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Research fellow, University of Cambridge

I am a research fellow at St John's College, Cambridge and the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, and an associate investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, University of Wollongong. As an archaeobotanist, I study charred plant macrofossils, better understood as food scraps, from ancient fireplaces to understand the diets of people in the past. I specialise in the analysis of root and tuber vegetables, a staple of Australian diets, and work closely with Traditional Owners to understand how different plant-processing practices can be seen archaeologically.

My PhD research, conducted at the University of Queensland, focused on archaeobotanical analysis at Madjedbebe, a 65,000-year-old site on Mirarr Country in northern Australia. It explored long-term change and continuity in different plant-based foraging strategies, in comparison to local changes in climate, sea-level and vegetation.

I am currently researching the role of plant foods in early human migrations out of Africa, and the complexity of long-term human-plant interactions within Indigenous communities in Australia, New Guinea and Island Southeast Asia.

Experience

  • 2021–present
    Postdoctoral research fellow, St John's College, University of Cambridge
  • 2020–2021
    Research fellow, University of Wollongong

Education

  • 2021 
    The University of Queensland, PhD Archaeology
  • 2013 
    The University of Queensland, Honours Class I Archaeology