I am a biological anthropologist and archaeologist and have a strong interest in human evolution in Australia and South East Asia and zooarchaeology in Australia. Specifically these research interests fall within the fields of palaeoanthropology (the study of human evolution) and environmental archaeology.
I have undertaken excavations in Indonesia and Australia and have analysed the key fossils relevant to human origins in our region.
My other main field research program is on human impacts in ancient environments and I have an active excavation and field program in the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area of Australia looking into how the megafauna became extinct.
I have also worked for state (QM) and national museums (NMA) in both a curatorial role and as a biological anthropologist/manager in the repatriation of human remains program.
I am very active in promoting the value of Australia's archaeological record for telling a deeper story of Australia's past. In 2001 I started National Archaeology Week which each year delivers events across the country promoting our rich archaeological heritage.
I believe archaeology can play an important role in reconciliation as it holds great potential to help to deconstruct stereotypes about different cultures. But archaeology can also disempower people, so it is a difficult field at times to navigate through.
I find it very encouraging to see that at long last Australia's 'ancient history' (the last 50,000 years) has now a place in the National History curriculum.
I also have an interest in the use of the past by different groups to support different agendas. I am particularly interested in the history of 'race', a social construct that really has no meaning in biology today, however, it still plays a key role in dividing society.
I have also been involved in the field of conflict archaeology, including research into the Aboriginal Wars of Colonial Australia and more recently the two world wars.
My current research into Aboriginal origins is funded by the Australian Research Council.
Senior Research Fellow , Griffith University
Senior Curator , Queensland Museum
Head of Program , Queensland Museum
Curator of Archaeology, Queensland Museum
Lecturer (Archaeology) , Flinders University
Executive Officer , Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area
Manager repatriation/biologiocal anthropologist, National Museum of Australia
Project Archaeologist, Aboriginal Affairs Victoria
Australian National University, PhD
Australian National University, Grad Dip Arts (Biological Anthropology)
University of Sydney, Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
University of New England, Grad Dip Education (History and Social Science)
Australian National University, Bachelor of Arts
Origins of the First Australians., The Global Atlas of Archaeology, Springer.
Interproximal grooving of lower second molars in WLH 4., Australian Archaeology
The Willandra Fossil Trackway: Assessment of ground penetrating radar survey results and additional OSL dating at a unique Australian site , Australian Archaeology
Perspectives on the Origins of Modern Australians, The Origins of Modern Humans: Biology Reconsidered. Wiley- Liss
Joint Loads in Marsupial Ankles Reflect Habitual Bipedalism versus Quadrupedalism., PLOS ONE
Sydney B.J. Skertchly and the Early History of Pleistocene Archaeology at the Queensland Museum., Bulletin of the History of Archaeology
. Realising and extending the value of the Queensland Museum archaeological archive, Collection Management in Archaeological Collections
Crocodile ecology and the taphonomy of early Australasian sites, Environmental Archaeology
Footprints of the First Australians. , Australasian Science
The Mark of Ancient Java is on none of them., Archaeology in Oceania
. A new test of the sex of the Lake Mungo 3 skeleton. , Archaeology in Oceania
Identification of Australian Aboriginal Mortuary Remains , Forensic Approaches to Death, Disaster and Abuse
Human Origins and the Mungo Connection, Mungo over Millenia
Caring for the Willandra, Mungo over Millenia
The extinction of rigour: A comment on the Windschuttle and Gillin article The extinction of the Australian Pygmies. , Aboriginal History
From the PPNA to the PPNB: new views from the southern Levant after excavations at Zahrat adh-Dhra‘ 2 in Jordan. , Paléorient
Resolving complex provenance issues through isotopic analysis of human bones and the potential benefits to Aboriginal communities, The Artefact
National Archaeology Week and public education. , Australian Archaeology
Preliminary observations on the taphonomic processes at Ngandong and some implications for a late Homo erectus survivor model, Tempus
Investigation, documentation and repatriation of Aboriginal skeletal remains: case studies from the Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Community Boundary, British Archaeological Reports