Prof. Nicholas J. Conard, Ph.D.

(USA; Ph.D. Yale University 1990)

Prof. Conard’s research interests are wide-ranging and seek to answer “big” questions in archaeology. He is primarily interested in Paleolithic archaeology, as well as the origins of agriculture and sedentism. His main geographic foci are western Eurasia and southern Africa. Prof. Conard uses lithic, taphonomic, faunal, and spatial analyses of archaeological sites in order to understand Pleistocene chronostratigraphy, environmental reconstructions, and the evolution and dispersal of modern humans. More...

Dr. Britt M. Starkovich

(USA; Ph.D. University of Arizona 2011)

Dr. Starkovich studies the prehistoric use of animals by humans in Europe and southwest Asia. Her primary focus is applying models from human behavioral ecology to understand changes in subsistence across the course of the Paleolithic at sites in the Mediterranean region (particularly Greece) and in Germany. She works on multiple assemblages from the Epipaleolithic or Neolithic in southwest Asia, investigating early domestication and dietary practices on the cusp of domestication. Dr. Starkovich has ongoing work on a sacrificial altar to the god Zeus in southern Greece. She has worked extensively on burned bone, including taphonomic issues and applying radiocarbon dating to calcined bones. She coordinates teaching zooarchaeology at Tübingen and teaches multiple undergraduate and graduate-level classes in the department. More...

Senior Affiliated Researchers

Dr. Jamie L. Clark

(USA; Ph.D. University of Michigan 2009)

Dr. Clark is a faunal analysts specializing in the Stone Age of South Africa and Paleolithic of southwest Asia. She studies the ways in which evidence for prehistoric food procurement and processing strategies can be utilized to enhance our understanding of modern behavioral origins. In her work, she attempts to tease apart the potential relationships between environmental and demographic change and the shifts in material culture and subsistence behavior evidenced in the later Pleistocene. Dr. Clark was a Humboldt Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Tübingen from 2011 to 2012 before becoming an Assistant Professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She maintains an affiliation with Tübingen, visiting often to collaborate and work on collections, as well as ongoing excavation projects. More...

Dr. Dorothée Drucker

(France, Ph.D. Paris 2001)

Dr. Drucker is an affiliated researcher in the Biogeology Department at Tübingen. She applies stable isotope studies to understand the diets of hominins and other large mammals during the Pleistocene. Her primary interests are understanding the paleoecology of Late Quaternary large mammals, subsistence of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers in Eurasia, and the impact of Late Quaternary climatic change on the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems. She is involved in teaching multiple courses in zooarchaeology, including a seminar on prehistoric subsistence practices, and the zooarchaeology course required of all incoming master’s students. More...

Dr. Susanne Münzel

(Germany; Ph.D. Tübingen 1985)

Dr. Münzel is a faunal analyst specializing in the Paleolithic of the Swabian Jura. She is interested in musicarchaeology and is a specialist on Pleistocene carnivores including cave bears. Her work includes basic faunal identification methods, and she also collaborates with colleagues at Tübingen and elsewhere on isotopic studies of carnivore remains from Swabian cave sites. Dr. Münzel takes part in teaching survey courses and the undergraduate zooarchaeology identification class. This year, she will join Dr. Krönneck in teaching the collection preparation class and workshop on worked bone. She is central in maintaining the cooperation between the zooarchaeology working group and museums around southern Germany, as well as our ongoing relationship with the zoo in Stuttgart. More...

Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans-Peter Uerpmann

(emeritus, Ph.Ds. Munich 1970, Freiburg 1976)

Prof. Uerpmann retired from teaching at Tübingen in 2009. He still maintains an active presence in the department, holding an office and conducting ongoing fieldwork in Arabia. His research focuses are on methodological and quantification issues in zooarchaeology, domestication and animal husbandry, and Near Eastern archaeology.

Dr. Sibylle Wolf

(Ph.D. Tübingen 2013)

She specializes in the use of ivory as a raw material in the Paleolithic of Europe. She is interested in the use of organic materials for the production of personal adornment, sculpture and tools. She currently works as scientific coordinator and scientific member for the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment in Tübingen. More...

Zooarchaeological and Archaeobotanical Technician and Collections Manager

Àngel Blanco Lapaz


Àngel has master’s degrees in Experimental Paleontology (2005) and Prehistoric Archaeology (2012) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He worked for many years as a curatorial preparator and taxidermist at several prestigious Spanish museums and scientific institutions, including the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona, Natural History Museum of Madrid, and Zooarchaeology Lab of Barcelona. He worked concurrently as a paleontologist at Spanish sites dating from the Cretaceous to Early Pleistocene. He is currently working on multiple Pleistocene fish assemblages from the Iberian Peninsula (Atapuerca, Barranco León, Fuentenueva 3 Baza and Pinilla del Valle), and on others from the Neolithic (The Draga, El Mirador), Iberian (Mas Castellar de Pontós), and medieval (Castles of Montsoriu and El Catllar) phases. More...

Postdoctoral Scholars

Aurore Val

Dr. Val is a faunal analyst working on southern African faunal assemblages, including mammals, birds and reptiles. She has worked on the taphonomy of hominin and non-hominin material from several Plio-Pleistocene karstic sites from the UNESCO World Heritage “Cradle of Humankind” area of South Africa, including Malapa, Sterkfontein and Cooper’s D. Since 2014, she is interested in studying the diversity and variability of interactions between southern African Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers and the animal kingdom, in terms of subsistence as well as in relationship with the functional and symbolic realms. She is currently co-directing field-based, interdisciplinary projects in the Savanna Biome of South Africa, at the Later and Middle Stone Age sites of Bushman Rock Shelter, Heuningneskrans and Olieboomspoort. As part of an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship at the University of Tübingen (2018-2020), she analyzes the bird remains from the Middle Stone Age layers of Sibudu Cave in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Elisa Luzi

Dr. Elisa Luzi (Italy, Ph.D. Tarragona 2018) is an Alexander von Humboldt post-doctoral fellow. She studies small mammal assemblages of Middle and Late Pleistocene of Europe. She is particularly interested in systematics and morphologic evolution of arvicolids. Her current research is aiming to refine the paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions of Middle and Upper Paleolithic sites of the Ach Valley.

