Deputy Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, James Cook University

Professor Sean Ulm is Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. He completed his archaeological training at The University of Queensland where he was awarded a PhD in 2004. He has held previous positions at The University of Queensland and University of New England and was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship in 2011. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, an Honorary Research Fellow of the Queensland Museum, an Honorary Fellow of the School of Social Sciences at The University of Western Australia and a Research Fellow of the Cairns Institute.

Sean’s research focuses on persistent problems in the archaeology of northern Australia and the western Pacific where his priority has been to develop new tools to investigate and articulate co-variability and co-development of human and natural systems. He is highly regarded for his coordination of multidisciplinary expertise in the investigation of the coastal archaeological record.

His work has been funded by the Australian Research Council, Australian Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Engineering, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Australian Learning and Teaching Council and French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

His publications include more than 100 refereed articles on the archaeology of Australia and 5 books. He has served as the Editor-In-Chief of Australian Archaeology (2006-2011), is a former President of the Australian Archaeological Association Inc. (2002-2003) and has served on the Australian Research Council College of Experts (2013-2016).

He is currently the Editor of Queensland Archaeological Research, and sits on the Editorial Boards of The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, Journal of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists and Queensland Historical Atlas.

His contributions to archaeology have been recognised in the awarding of the Martin Davies Award for Best Public Archaeology Initiative, Life Membership for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Archaeological Association and Bruce Veitch Award for Excellence in Indigenous Engagement.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Archaeology, James Cook University
  • 2013–2017
    ARC Future Fellow, James Cook University
  • 2011–2012
    Lecturer, James Cook University
  • 2010–2011
    Senior Lecturer, The University of Queensland
  • 2005–2010
    Lecturer, The University of Queensland
  • 1999–2005
    Senior Researcher, The University of Queensland
  • 2000–2004
    Lecturer, The University of New England
  • 1993–1998
    Researcher, The University of Queensland

Education

  • 2004 
    The University of Queensland, PhD / Archaeology
  • 1995 
    The University of Queensland, Bachelor of Arts with Honours / Anthropology
  • 1991 
    The University of Queensland, Bachelor of Arts / Anthropology & Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Grants and Contracts

  • 2017
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
    Role:
    Deputy Director
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2017
    The Deep History of Sea Country: Climate, Sea Level and Culture
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2013
    Using Foraminifera to Refine Understandings of Archaeological Site Formation Processes
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • 2013
    What is ‘Natural’? Locating and Deciphering Pre-Human Records of Vegetation from Northern Australian Savannas
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2012
    Did Human Occupation of Australia Irrevocably Alter Tropical Terrestrial Ecosystems?
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • 2012
    Towards an Understanding of Temporal and Spatial Variability in the Aboriginal Occupation of Bentinck Island, Gulf of Carpentaria
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • 2012
    Naïve Island Landscapes: People and Environmental Change in the South Wellesley Archipelago
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2012
    Developing Accurate Trans-Holocene Coastal and Ocean Chronologies: Resolving Fundamental Problems in the Dating of Marine Shell in the Tropics
    Role:
    Future Fellow
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2011
    Holocene Environments of Bentinck Island, Gulf of Carpentaria
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2010
    Using Marine Shell to Date the Dedicatory Caches of Copán, Honduras
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • 2009
    Understanding Indigenous Knowledge Systems at Gummingurru (Stage 2: Recording and Excavation)
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • 2009
    Marine Carbon Reservoir Variability in the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • 2009
    Refining Shell Mound Chronologies on the Sandalwood River, Mornington Island
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • 2007
    The Queensland Historical Atlas: Histories, Cultures, Landscapes
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2007
    Understanding Indigenous Knowledge Traditions at Gummingurru
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • 2006
    Isolation, Insularity and Change in Island Populations: An Interdisciplinary Study of Aboriginal Cultural Patterns in the Gulf of Carpentaria
    Role:
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Archaeological Association
  • World Archaeological Congres
  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studie
  • Royal Society of Queensland
  • Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc.
  • Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association
  • Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology
  • Australasian Quaternary Association
  • Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria
  • Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology
  • International Council for Archaeozoology Archaeomalacology Working Group
  • Society for American Archaeology
  • The Prehistoric Society
  • Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) Australia Inc.

Research Areas

  • Archaeological Science (210102)
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Archaeology (210101)
  • Archaeology (2101)

Honours

Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities; Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of London