Board Member Candidates 2019
I am a paleoanthropologist, with special interest in studying Middle-Late Pleistocene
hominins, mainly Neandertals and modern humans, dental morphology and morphometrics, and
applying computer-based methods to investigating the relationship between function and
morphology in human and non-human primate teeth.
Since 2017 I am running my ERC consolidator grant (n. 724046 SUCCESS), which aims to
understand when modern humans arrived in Southern Europe, the biocultural processes that
favored their successful adaptation and the final cause of Neandertal extinction.
I received my PhD in Physical Anthropology from the University of Bologna, Italy, in
2007 and, since then, a post-doc in several international institutes. I am currently a
full professor in Physical Anthropology, the Director of the Laboratory of Osteoarchaeology
and Paleoanthropology (BONES Lab), and the Coordinator of PhD Programme of Cultural and
Environmental Heritage at the University of Bologna.
I have been a member of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution since
2015, and I am committed to continue endorsing the high-quality standard that ESHE has
achieved since its inception, attracting students and researchers by promoting the spirit
of the society, i.e. a holistic approach in the study of human evolution.
I am a Paleolithic archaeologist and my research has focused on prehistoric costal
hunter-gatherers of southern Iberia for the last three decades. More recently I have
also developed research on the Mesolithic of the Tagus Valley and on Stone Age of
Mozambique. I am now starting research in the MSA of the Kerma region, Sudan.
I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University, Dallas,
Texas, in 1992. I am currently an Associate Professor of Archaeology and the Director
of the Interdisciplinary Center of Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behavior at the
University of Algarve (ICArEHB). I am also one of the Editors-in-Chief of the new
Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology (Springer-Nature Group).
My research focus primarily on two aspects of Paleolithic and Mesolithic times: times
of change and transition; and on coastal human adaptations. I am interested mostly in the
transitions from the Middle to Upper Paleolithic and the emergence of Mesolithic in
Portugal and the development of Middle Stone Age as well as the transition to Later Stone
Age in Africa.
I have participated in most ESHE meetings, since the inaugural event in Leipzig, and in
2018 I was one of the local organizers of the 8th annual meeting of the ESHE, in Faro,
Portugal. I hope I can contribute to the development of the Society, bringing in my
knowledge of Iberian and African Paleolithic Archaeology, and helping to bring students and
young researchers from those regions to ESHE. I am also committed to develop and maintain
social equal opportunity in science and help to advance the means for an open access to
science at the Society.
I am a biological anthropologist who studies the evolution of human development. I
obtained my PhD at the University of Vienna (2005), and I am currently a group leader at
the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. I am a specialist for
the reconstruction of fossil skulls from computed tomographic scans, and the statistical
analysis of shape - a set of methods called geometric morphometrics.
I am a founding member of ESHE and took on some of the bureaucratic responsibilities
required for a non-profit organization in Germany. For the last nine years I have been
part of the core team organizing the ESHE conference, reviewing abstracts, compiling the
abstract volume, and organizing the schedule. As we are preparing for the next decade of
ESHE, I would like to offer my know-how and expertise to ensure a smooth transition. I am
really proud of what we have accomplished as a Society, and I would like to see ESHE
continue to grow and adapt in the future.
I am a geneticist specialized in recovering genome-wide data from the hominin fossil
material in order to investigate migrations, frequency of interactions, admixture and
population structure of different human groups in the past. I completed my PhD at the Max
Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI EVA) in Leipzig, focusing on the Middle
to Upper Palaeolithic transition and reconstructing genetic history of some of the earliest
modern humans, as well as some of the last Neandertals in Europe. Upon completion of my
current postdoc at the MPI EVA, I am starting a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at the
Francis Crick Institute in London, tailored to the African continent, an area of the world
still largely underrepresented in ancient DNA research.
I have been a member of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE)
from 2015 and attended every meeting since. ESHE meetings have proved to be a perfect
environment for young scientists and for communicating research between aDNA geneticists,
paleoanthropologists and archaeologists. As an ESHE board member, I would be committed to
further meaningful engagement and collaborative approach between ancient DNA field and
other disciplines in answering questions of interest, with a special focus on the involvement
of both students and early career scientists, especially from developing countries.
