UCL Anthropocene


Professor Dorian Q Fuller

Academic position: Professor of Archaeobotany

Department: Institute of Archaeology

Telephone number: 020 7679 4771

Email: d.fuller@ucl.ac.uk

UCL Website: Professor Dorian Q Fuller 


Dorian Fuller is an archaeologist and archaeobotanist working on ancient agriculture, plant domestication and its impact on social and environmental change from prehistory to ancient historical times, especially in Asia and Africa, including extended field research in India, China, Japan and Turkey. He also works on the response of past human societies to climatic changes. Among his major research projects has been research on the domestication, dispersal and evolution of Asian rice agriculture, including the potential contribution of wet rice agriculture to greenhouse gas (methane) emissions. He works mainly on plant macro-remains (seeds), but also worked on phytoliths and wood charcoal. Dorian has taught at the UCL Institute of Archaeology since 2000. He is the UCL co-director of the International Centre for Chinese Heritage and Archaeology (joint with Peking University) , and he is an honorary professor at the School of Cultural Heritage, North West University, Xi’an. 

Research Projects

  •  The Early Rice project. This included methodological development on the identification rice agricultural ecologies, especially wet rice (a major methane source) versus dry rice, using archaeological seed and phytolith evidence. This has been deployed in archaeological projects n China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

  • He was one of the lead organizers and co-authors of the ArchaeoGLOBE project, which crowd-sources archaeological expertise on past land use globally. Initial results were published in Science in 2019. Continued research is being coordinated at the Max Planck Institute for Science of Human History, Jena.

  • He continues to work on Comparative Pathways to Agriculture (funded by an ERC Advanced Grant 2013-2108), which documented domestication and transitions to agriculture worldwide.