My research revolves around the construction of robust chronologies for prehistoric sites using advanced radiocarbon dating and Bayesian methods. I am particularly interested in resolving the timing, nature and palaeoclimatic background of prehistoric population movements, such as the dispersal of the first modern humans out of Africa and into Eurasia, the appearance of the Gravettian culture in Europe, and the spread of farming across the eastern Mediterranean, several millennia later. I am also interested in refining the dating of Neanderthal extinction.
Dating old samples is very challenging and I maintain an interest in the development of pretreatment and screening protocols aiming at better cleaning and characterizing bone, shell and charcoal samples prior to AMS radiocarbon dating.
Aspects of my work also touch upon the adaptation of hominids to marine environments as reflected by the exploitation of shellfish and the seasonal nature of such activities (based on growth-ring and isotopic studies of shell middens) and the appearance of personal ornamentation, especially shell beads, during the Palaeolithic.
I am the Principal Investigator of a 5-year (2017-2022, €2M) ERC Starting grant focusing on the discovery of new Denisovan and Neanderthal fossils from Pleistocene Asia. The grant is based at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany http://www.shh.mpg.de/en
PalaeoChron Project "Precision dating of the Palaeolithic, chronological mapping of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic of Eurasia". European Research Council Advanced Grant (Postdoctoral researcher 2013-2017).
“Construction of a new chronological framework for the start of the Neolithic in the Aegean”. OU Fell Fund and British School at Athens (Principal Investigator, 2013-19).
Europe, North Africa and the Near East, Russia and Siberia, Southeast Asia.