Dr Chrissie Sievers is a senior lecturer in archaeobotany in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Her research focus is plants that people used in the past for food, medicines or other purposes (poison or pleasure too). She was part of the team at Sibudu Cave who identified ancient sedge and grass bedding strewn with insect-deterrent leaves. She works at various other southern African Middle Stone Age sites, where her particular expertise is the analysis of fruits, nuts and seeds. Of especial interest is the time-depth of indigenous plant knowledge and the investigation of early methods of processing food. She does experimental archaeology to test various hypotheses about the possible use of plants in the past and has been involved in various outreach projects in the Border Cave area.