I am a senior scientist in the team and laboratory of Tom Higham and Katerina Douka in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna. My background is in archaeology, radiocarbon dating and stable isotope analysis on human and faunal remains for palaeodietary purposes. Previous projects I have worked on involved extinct giant tortoise bones from Mauritius, prehistoric human and faunal material from the Limfjord in Denmark, and Palaeolithic whale bone objects from France and Spain. I am interested in human-environmental interactions in the past, human evolution, and the effect of diagenetic alterations on isotopic signatures in bone and teeth.
Sonja Windhager is a trained biologist and lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna. Her research focus is on geometric morphometric approaches to human facial shape and interpersonal perception. This includes an interest in modern imaging techniques to study human facial form in two and three dimensions. The emphasis is on the use of calibrated morphs in intra- and cross-cultural research. Furthermore, she investigates human social behavior in the context of biophilia and the urban environment.
I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology as part of Mareike Stahlschmidt’s team. I received my Masters degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. For my MSc I worked at the site of Border Cave, South Africa, using the geoarchaeological techniques of fabric and facies analyses to understand the formation of the upper portion of the archaeological sequence. I am a geoarchaeologist, with a specific interest in investigating micro- to macroscale cave/rockshelter site formation processes and employing a multiproxy approach, using methods such as XRF, particle size analysis, and fabric analysis. I am also a multidisciplinary archaeologist and have a generalised knowledge of other archaeological fields. For my PhD I am pivoting into microarchaeology by using the technique of micromorphology to understand and contextualize the preservation of ancient DNA at the microscale at Upper Palaeolithic cave sites in Georgia.
I am a PhD student at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology and especially interested in respiratory diseases in past populations, palaeopathology, evolutionary medicine and diseases in regard of the human life history. I received a BSc in Biology in 2017, followed by a MSc in 2021 from the University of Vienna. I completed my master’s degree in Anthropology where I investigated paranasal sinusitis and their relation to skeletal stress markers in human remains. In addition, I am currently studying medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, which I will complete in 2022.
After I started studying biology at Leibniz University Hannover, I developed an interest in population genetics, conservation genetics, and ecology. Driven this passion, I pursued my education in evolutionary systems biology at the University of Vienna. For my master's thesis, I focused on recurrent ecotype formation of an alpine plant. I conducted a comprehensive analysis of smRNA profiles from reciprocally transplanted individuals and those grown in a common garden. Currently, for my PhD, my research focuses on New Zealand feral horses. Through bioinformatic and comparative population genomics, my goal is to provide science- based insights for future conservation management plans. This endeavor aims to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand's European settlers through studying their horses, as human history has always shaped and been shaped by the history of our livestock’s.
Tobias Göllner investigates the peopling of Asia via genetic ancestry, population structure, demography and selection. Currently he works together with the Maniq, a primary hunter-gatherer community of Southeast Asia to uncover their genetic history, admixture, and archaic introgression. Further topics of investigation will be selection and adaptation to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the rainforest. (PhD Supervisors: Martin Fieder and Helmut Schaschl)
I am a PhD student at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna. After a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Medicine, I completed the master's program in Evolutionary Anthropology here in Vienna. My research interests focus on ancient host and pathogen DNA and I work with both great apes and humans. For my master’s thesis, I investigated DNA viruses in great apes, where I am still doing more research. My PhD project deals with social genomics in underprivileged individuals from Northern Italy, where I will incorporate different datasets, including archaeological and osteological data, to get an insight into the living conditions of the populations studied.
I am a PhD student working as a University Assistant at the Department of Prehistory and Historical Archaeology. In 2021, I received my master’s degree from the University of Vienna, analysing two block-excavated child burials from the Middle Neolithic Lengyel Culture. Apart from human remains, my main research interests include landscape archaeology and geoarchaeology as well as human-landscape interactions. My PhD project focuses on modelling and reconstructing landscape change, erosion, and preservation conditions of and around Middle Neolithic sites from their construction until the present. I enjoy fieldwork and desktop-based work in equal measures and like to collaborate with colleagues from different (sub-)disciplines, which is a great way for continuously broadening my horizon.
