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I am a geoarchaeologist whose research interests centre on the interactions between human populations and their environment and the landscape they inhabited, particularly the relationship between environmental change between 125-40,000 years ago, and the rise and spread of modern human populations within, and out of, Africa and into the Middle East. I also have strong research interests in reconstructing late Quaternary sea level change, and its implications for examining the utilisation of coastlines by humans throughout history. I have wide-ranging international experience of working with archaeological and geomorphological data at both the site and landscape scale, mainly in semi-arid and arid environments.
At present I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow at York, and am currently undertaking an 18-month outgoing phase in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia. My research (the SURFACE project) focuses on the development of approaches to recording and interpreting the surface lithic artefact record of Southwestern Saudi Arabia in relation to geomorphological change, and its implications for understanding past use by hominin populations.
I obtained my undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 2006, followed by an MSc in Geoarchaeology from the University of Reading in 2007. I returned to Cambridge for my PhD in 2008, where my research focused on the geoarchaeological analysis (primarily using soil micromorphology) of site formation processes during the Middle and Later Stone Age at the Haua Fteah, Libya, and the potential of these processes for inferring environmental controls on the occupation of Late Pleistocene North Africa. I joined the Department of Archaeology at York in September 2011 as a Research Associate on the ERC-funded DISPERSE project, investigating dispersals of hominin populations from East Africa into Saudi Arabia, and took up my current position in 2016.
My research interests centre on the interactions between human populations and their environment, particularly in the relationship between environmental change and the dispersal of hominin populations within, and out of, Africa. I have work most extensively in Mediterranean and semi-arid environments, but also in more temperate environments, utilising geoarchaeological techniques, both at a site and landscape scale to trace environmental change. I am particularly interested in exploring the relationships between the archives of environmental change which are contained within archaeological sites, and the broader scale changes in the surrounding landscape which would have been tangible to the populations who inhabited them.
Human-Landscape-Interactions and Global Dispersals: The SURFACE Record of Palaeolithic Arabia (SURFACE) - University of York and Macqaurie University
The Cyrenaica Prehistory Project - University of Cambridge, Queen's University, Belfast and Birkbeck College, University of London
The Lochbrow Landscape Project - Universities of York, Edinburgh, and RCAHMS
Adaptations to Marginal Environments in the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa (AMEMSA) - Universities of Cambridge and Toronto
Dynamic Landscapes, Coastal Environments and Hominin Dispersals (DISPERSE) - University of York and the Institut de Physique du Globe, Paris