I am a paleoanthropologist working on Pleistocene human evolution, Neanderthal
paleobiology and modern human origins. I am particularly interested in the application of
geometric morphometrics and virtual anthropology methods to the human fossil record, as
well as in fieldwork, which is my real passion. Since 2017 I have been running my ERC
Consolidator grant 'Human Evolution at the Crossroads', which focuses on the
paleoanthropology of Greece and the Balkans.
After completing my PhD at the City University of New York (2001), I was Assistant
Professor at New York University (2001-04) and then moved to Germany to become Senior
Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipizig (2004-09).
Since 2009 I am Professor of Paleoanthropology at the University of Tübingen and currently
the co-Director of the Cross-Faculty, interdisciplinary DFG Center for Advanced Studies
Words, Bones, Genes, Tools: Tracking Cultural and Biological Trajectories of the Human Past.
I am a founding member of ESHE and served the society in multiple capacities during the
last several years (abstract selection committee, student poster prize committee, session
chair, etc). I am deeply committed to maintaining the society's success as an important
scientific forum. At the same time, I am devoted to the advancement of women and
underrepresented groups in our field. As board member I initiated discussion about, and
helped put into place the society's policy on a safe working environment, and strongly
support the development of a conference sustainability strategy for the future ESHE.
Amanda G. Henry
I am a paleobiologist interested in the plant foods that hominins consumed and how these dietary
choices might have affected our biology and behavior. Upon completing my PhD at the George Washington
University in the US, I accepted a position as an independent research group leader at the Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in 2011, and moved to an associate professor position at Leiden
University in 2017 where I have been running my ERC starting grant called “Harvest”. I have been a
member of ESHE since its inception and have attended every meeting. I am committed to maintaining the
academic quality of the meeting and the standing of the society, as well as making it more accessible
to marginalized groups. I want to see the society do more to attract students and researchers from less
affluent countries, and to better support members with family obligations.
I am a Paleolithic Archaeologist with broad experience studying many different
aspects of prehistory. My current excavations in Israel and Armenia examine the
Middle and Upper Paleolithic, while my previous studies delved into the Stone Age of
Africa. My specific expertise focuses mainly on lithic technology, personal ornaments,
marine adaptations, and landscape and environmental reconstruction. After I finished my
PhD at the University of Tübingen in 2005, I continued as a Post-Doc in South Africa
before joining the research project "The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans"
(ROCEEH) in 2008. I have been a member of ESHE since its inception and have attended
almost every meeting. I am impressed by the academic level of the meeting and the
close-knit feel of the society. I am glad that the meeting is attended by such a diverse
group of archaeologists, anthropologists and other specialists who each bring their
special insight into play and foster a healthy exchange of information. I especially
appreciate how students and early career researchers are furthered through the society's
generous bursaries and awards. I look forward to helping the society grow and prosper in
the coming years.
I am currently in the final year of my PhD researching ancient adhesive manufacture and
use during the Mid- to Late Pleistocene at Leiden University, the Netherlands. I use
experimental archaeology to address questions about the organic material culture of
Neandertals. As part of my research, I have tested birch bark tar production methods and
the mechanical properties of replica Palaeolithic adhesives in the Delft Aerospace
Structure and Materials Laboratory (DASML) at the Delft University of Technology, the
Netherlands. I have attended every conference since 2014, and been a member all but one
year since then. I was lucky enough to win the student poster prize in Florence, so I have
experienced first-hand the positive impact ESHE can have on an early career researcher. As
a prospective board member, I am particularly keen to play a role in promoting the benefits
offered to students, the eco-ESHE incentive begun in 2018, and I am dedicated to maintaining
the exceptional academic and social prosperity of future ESHE meetings.
