Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Katerina DOUKA

I am an archaeological scientist interested in the development and application of analytical tools, in particularly chronometric and biomolecular methodologies, to archaeological and palaeoenvironmental investigations. I specialise in radiocarbon dating, and have extensive experience in sample collection, development of new protocols for decontaminating archaeological material, and the statistical interpretation of AMS results using Bayesian modelling. I am also interested in the application of biomolecular tools, such as collagen peptide fingerprinting (also known as ZooMS), to better understand the archaeological record.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Martin FIEDER

Main research areas: evolutionary demography and behavior genetics. Martin Fieder investigates how our evolutionary heritage influences modern-day demographics, focusing on mating, social status and reproduction, as well as on the demographic causes of contemporary migration flows. In the field of behavioral genetics, he works on genetic predisposition and evolution of in-group vs. out-group attitudes, social status as well as homogamy, with a special attention on the evolution of religions. He mainly uses public demographic data, twin data, Genome Wide Association Studies and the Poly Genic Risk Score.

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Natural History Museum Vienna (NHM) Team Leaders

Karina GRÖMER

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.

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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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The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Team Leaders

Andreas G. HEISS

Archaeobotanist with a degree in biology (focus archaeobotany) from the University of Innsbruck. Since 2001, participation in numerous national and international research projects predominantly in central Europe and in the Mediterranean, with research foci on food, agricultural, and mining history. Lecturer at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), at the University of Vienna, and at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. 2012 recipient of the BOKU Teaching Award. 2015 founding member of the Bioarchaeological Society of Austria (BAG). Since 2016 member of OeAW-OeAI and head of the archaeobotany laboratory, since 2021 head of the research group “Environment and Human Impact in Historical Societies”.

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The Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) Team Leaders

Barbara HOREJS

I am Professor for Prehistory and Scientific Director of the Austrian Archaeological Institute at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, where I am heading the Department for Prehistory & WANA Archaeology. My research focuses on late Pleistocene to Holocene phenomena in Southeast Europe and West Asia with excavations and geoarchaeological surveys to produce, analyse and model new primary data of early communities and their environmental contexts. I enjoy working with interdisciplinary teams of students, ECR’s and experts to gain new insights into neolithization, intensification & centralisation.    

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Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Team Leaders

Irmgard HEIN

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).

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Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Team Leaders

Maria IVANOVA-BIEG

Maria Ivanova-Bieg is an archaeologist and a specialist in European Prehistory. Her current research projects, funded by the ERC (Consolidator Grant), FWF and the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation, deal with key issues in prehistoric archaeology such as the development of novel socio-ecological relationships in early agro-pastoral societies and the rise of social networks of long-distance connectivity in Mediterranean Europe and North Africa.

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Department of Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology (IUHA) Team Leaders

Alexandra KRENN-LEEB

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.    

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Martin KUHLWILM

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.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Sylvia KIRCHENGAST

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.

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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 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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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 first millennium BCE, comparing narrative of migration with evidence from landscape survey for population circulation and regional mobilities. I am also very interested in the comparison of real and imagined genealogies. Since 2020 I have been a Professor of Classical Archaeology (Greek) at the University of Vienna.

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Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Team Leaders

Mathias MEHOFER

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)

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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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Department of Palaeontology (PAL) Team Leaders

Doris NAGEL

My research focuses on mammal evolution and ecological niche development especially in carnivorous animals. The different aspects include food preference (microwear methods), locomotion adaption and population development (in co-operation with Michael Hofreiter, DNA-lab, Univ. Potsdam and the Radiocarbon lab in Mannheim). Current projects focus on niche development of Miocene carnivores and climate adaptions of mammals in the Upper Pleistocene (Teufelslucke).

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Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) Team Leaders

Wolfgang NEUBAUER

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).

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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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Department of Prehistoric and Historical Archaeology (IUHA) Team Leaders

Philip R. NIGST

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.

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Katrin SCHÄFER

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.  

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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Team Leaders

Harald WILFING

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.

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