Rowan McLaughlin is a specialist in the application of information technologies in archaeology and palaeoecology, with particular interest in chronology, palaeoeconomy and demographics. He was educated at Queen’s University Belfast, his PhD (awarded 2008) concerned dietary reconstruction of Mesolithic and Neolithic communities in Portugal, France, Britain and Denmark using dental wear as a proxy for the different food groups eaten by hunter-gatherers and early farmers – a project that involved much data gathering and analysis. This work led to a ‘big data’ approach to the past: meta-analysis of archaeological datasets, and the development of techniques for mining useful information from complex, biased and incomplete archives. Rowan's current research involves collating and organising the various spatial and temporal information about the past in all periods. He is also involved in the survey of historical landscapes and tacking thorny issues of the relationships between past demographic changes and archaeological data.
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London