ESHE Board Elections - 2019

This year, 2019, ESHE members will vote for the board members. The role of the board is to approve members to the society, make decisions that affect the society and assist in the organization of the annual meetings. The board members must be members of the society and be committed to playing an active role in these tasks.

Regular Board Members

The regular members of the board play an important part in the function of the society and allow us to make decisions that affect the society by taking a wide range of perspectives into account. Board members serve a 2 year term. In order for this to work, board members must be able to attend regular meetings via Internet video conferencing and it is highly preferable that they are also in attendance at the Annual Meetings, where the board has the chance to meet in person. Please keep this in mind when applying for a position as a board member.

There are eight regular board member positions.

To Apply

If you are interested in applying, please send an application with the following materials to Your name, a brief statement detailing your professional experience and your interest in joining the board, and a picture. Once we have received applications, they will be posted to this webpage so that they can be reviewed prior to the election.

Applications are due on the 31st of July, 2019.

Board Member Candidates 2019

Stefano Benazzi

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.

Nuno Bicho

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.

Philipp Gunz

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.

Mateja Hajdinjak

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.

Katerina Harvati

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.

Andrew Kandel

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.

Paul Kozowyk

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.

Philipp Mitteroecker

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 genetics.


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.

Thomas O'Mahoney

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 society.

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.

Andrea Picin

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

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

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 sites.

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 researchers.

Andy Sorensen

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.

Sahra Talamo

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.