Natural History Museum Vienna (NHM) Team Leaders

Mathias HARZHAUSER

I’m the head of the Geological-Paleontological Department of the Natural History Museum Vienna. My research deals with the paleogeography and the biotic development of the circum-Mediterranean Region and the early Indo-Pacific during the Cenozoic Era with strong focus on integrated stratigraphy. My main taxonomic tool to tackle these questions are marine and terrestrial molluscs. In addition, I’m very active in the popularization of science.  

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Magdalena T. SRIENC-ŚCIESIEK

I am a PhD candidate and the Anthropology Lab Manager at the Austrian Archaeological Institute- Austrian Academy of Sciences. My doctoral research focuses on the early medieval Eastern Alpine region and will look at how the transitional period influenced health and diet as well as mobility in southern Austria and northern Slovenia. I am interested in palaeopathology and recreating the life history of individuals and communities.

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The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Team Leaders

Andreas G. HEISS

I am an archaeobotanist with a PhD in Biology from the University of Innsbruck. My research is dedicated to exploring the fascinating interactions between human cultures and plants, with a particular focus on the history of agriculture and food cultures. I am also interested in topics as diverse as mining, dyeing, wood use, and ritual practices. Over the years I have been actively involved in numerous research projects throughout Europe and the Aegean, which have helped me to develop my expertise in my field. During my academic career I have had the privilege of teaching at three institutions: the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), the University of Vienna, and the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. In 2012 I was honoured with the BOKU Teaching Award and in 2020 I received the Venia Docendi (habilitation) for Archaeobotany at the same university. As a founding member of the Bioarchaeological Society of Austria (BAG) in 2015, I am contributing to the development of zooarchaeology, archaeobotany, and biological anthropology in Austria, which has been a rewarding experience. In 2016, I was given the opportunity to establish the Archaeobotany Laboratory at the Austrian Archaeological Institute at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW-OeAI), which I have been leading since then. In 2021 I took over the leadership of the research group…

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Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Team Leaders

Günther Karl KUNST

Trained as a palaeontologist working on Ice-Age mammals, I made a change for the “younger stuff” with the founding of VIAS/IDEA in 1994. Since then, I have been involved in various excavation projects in Central Europe, Egypt and Turkey. I prefer excavation projects comprising  complicated archaeological situations, like multiphase buildings or settlements. Here, I like to collaborate with colleagues studying archaeological features and other find groups, especially pottery. I have been a lecturer for archaeozoology for almost three decades on various departments of the University of Vienna (Prehistory and Historic archaeology, Palaeontology, Anthropology). Special interests: taphonomy of buildings and complex settlements; butchery studies; relationships between animal bones and pottery remains

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The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Team Leaders

Kerstin KOWARIK

I am a prehistoric archaeologist and coordinator of the research group Prehistoric Identities at the Department of Prehistory & West Asian/Northeast African Archaeology at Austrian Archaeological Institute of the ÖAW. My research focuses on human-environment interaction, prehistoric dietary patterns, risk management and crisis and coping (natural hazards, physical stress), and Alpine archaeology. I enjoy working in interdisciplinary networks and am especially interested in and developing new innovative research frameworks using bioarchaeological and geoarchaeological approaches to gain new insights the living conditions of Europe’s Metal Ages communities.     Kerstin Kowarik Publications

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Department of Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology (IUHA) Team Leaders

Naoíse MAC SWEENEY

My research focuses on the ancient Greek world and Anatolia, and I am particularly interested in questions concerning migration, mobility, and cultural interaction. My current project (https://www.migmag-erc.eu/) investigates how multi-scalar mobilities contributed to the formation of ancient Greek communities in the first millennium BCE, comparing narrative of migration with evidence from landscape survey for population circulation and regional mobilities. I am working on a project to develop mew digital approaches to modelling regional mobilities using environmental, archaeological, and historical data. Since 2020 I have been a Professor of Classical Archaeology (Greek) at the University of Vienna.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Philipp MITTEROECKER

I am a theoretical biologist, anthropologist, and biostatistician in the Department of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Vienna. I have studied the development and evolution of human and primate anatomy, with medical applications to orthodontics and gynecology. I am particularly interested in the interaction of developmental, environmental, and evolutionary processes. Another current research focus is on human childbirth: an evolutionary conundrum involving biological, environmental, and sociocultural dynamics. My methodological work comprises contributions to geometric morphometrics, multivariate biostatistics, and quantitative genetics.    

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Elmira MOHANDESAN

I am a principal investigator at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (University of Vienna). My research interests mainly cover the topics related to population and conservation genomics, phylogenetics and animal domestication. Particularly, in my research group, we generate and analyze non-human paleogenomic data to address various evolutionary, and socio-cultural questions, many of which cannot be well-addressed by ancient DNA studies of humans alone. I have been working on ancient specimens from various species, such as human, cave bear, chimpanzee, iconic New Zealand Tuatara, Arabian camels and horses. In my current project, we are researching on the Palaeogenomics of Roman Equids, using a multidisciplinary approach.

