The interdisciplinary nature of scientific exploration transcends research boundaries, a principle evident in my work as a palaeontologist, and remains true as I delve into the realm of archaeology. Both fields use shared methods like comparative analysis for identifying fossils and lithic artifacts, and radiometric dating for age determination. In collaboration with Griffith University and the Institut Teknologi Bandung, our research has traversed the Quaternary palaeontological and archaeological landscape of Indonesia, spanning the island of Sumatra, Batam, Bintan, Karimunbesar, Kundur, Singkep, and Lingga. Our study holds dual objectives: 1) tracing the migratory paths of Homo erectus and H. sapiens in Southeast Asia, and 2) revealing Quaternary ecological dynamics, megafaunal extinctions, and environmental shifts. Through rigorous exploration, numerous fossils have been recovered, accompanied by the rediscovery of historically significant deposits (initially excavated by Dutch palaeoanthropologist Eugene Dubois in the late 1800s, renowned for his discovery of H. erectus). Beyond the realm of palaeontology, our efforts have ventured into archaeology, unearthing a diverse array of artifacts and contemporary material traces. From enormous shell middens linked to Hoabinhian lithics and enigmatic standing stones, to vestiges of historic excavation pits, antique glass bottles, and even wartime relics like grenades, our findings paint a vivid picture of human interaction within the landscape. This presentation distils the outcomes of recent field investigations, encapsulating the amalgamation of disciplines, unearthing the past, and framing Southeast Asia's critical archaeological and palaeontological tapestry. 

About the Presenter

I am an Associate Professor in Palaeontology at The University of Queensland, dedicated to pushing the boundaries of knowledge in vertebrate and ecosystem evolution. My research revolves around unravelling the mysteries of our planet's unique ecosystems, examining the emergence and response of fauna to prehistoric climatic changes. Specifically, I delve deep into Australia's Cenozoic era, shining a spotlight on the enigmatic Quaternary megafauna.

About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.


443; Michie Building (9)