I am an anthropologist and evolutionary biologist with strong interests in human and
animal evolution, evolutionary theory, morphometrics, and statistics. I have studied the
development and evolution of human and primate anatomy, with medical applications to
orthodontics. I am particularly interested in the interaction of developmental,
environmental, and evolutionary processes. More recently, I have been working on the
evolution and current transition of human childbirth and obstetrics, which has aroused my
interest in biocultural evolution and evolutionary medicine.
I am fascinated by the analysis of complex biological data, including morphological,
behavioral, and genetic data. I have contributed to modern morphometrics, the statistical
analysis of biological form, as well as to multivariate biostatistics and quantitative
I am currently heading the Department of Theoretical Biology at the University of
Vienna, and I am a directorial board member of the KLI Institute for Evolution & Cognition
Research, Austria. I am teaching morphometrics, statistics, evolutionary biology and
anthropology at the University of Vienna and the University of Graz.
The study of human evolution is a uniquely interdisciplinary challenge, comprising
theories and methods of biology, archeology, paleontology, and the social sciences.
Despite the increasing conceptual, methodological and also academic divergence among these
fields, I am convinced that serious progress in the understanding of how humans evolved –
and continue to evolve – requires stronger interactions among scientists and scholars from
the various fields. For this reason, I am eager to support ESHE in its multidisciplinary
approach. As a board member, I would like to strengthen ties between the human evolution
community and the fields of evolutionary theory and evolutionary medicine.
Trine Kellberg Nielsen
I am a Palaeolithic archaeologist, presently working as a postdoc at the University of
Cologne (Germany), with a particular interest in Neanderthal distribution and mobility. I
have been a member of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE) since
2013 and a regular board member since 2017. I would highly appreciate the opportunity to
continue on in the role of regular board member and I therefore wish to be considered for
election to the ESHE board 2019. As present and hopefully future board member, I am
particularly committed to representing early carrier researchers within the ESHE
organisation in order ensure an inclusive meeting environment and in the further
development of the eco-ESHE incentive, which I helped co-initiate in 2018 and which aims to
promote sustainable conference behaviour and frame.
I am an evolutionary anatomist with training in archaeology, palaeoanthropology and
functional anatomy. I am currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at Anglia
Ruskin University, examining vocal tract evolution in primates and have worked both as a
research archaeologist and commercial archaeologist.
I specialise in virtual imaging and morphometrics with a focus on growth and development
of humans and their nearest relatives, including Neanderthals. I also have wider ranging
research interests within palaeoanthropology as broadly defined.
I am seeking election to the ESHE board in order to bring greater representation of
researchers from smaller research groupings. I also believe that in the current climate,
it is important for organisations such as ESHE to be more proactive in their public
outreach efforts and would seek to help improve the current status of this within the
Furthermore, I believe that it is important for the society to take a proactive stance
on ethical approaches within our research programmes and would seek to have more open and
robust debate within about these matters. I feel that this is an important matter to tackle,
given both the rapid pace of technological advancement within our field, and, the positions
of power we often find ourselves in in relation to communities local to our field sites.
I am a Paleolithic archaeologist specialized in lithic technology with a research
focus on the evolutionary reconstruction of prehistoric hunter-gatherer behaviors and
the influence of climatic fluctuations on the emergence of different technical and
subsistence adaptations. I achieved my Ph.D. at the University Rovira I Virgili
(Tarragona, Spain), and currently I am post-doc at the MPI for Evolutionary
Anthropology in Leipzig, associate researcher at the MPI for the Science of Human
History in Jena and Privatdozent at the Department of Prehistoric and Protohistoric
Archaeology of the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. I have been a member of the
ESHE society since 2011, and this year I would like to participate in the election for
the ESHE board 2019. I am committed to representing students and early career
researchers and to promote increased participation of scholars from African and Asian
countries. As a future board member, I am pledged to maintain the high research
standards and foster interdisciplinary studies to the understanding of Human Evolution
at the Annual Meetings.
