Associate Investigator

Australian Museum

Robin Torrence is Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum.  She has conducted archaeological research on obsidian exchange in Greece and east Russia and has written on the role of risk in hunter-gatherer adaptations. Currently, her major research area is the Willaumez Peninsula on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea where her team is focusing on exchange, social change, lithic technology and use-wear, landscape use, and the long term impact of volcanic disasters on culture change. A parallel project leverages collaborative research to rewrite the colonial history of Papua New Guinea through archaeologically inspired analyses of ethnographic museum collections. Robin takes great pleasure in pushing the boundaries of archaeological methods, (e.g., ancient starch research) and theory through inter-disciplinary projects. As senior editor of the Journal of Archaeological Science and assistant editor of Archaeology in Oceania, she tries to foster innovative research and mentor the next generation.

An essential item in Robin’s toolkit

“An open mind that can recognize and seize opportunities — ideas, methods, connections with ongoing research interests — is my choice of the essential item for all researchers.”