Researcher biography

Emeritus Professor Ian Lilley FSA FAHA (BA Hons, MA Qld, PhD ANU) is an academic leader whose interests focus on archaeology and cultural heritage in Australasia, the Indo-Pacific and globally.

Ian is an archaeologist and Emeritus Professor in the School of Social Science, to where he moved in 2019 after 25 years leading the academic program in UQ's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit (ATSIS). He also has a continuing visiting appointment as Willem Willems Chair for Contemporary Issues in Archaeological Heritage Management at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Leiden is continental Europe's leading university in archaeology and amongst the global Top 10 in the discipline.

Ian's Honours and Masters research examined the archaeology of Southeast Queensland. Following ground-breaking work in Papua New Guinea with the Australian Museum, Ian then did his PhD on ancient maritime trading systems which linked the New Guinea mainland and nearby Bismarck Archipelago. He built on that project with a UQ Postdoctoral Fellowship, for which he won National Geographic funding to return to PNG. He has since undertaken archaeological and cultural heritage research, consultancies and advisory missions throughout Australia, in Asia and the Pacific Islands and in North and South America. Ian's current heritage research focuses on global issues regarding World Heritage, the World Bank and transnational corporations in the extractive industries sector, particularly in relation to Indigenous people and other descendent communities. He is also an accredited Investigator with the US Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). In this capacity, he provides strategic advice to the US Defense Department regarding the recovery of missing service members from WWII to the present and coordinates field missions to locate missing personnel. Archaeologically he is working with French colleagues on long-term developments in New Caledonia. He supervises PhD and MPhil research projects in many different schools across the university, as well as others at Leiden and Otago.

Ian is a Fellow and immediate past Vice President and International Secretary of the Australian Academy of Humanities, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. At UQ, Ian serves on the UQ BA Advisory Committee, is a Senior Research Associate in the Centre for Policy Futures in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and a Research Group Leader in the the Centre for Marine Science in the School of Biological Science. He also maintains links with the UQ ATSIS Unit. Externally, Ian is a member of Australia ICOMOS, an ICOMOS World Heritage Assessor and immediate past Secretary-General of the ICOMOS International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM). He sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area and the Conservation Advisory Committee for the Port Arthur World Heritage site complex. In addition, he is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (member, WCPA Protected Landscapes Specialist Group) and the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (member, Theme on Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities, Equity and Protected Areas). In these capacities, he undertakes IUCN assessments of World Heritage cultural landscapes. ICOMOS and IUCN are the statutory Advisory Bodies to UNESCO on cultural and natural heritage respectively, and Ian is one of the few people globally who is a member of both bodies. He is also immediate past Secretary-General of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, the region's peak professional archaeological body, immediate past Chair of the International Government Affairs Committee of the Society for American Archaeology and Convenor of the International Heritage Group, which he founded while a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Oxford in 2011. Ian's other professional interests are archaeology and social identity, archaeological ethics, and the role of archaeology in contemporary society.