Nisa Kirchengast studied Classical Archaeology, Prehistory and Historical Archaeology, and Biology at the University of Vienna. Since 2017 she has been working freelance on zooarchaeological material in Austria and Italy. Since 2021 she is a PraeDoc assistant and fellow at the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna. Her PhD project is about Roman food supply and distribution systems of animal products in the Danubian provinces. Nisa's research focuses on butchery studies, taphonomy, animal husbandry practices, foodways, Human-Animal interactions, trade and supply networks.
I have completed my master’s program in Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna and I am currently a PhD student in Ron Pinhasi’s group. My research is part of the research platform MINERVA (Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome) which studies the interactions of ancient DNA (aDNA) with and protection by diverse mineral phases. I am currently specializing in extracting aDNA from archeological sediments with a specific focus on paleolithic cave sites. The obtained metagenomic data allow me to study human population history and occupations even at sites lacking human remains.
I am a PhD student at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, The Higham lab. My background is in Archaeological Sciences, which I obtained a bachelor’s degree at the University of Bradford, before being a commercial archaeologist for a few years in England, Ireland and Germany. My master’s degree is from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, in Paleobiology and Geobiology. My master’s thesis was concentrated on using microfossils and isotopes for further understanding the paleo-environment on Paleolithic sites in Lower Austria. My PhD with the Higham lab will involve using different dating techniques and methods to further understand hominins movements, interactions and extinctions in the Middle to Upper Paleolithic across Eurasia.
I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Environmental Geosciences (EDGE), University of Vienna. I completed my M.Sc. at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India, where I studied clay chemistry and mineralogy to understand the formation of bole beds (clay-rich horizons) present in Deccan basaltic flows. My doctoral research is a part of the research platform MINERVA (Mineralogical Preservation of the Human Biome from the Depth of Time), a collaboration between EDGE and the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology of the University of Vienna. In my doctoral research, I am focusing on understanding the roles of environmentally relevant minerals such as clays, iron oxides, hydroxyapatite and calcite in preserving the DNA against the common degradational agents such as nucleases, reactive oxygen species and ionizing radiation. My work will help develop a better understanding of the role of minerals in the long-term preservation of the human genome in the environment.
I am a biologist and obtained a Master degree working on population genomics of multiple species including horses, dogs and date palms at University of Bologna. Currently, I am a PhD student in Computational Admixture Genomics group at the University of Vienna. My research interests involve computational approaches to study population history in humans and great apes, particularly admixture between populations.
I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna. My research interest includes genomic analysis of historical and ancient populations to understand their evolutionary and demographic history. Over the course of my Master's thesis at CIRAD Montpellier France, I specialized in analyzing genomic data using bioinformatical tools especially in estimating ploidy levels, signatures of selection, kinship, and demographic history using coalescent simulations. In my current project, I am working on Roman and Celtic Equids populations using a multidisciplinary approach that involves paleogenomics, standard morphology and geometric morphometrics.
Mario Gavranović is a prehistoric archeologist with research focus on Metal Ages in Europe and the Balkans in particular. He is Deputy Scientific Director of the Austrian Archaeological Institute at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Department for Prehistory & WANA Archaeology and leader of the research group “Urnfield Culture Networks”. In his projects, he explores the interactions, resource managements and burial practices of prehistoric communities by applying the fieldwork and interdisciplinary analytic approach. He is currently running several projects on metallurgy of Bronze Ages and copper distribution networks, radiocarbon dating of urn cemeteries and mobility patterns pf prehistoric groups in southeastern Europe. Publications Mario Gavranović
I am a Researcher in paleogenomics focusing on the study of genetic data from different sources. I am primarily interested in analyzing genomic data from past environments or populations that can be co-analyzed together with other disciplines to answer questions linked to cultural evolution and health status assessment of ancient populations. I am currently working on projects related to past microbiomes and populations as well on the analysis of ancient environmental genomic data of human-related environments
I am the head of the Department of Prehistory, Natural History Museum Vienna. As an archaeologist, I study the material culture of the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age in Central Europe, including theoretical aspects like identity, innovation and creativity, functional design theory, visual coding, design concepts, sociological and semiotic studies. My focus research is on technological, economic and social aspects of textiles with interdisciplinary research on artefacts from graves, settlements and saltmines, covering a timespan from 2500 BC till 1000 AD and a geographical area from Central Europe to Iran.. I have also the aim to bridge gaps between research institutions (Universities, Academies) and cultural heritage institutions and am active in various dissemination activities.
