Boost to CABAH early career researchers

Congratulations to CABAH’s Sam Lin, from the University of Wollongong and Zoë Thomas, from the University of New South Wales on their Discovery Early Career Researcher Award grants.

Sam is investigating the evolution of the ‘hobbit’ and Zoë is studying past climates during key periods of change.

Zoë’s research will investigate the synchrony of global atmospheric shifts in the last 11,650 years of the Earth’s history (the Holocene). This project will develop the first reconstructions of westerly airflow from targeted Southern Ocean islands during key periods of change, representing a range of climate states during this period.

Sam said: “My project will investigate the cultural behaviours of the extinct Homo floresiensis (the ‘hobbit’) and early modern humans on the island of Flores in Indonesia. By using a series of interdisciplinary techniques to study archaeological stone tools excavated from Liang Bua cave, I will systematically examine and compare the technology and behavioural strategies of the two human species over the past 190,000 years.

“The hobbit lived on Flores as early as 190,000 years ago but disappeared shortly before the arrival of modern humans in the area around 46,000 years ago. To unravel the process and factors behind the hobbit’s disappearance, it is important to understand how the small-statured hominin adapted to the local environment in comparison to our own species.

“This project will fill important gaps in our understanding of the adaptive difference between Homo floresiensis and modern humans, as well as the behavioural and technological changes within our own species in the context of shifting environments over the last glacial period. These results will be key in informing current global discussions of human evolution, and highlight the importance of Southeast Asia in international archaeological research.”

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