Karen Ruebens received her PhD from the University of Southampton (UK) in 2012 and has
since been working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
Anthropology (MPI-EVA, Leipzig) and the MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre for Human
Behavioural Evolution (Neuwied). Her research interests are focused on unravelling Neanderthal
behaviour through wider-scale comparative lithic analyses. After a maternity break she
successfully obtained a fellowship through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Career Restart scheme for
a project at MPI-EVA focussing on Middle Palaeolithic projectile technology in Western Europe.
Karen has been serving on the ESHE board since 2015 and has been involved mainly in
reviewing submissions and organising the Pecha Kucha prize. ESHE is facing a crucial phase
in its existence, with presidential elections in 2020. Karen is running for another two year
term as board member (2019-2021) to help ease this transition to guarantee a successful
continuation of the society. She won’t be at the Liège meeting since she is on a one-year
parental break but is committed to continue making the annual ESHE meetings into dynamic,
innovative occasions with balanced representations of the varied members and fields in the
ever-changing discipline that is human evolution.
Geoff Smith is a specialist in vertebrate taphonomy and received his PhD in
Palaeolithic Zooarchaeology from University College London (UCL) in 2010. After a 3 year
postdoc at MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre studying the Neanderthal site of
Neumark-Nord 2, he successfully obtained DAAD PRIME funding for a collaborative project
between University of California Davis and University of Mainz, investigating the African
Earlier to Middle Stone Age transition. Since September 2017 he has been a post doctoral
researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig) investigating
hominin subsistence behaviour and site formation across several Middle to Upper Palaeolithic
He has been a member of ESHE since 2011, actively participating at all annual
conferences and was elected a regular board member in 2015. He has reviewed abstracts for
the annual conferences and is responsible for co-ordinating and judging the ESHE poster
prize. He would like to expand these duties to help ensure that the ESHE conferences
maintain their high academic standards, diversity of topics and interdisciplinary nature.
He is also committed to providing an approachable voice for more junior members and
ensuring and enabling the wider involvement of both PhD students and early career
I am Palaeolithic archaeologist currently working as a postdoctoral researcher within
the Human Origins Group at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In December 2018, I
successfully defended my PhD project “Beyond Prometheus: Pursuing the origins of fire
production among early humans”, wherein I looked into the role fire played in Neandertal
lifeways, with special emphasis on identifying evidence of artificial fire-making by these
peoples. This project was funded through a competitive ‘PhDs in the Humanities’ grant
awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Beginning in
September, I will be expanding my investigation of early anthropogenic fire use and
fire-making into the early Upper Palaeolithic in my new capacity as an NWO Veni grant-funded
postdoctoral researcher in my project “Into the cold: The adaptive role of pyrotechnology
among the earliest modern humans in Europe, ca. 45,000–20,000 years ago”.
Having attended every ESHE meeting (save the inaugural meeting in Leipzig in 2011, sadly),
I have had the opportunity to watch the organization grow and thrive over the years. Along with
my efforts as a member of the local organizing committee for the 2017 ESHE meeting in Leiden,
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two-year term as the most junior Regular Board member and
strongly believe there should be student representation within this body. I hope to continue
contributing to the organization of the Society in the years to come and helping to advance the
fields of Human Evolution, Palaeolithic Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology in both the
professional and public spheres, especially among students and early career researchers.
Thank you very much for your continued support in this endeavour.
I am a radiocarbon specialist with a major interest in studying human evolutionary
events, based on radiocarbon chronology, and in developing new methodological
approaches for reaching high-resolution chronologies. I earned my Ph.D. in 2012 at
Leiden University and, since then, I have been in charge of the radiocarbon lab at the
MPI-EVA in Leipzig. In June 2019, I became Full Professor in the Chemistry Department at
Bologna University where I am running my ERC starting grant called “RESOLUTION”. I have
been participating to the ESHE Meeting since 2011 and, now, I would like to take part
more keenly in the society with the aim of maintain high research quality, and promoting
multi-disciplinary applications of geoscience to Human Evolution. As a future board
member, I am particularly committed to representing family career researchers within the
ESHE organization in order to ensure a parents and, especially, moms friendly environment,
as I faced this wonderful experience during my PhD.