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The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Team Leaders

Alexandra S. RODLER-RØRBO

I am an archaeological scientist at the Austrian Archaeological Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences with a PhD in Geosciences. My research focuses on the organization of ancient colorant networks in view of economic, political and technological changes, currently from late Bronze Age to late Antiquity in the Mediterranean, southwest Asia and Europe. This includes materials of various industries such as mineral pigments, glasses/glazes, metals, and earths, and includes geological fieldwork, experiments, and mineralogical/petrographic and geochemical analyses with a focus on mass spectrometry.  

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News

Last terrapins – first turkeys – humans out of place

500 years of building history mirrored by rubble layers, artefacts, bones and documents It started with a rescue excavation of a few weeks in 2004, when the centre of the Nationalpark Donauauen was established in one of the most unique of our Renaissance castles; 17 years later, and coordinated by Nikolaus Hofer from the  Federal Monuments Authority Austria, a team of historians, art historians, archaeologists, stratigraphers and osteologists together assemble a colourful picture, mutually benefitting from each others results; for the first time in Austria, the history of a monumental building could be traced over such a long period - inderdisciplinarity more than an out-dated phrase  

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Network Associates Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA)

Verena SCHÜNEMANN

My research is centered around ancient DNA retrieved from a wide range of samples to better understand pathogen-host-environment interactions across time and to trace back the evolutionary history of pathogens. Furthermore, I also work on ancient genomics of domesticated plants and animals from various time periods as well as on ancient microbiomes.    

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Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Team Leaders

Michaela SCHAUER

I’m an archaeologist by training, specialised in the chemical analysis of archaeological and geological materials using portable X-ray fluorescence (p-XRF). Recently, I have finished my PhD on LBK and La Hoguette pottery at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) in Munich, and won the LMU Dissertations Prize of Faculty 9. With more than seven years of experience and over 30 p-XRF related research projects under my belt, I will now continue methodological R&D into the p-XRF technique at VIAS in the framework of a three-year FWF ESPRIT fellowship on “Standardising portable X-ray fluorescence for archaeometry”. My main focus will be on experiments to improve our understanding of instrument handling, particularly in relation to environmental conditions. I will also carry out a series of tests on their application to ancient pottery and sediments. I enjoy discussing methods and approaches, as well as being involved in pottery studies and projects around the world.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Mareike STAHLSCHMIDT

I am a geoarchaeologist and apply microscopic techniques to the sedimentary archaeological record. I view and analyze sediments, deposits and features as archives of paleoenvironments as well as of human behavior. I am particularly interested in how archaeological sites form and preserve over time, in the evolution of human use of fire and in archaeological sediments and speleothems as paleogenetic archives.  

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Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) Team Leaders

Peter STEIER  

Peter Steier is assistant professor at the Faculty of Physics and member of the research group Isotope Physics. Working with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) techniques he is interested in very heavy ions (actinides), time-of-flight detectors, energy loss and straggling, isobar identification, the 14C dating for archaeology, and application of Bayesian statistics to calibration.

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The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Team Leaders

Lyndelle WEBSTER

Based at the Department of Prehistory and WANA Archaeology at the Austrian Archaeological Institute, my research focuses on radiocarbon dating and soil micromorphology. Developing radiocarbon-based chronologies for Neolithic through Iron Age sites across a wide geographic area, from the Levant and Near East to Europe and the Balkans, has enabled me to contribute to key chronological debates. My current FWF ESPRIT project employs an integrated approach using soil micromorphology and other micro-scale techniques, as well as radiocarbon dating, to study earliest settlements along a major corridor for Neolithisation in the central Balkans.  

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members

Petra ŠIMKOVÁ

I am a PhD student at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna. After finishing my bachelor's studies focused on skeletal morphology and paleopathology at Comenius University in Bratislava, I obtained my Master's degree at the University of Vienna, with the main focus on dental anthropology in combination with 3D imaging and geometric morphometrics. In my PhD research, I continue focusing on dental anthropology and morphology of hominids, working by means of virtual anthropology and geometric morphometrics.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Members

Brina ZAGORC

I am an archaeologist and currently a PhD student in Ron Pinhasi's Lab group. My research areas include studying relationships between and within past societies, and I am especially interested in the field of bioarchaeology of children. The main focus of my PhD project is to observe sex-specific variations in subadult health status during Antiquity and Early Medieval times. My work includes aDNA analysis and other bioarchaeological methods where I compare the occurrence of physiological stress indicators, and other paleopathological indicators of bad health, in relation to the biological sex of the studied individuals. This will help me address questions on upbringing, weaning patterns, and overall health of the subadult population in the past.

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