Chief Investigator & Time Theme Leader

University of Wollongong

Professor Zenobia Jacobs is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and Director of the OSL dating laboratory at the University of Wollongong. Her background and training is in Archaeology and the Earth Sciences. She is interested in the further development and refinement of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of single grains of sand and its application to sand grains buried at geological and archaeological sites around the world. Her ongoing aim is to create a finely-resolved timeline for key turning points in human evolution and Earth history. She uses OSL dating to create high-resolution chronologies to reveal new clues about the early history of Homo sapiens, their dispersal from Africa, and interactions with other hominin groups that crossed their path. She is also interested in past human-environment interactions and the ecological footprint of first humans reaching new continents.


An essential item in Zenobia’s toolkit

“Grit and a desire to continuously learn and improve whilst having fun as part of the journey of discovery.”