Considerable attention has been given to charting the chicken’s eastward spread from Asia, through the Pacific islands to the Americas; however, the species’ diffusion to the west, through India, the Near East, Mediterranean and northern Europe, has been almost completely neglected: no genetic work has been undertaken and the timing and circumstances of their spread remains poorly understood.

Given the social significance of this species (whether as a provider of foodstuffs, their widespread use in cock-fighting or within magic and medicine) and their growing popularity as domestic pets, a detailed analysis of their natural and cultural history in the West is long overdue.

Such a study has the potential to inform on poultry-borne diseases, food security and environmental ethics, issues of particular importance at a time when billions of people rely on mass-produced chickens as a source of sustenance.

This project brings together researchers from a wide range of countries and disciplines - archaeology, anthropology, (art) history, biology, cultural geography, ecology, human-animal studies, philosophy, theology - to examine the social, cultural and environmental impact of this important but under-researched species.


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Research group(s)


Principal investigator 


2015: Newton Mobility Grants

2014: Research Grant, Society of Antiquaries of London (UK)

2014: Departmental Research Funding, University of York (UK)

2013: Santander International Connections Award (UK)

2011: Marie Curie Research Fellowship for Career Development (EU)

2009: Mobility Grant, Spanish National Research Council – CSIC (Spain)

2008: Jae-Doc, Spanish National Research Council – CSIC (Spain)




2014: Complexidade social em grupos pré-históricos de ecossistemas litorâneos da América do Sul. FAPESP (Brazil)

2012: Gli ultimi cacciatori-raccoglitori olocenici e la neolitizzazione in Tunisia. Ministero degli Esteri Italiano

2013: Organización social de las primeras comunidades agrícolas y ganaderas in Spain (HAR2012-38838-C02-01). MCINN

2011: Domesticación animal y practicas ganaderas en el occidente mediterráneo (HAR2011-25826). MCINN 

2011: Marcadores Arqueológicos de Relaciones Sociales: etnoarqueología de cazadores-recolectores en el Canal Beagle (HAR2009-06996). MCINN

2009: AGREST (2009 SGR 734). AGAUR

2009: Ocupaciones lacustres y gestión de recursos en las primeras sociedades agrícola-ganaderas del NE peninsular (HAR2009-13494-C02-01). MCINN

2005: Sambaquis e Paisagem: Modelando a Inter-Relação entre Processos Culturais e Naturais. FAPESP


I have active collaborations with researchers from

  • Universita di Pisa
  • Universita di Firenze
  • Universita di Siena
  • Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona
  • Spanish National Research Council
  • Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
  • University of Melbourne
  • Universidade de Sao Paulo
  • Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina
  • Maison de l'Archéologie et de l'Ethnologie à Nanterre



First year

Second year

Third year

External activities


Memberships, etc.


Contact details

Dr André Carlo Colonese
University of York
BioArCh, Environment Building
Wentworth Way
YO10 5DD

Tel: (44) 1904 328650