Menu Close
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, The University of Western Australia

Joe is an archaeologist with wide experience in academic research and heritage management. He completed his PhD at UWA on Aboriginal responses to environmental changes in south-western Australia during and after the last glacial period, from c.50,000 years ago to present.

Since then he has investigated archaeological evidence for Late Pleistocene faunal extinctions, researched past Aboriginal burning and landscape management in south-western Australia, and collaborated with geneticists and Aboriginal stakeholders on ancient and modern DNA analysis.

He works as a consultant advising industry and communities on archaeological heritage. He has completed more than 250 heritage assessments for Aboriginal organisations, resources companies, private developers and government agencies, and has helped Traditional Owners and proponents manage heritage impacts on several major mining and infrastructure projects.


  • 2001–present
    Consultant, Dortch and Cuthbert
  • 2013–present
    Honorary Research Fellow, University of Western Australia
  • 2011–2013
    Associate professor, University of Western Australia
  • 2007–2009
    Research fellow, University of Western Australia
  • 2002–2005
    Postdoctoral fellow, University of Sydney


  • 2001 
    University of Western Australia, PhD
  • 1991 
    University of Southampton, BA Hons


  • 2014
    Intergenerational archaeology: Exploring niche construction in southwest Australian zooarchaeology, Australian Archaeology
  • 2014
    Putting WA archaeology on the map: The inestimable contribution of Charlie Dortch, Australian Archaeology
  • 2014
    Charlie Dortch: History and archaeology across three continents, Australian Archaeology
  • 2013
    Scrapheap Challenge: A novel bulk-bone metabarcoding method to investigate ancient DNA in faunal assemblages, Scientific Methods
  • 2012
    'Fire and hearth' forty years on: Essays in honour of Sylvia J. Hallam, Aboriginal History
  • 2012
    Archaeological evidence for early human presence in the western reaches of the Greater Swan Region, Western Australia, Fremantle Studies
  • 2012
    Aboriginal responses to Late Quaternary environmental change in a Mediterranean-type region: Zooarchaeological evidence from south-western Australia, Quaternary International
  • 2012
    Recent studies in Australian palaeoecology and zooarchaeology: A volume in honour of the late Su Solomon, Australian Archaeology
  • 2011
    An Aboriginal Australian Genome Reveals Separate Human Dispersals into Asia, Science
  • 2011
    The Role of Habitus in the Maintenance of Traditional Noongar Plant Knowledge in Southwest Western Australia, Human Ecology
  • 2011
    The petroglyphs of the Kybra Aboriginal Site, South-Western Western Australia, Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia
  • 2010
    Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA, Proceedings of The Royal Society B
  • 2010
    Identifying palaeo-environments and changes in Aboriginal subsistence from dual-patterned faunal assemblages, south-western Australia, Journal of Archaeological Science
  • 2006
    Test excavation at the Oyster Harbour Stone Fish Traps, King George Sound, Western Australia, Australian Archaeology
  • 2005
    Prolonged coexistence of humans and megafauna in Pleistocene Australia, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2005
    Reconstructing Aboriginal impacts on Australian forests, Australian Forest History conference proceedings
  • 2004
    Late Quaternary vegetation change and the extinction of Black-flanked Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis) at Tunnel Cave, southwestern Australia, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
  • 2004
    The size of the largest marsupial and why it matters, Proceedings of The Royal Society B
  • 2004
    Palaeo-environmental change and the persistence of human occupation in south-western Australian forests, British Archaeological Reports International Series
  • 2003
    Sandstone quarries and grinding stone manufacture: survey and excavation at Yambacoona Hill in south‐eastern Australia, Australian Archaeology
  • 2001
    Early Human Occupation at Devil’s Lair, Southwestern Australia 50,000 Years Ago, Quaternary Research
  • 1996
    Review of Devil’s Lair artifact classification and radiocarbon chronology, Australian Archaeology
  • 1996
    Late Pleistocene and recent Aboriginal occupation at Tunnel Cave and Witchcliffe Rock Shelter, Naturaliste Region, south‐western Australia, Australian Aboriginal Studies
  • 1994
    Pleistocene radiocarbon dates for hearths at Tunnel Cave, south‐western Australia, Australian Archaeology

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc.