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  • j.steele@ucl.ac.uk
  • Direct: +44 (0)20 7679 4773
  • Internal: 24773
  • Room 604
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

James Steele

Research Interests

My research focuses on the evolution of speech, and on large-scale human population dispersals. I am currently working on experimental approaches to cultural transmission, and am collaborating on models of population dispersal and innovation diffusion in several case studies.

Research Directory Records

Current Projects

Learning to be Human (Leverhulme Trust funded project, 2010-2013; Co-PI, lead PI Bruce Bradley)

Recent Projects

Educational background

  • BA in Archaeology, University of Southampton, 1986
  • PhD in Archaeology, University of Southampton, 1993

I would welcome enquiries about PhD supervision on the following topics:

  • experimental approaches to cultural transmission of artefact traditions (prior training in experimental psychology is desirable)
  • mathematical modelling of large time- and space-scale population dynamics (undergraduate maths or physics training and good programming ability are essential)
  • archaeology and the early population history of South America (solid archaeological training and a good reading knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese are essential)

Current Students

Stuart Page 'Cultural Transmission of Artefact Traditions: An Experimental Approach' (second supervisor: Ignacio de la Torre)

Fabio Silva 'Modeling anatomically modern human disperals by fitting analytical and numerical predictions to the archaeological and fossil records' (second supervisor: Andrew Garrard)

Former Students

Thembi Russell 'The Spatial Analysis of Radiocarbon Databases: the Spread of the First Farmers in Europe and of the Fat-Tailed Sheep in Southern Africa.' (PhD awarded 2002, Uni. of Southampton)

James Carey 'Ghost Walkers of Turtle Island : Submergence, Ecology and Coastal Migration into the Americas .' (M.Phil. awarded 2003, Uni. of Southampton)

Katharine MacDonald 'The Ecology and Evolution of Hominin Geographic Ranges: Setting a Context for Archaeological Interpretation Using Comparative Analysis.' (PhD awarded 2003, Uni. of Southampton)

Chris Duke 'Planning, Memory And Mobility In The European Palaeolithic: A Reassessment Of The Evidence From The Movement Of Lithic Raw Materials' (PhD awarded 2004, Uni. of Southampton)

Carina Buckley 'A Matter of Evolutionary Life and Death: an Ecological Model of Growth and Development in Homo erectus.' (PhD awarded 2006, Uni. of Southampton)

Hilary Snelling 'The Neolithic Transition in Europe: Evaluating Diffusion Mechanisms from Radiocarbon Proxy Data, Genetic Variation and Mathematical Models.' (PhD awarded 2008, Uni. of Southampton)

Natalie Uomini 'In the Knapper’s Hands: Testing Markers of Laterality in Hominin Lithic Production, with Reference to the Common Substrate of Language and Handedness.' (PhD awarded 2008, Uni. of Southampton)


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