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.
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.
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…
Deputy director of VIAS, Egyptologist. Research interests: Ceramic analysis and material culture. Late Bronze Age, chronology and cultural interconnections in the Eastern Mediterranean. Development of archaeological methods. Ancient Egyptian Art. Fieldwork in Egypt (Tell el-Daba, Karnak North, and other sites). Principal investigator of the SFB SCIEM 2000, project Cyprus (1999-2011). Guest professor in Uppsala (Sweden) 2010-2013. Currently: field work in Karnak/Egypt (cooperation IFAO).
Since 1995 I have been teaching and researching as an archaeologist (assistant professor) at the Department of Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology at the University of Vienna on the Neolithic Period, Copper and especially the Bronze Age with a focus on social, environmental and landscape archaeological issues. As director of studies, I am responsible for the curricula and all study matters. My main research interests are identity, mobility & tradition of Bronze Age populations, human ecology of the Copper Age, deposits in the context of space and ritual, ritual violence, conflict archaeology.
I am Professor of Palaeobiology and head of the Evolutionary Morphology Research Group at the Department of Palaeontology of the University of Vienna since September 2010. Prior to coming to Vienna I was curator at the Natural History Museum Berlin and State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart (Germany). My research is at the interface of palaeobiology and evolutionary developmental biology of vertebrates. For this I integrate living and fossil organisms, knowledge of their evolutionary relationships and past diversity patterns, and developmental biology, to provide a holistic understanding of their evolutionary history.
Martin Kuhlwilm is a biologist and obtained a PhD working on population genomics of Neandertals at the MPI-EVA in Leipzig. As a postdoctoral researcher in Barcelona, he studied admixture in great apes. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Vienna, with funding from the WWTF. His research involves computational approaches to study population history, particularly admixture between populations.
The main research focus is the evolution of human life history patterns, comprising studies concerning growth patterns in recent as well as historical populations, in particular the impact of endogenous und exogenous stress factors on body height and directional asymmetry patterns. On the other hand, female reproductive biology, in particular pregnancy, childbirth and menopause are focused on.
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
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
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.
Since the year 2000 I have been head of the archaeometallurgical laboratory at the Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science/University Vienna.My research focus lies on the: Bronze Age Archaeology, Iron Age Archaeology, Medieval Ages, Experimental Archaeology, Mining Archaeology, metallurgy of copper, bronze and precious metals, metallurgy of iron, tool mark analyses, use wear analyses on bronze objects, analyses with the scanning electron microscope (SEM-EDS)
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.
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.
Wolfgang Neubauer is an Austrian archaeologist. He is director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology since 2010. He is also member of the Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) and teaches at the University of Vienna. His research foci lie in the archaeological geo-physical prospection, virtual archaeology, and stratigraphy. Some of his beacon projects included research at Stonehenge and in Birka (Vikings).
Philip R Nigst is a Palaeolithic archaeologist with an enthusiasm for fieldwork. His research covers the archaeology of human evolution and focuses currently on Neanderthal and modern human behaviour and adaptations in Central and Eastern Europe. Philip’s key research themes include the ecology of Neanderthal and modern human technological organisation, mobility, horizontal cultural transmission, lithic technology, chronostratigraphy, use of space and site formation processes at Neanderthal and modern human sites in western Eurasia. He is currently engaged in field projects focussing on Neanderthal and modern human adaptations in Central and Eastern Europe.
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.
We are specifically interested in the biological causes of facial shape variation and in the resulting social perception (both in children and adults). We study biological processes such as allometric, androgenic (current, and prenatal via 2D:4D) on (facial) morphology, and integrate concepts from evolutionary psychology and aesthetics to test evolutionary hypothesis in relation to mating system, fluctuating asymmetry, perceived attractiveness, sex stereotypes, overgeneralization, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A theoretical basis is of high importance in the fields of co-evolutionary theory and transition studies: Prof. Wilfing has gathered profound experience in epistemology, of which is mainly focused on theoretical biology. The main focus of the Work Group Human Ecology is currently on the topic: perspectives of sustainable development in industrialised societies and developing countries with special consideration of network research and the value action gap.