Aktuelle Promotionsprojekte

Recha Seitz

Recha is a zooarchaeology PhD candidate for the SFB 1070 ResourceCultures, Project B01. On the basis of the faunal analysis of three sites and further comparisons, she wants to investigate, which animals were used as a resource in the Middle to Upper Paleolithic in the region of Burgundy (France). Of special interest is the question whether the transition from Neanderthals to Homo sapiens went along with a re-valuation of the resource ‘animal’ and to find out how climatic changes and anthropogenic impact did change the ResourceComplex ‘fauna’: did the use of the resource ‘animal’ change the resource itself and then in turn lead to changes in prehistoric societies? (Working) Thesis Title: The Resource Animal at the Transition from the Middle to the Late Palaeolithic in Burgundy.

Eleonora Gargani

Eleonora works on Magdalenian organic tools coming from the Ach and Lone valleys. The project aims at understanding the production and use of these tools, in terms of reconstruction of their reduction sequence and use-wear analysis. This will help to address questions related to the knowledge of economic behavioural patterns characterising the human groups living in the valleys, as well as their technological skills and technical choices. The work will contribute to integrate the emerging cultural framework in Ach and Lone valleys with the Magdalenian organic tools production in Europe. Thesis title: Reconstructing past human behaviour: techno-functional analysis on organic tools from the Magdalenian occupation in Ach and Lone valleys

Mario Mata-González

Mario is interested in the study of faunal remains in order to reconstruct human subsistence strategies during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene. His research focuses on the zooarchaeological analysis of the material recovered at two archaeological sites excavated by the Tübingen-Iranian Research Project (TISARP) in the Zagros Mountains: Ghar-e Boof and Chogha Golan. He is investigating diachronic shifts in species representation and site occupation intensity within the paradigm of evolutionary ecology. His primary aim is to understand the implications of population growth and changes in residential mobility on the development of animal husbandry practices. Thesis Title: “Changes in Subsistence Strategies and Site Occupation Intensity from the Middle Paleolithic through the Neolithic in the Southern Zagros Mountains”

Chris Baumann

Chris studies the interaction between hominins and (medium-sized) carnivores during the late Pleistocene, which includes on one hand the use of these animals by the Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans, on the other hand the impact of hominin behavior on the niches of these animals. This main complex includes more detailed questions, for example: Is there a special hunting strategy concerning the medium-sized carnivores? How did hominin behavior affect the niches of medium-sized carnivores? Are there any indications for taming of (medium-sized) carnivores? Are the interaction patterns between hominins and medium-sized carnivore the same in Middle Paleolithic context and Upper Paleolithic contexts? Additionally, he is very interested in the analysis of microvertebrates (microfauna) to reconstruct carnivore’s diet and the palaeoecology of the sites.

Thesis Title: The human and medium-sized carnivore interaction during the Middle and Upper Paleolithic in the Swabian Jura

Ivo Verheijen


Ivo is reassessing the Schöningen carnivore guild through an anatomical comparison of the carnivore skeletal assemblage with material from Early and Middle Pleistocene sites. After characterizing the carnivore guild, he will establish a species prey preference on the basis of taphonomic and stable isotopic studies. The title of his dissertation is “Placing the Schöningen hominins in the Middle Pleistocene carnivore guild”

Shyama Vermeersch

Shyama is a zooarchaeology PhD candidate for the SFB 1070 ResourceCultures, Project A05. The aim is to investigate how agricultural resources can be viewed as cultural entities beyond their economic value during the Bronze And Iron Ages in the Southern Levant. To do this, she will perform a metadata analysis of geographically and temporally appropriate sites and combine this with site-specific analysis. Besides this, she will also try to find a way to combine the zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical record for this region.

(Working) Thesis Title: The Use of Animal Resources in the Southern Levant during the Bronze and Iron Age using Faunal Analyses.

Abgeschlossene Promotionen

Giulia Toniato (2020) –  Late Pleistocene Environments and Hominin Ecology at Schafstall Rock Shelter in Southwestern Germany

Gillian Wong (2020) – Human Paleoecology during the Magdalenian in the Swabian Jura of southwestern Germany

Sara Rhodes (2019) – Of Mice and (Neanderthal) Men: The small mammal record of the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition in the Swabian Jura, Germany

Keiko Kitagawa (2014) – Exploring hominins and animals in the Swabian Jura: Study of the Paleolithic fauna from Hohlenstein-Stadel

Hannes Napierala (2012)
“The Paleolithic Background of Early Food Producing Societies in the Fertile Crescent – Faunal Analysis.”

Can Yümni Gündeum (2010)
“Animal Based Economy in Troia and the Troas during the Maritime Troy Culture (c. 3000-2200 BC) and a General Summary for West Anatolia.”

Petra Krönneck (2010)
“Die pleistozäne Makrofauna des Bocksteins (Lonetal-Schwäbische Alb) Ein neuer Ansatz zur Rekonstruktion der Paläoumwelt.”

Corina Knipper (2009)
“Die räumliche Organisation der linearbandkeramischen Rinderhaltung: naturwissenschaftliche und archäologische Undersuchungen.”