Institute of Archaeology


UCL Senior Promotions success for Institute of Archaeology staff

3 July 2024

Congratulations to Borja Legarra Herrero, Rhiannon Stevens and Yijie Zhuang who have been successful in UCL's Senior Academic, Research and Teaching Promotions for 2023-24.

Gordon Square gardens © UCL Digital Media

New Professors

Rhiannon Stevens

Rhiannon Stevens, who has been promoted to Professor of Archaeological Science, undertakes research on human-animal-environment relationships and examining past diets, subsistence practices and lifeways, using biomolecular techniques such as stable isotopes, ZooMs, and radiocarbon dating to address these themes. Her work bridges archaeology, biology, geography and earth science disciplines.

Rhiannon leads Leverhulme Trust-funded research to develop fossil bone isotope signatures as a new proxy for creating high-resolution chronologically-constrained  records  of  past  permafrost  thaw as well as NERC-funded projects on 'Unlocking wetland ecologies and agriculture in prehistory through sulphur isotopes' and 'Expanding the prospects of zinc isotopes as palaeodietary and palaeoenvironmental proxies.' She also leads on our BSc Archaeology degree programme and teaches modules on Applications in Archaeological Science (undergraduate) and Biomolecular Archaeology (postgraduate).

Rhiannon manages the Institute's Biomolecular Laboratories, is on the Steering Committee of the Bloomsbury Environmental Isotope Facility (BEIF) and co-ordinates the London Biomolecular Forum. She is joint Head of the Archaeological Sciences Section, a member of the Institute's Senior Management Team. She chairs the Institute's Women's Forum and is leading on the department's next Athena Swan submission.

Congratulations Rhiannon!

Dr Yijie Zhuang (UCL Institute of Archaeology)

Yijie Zhuang, who has been promoted to Professor of Chinese Archaeology and Geoarchaeology, undertakes research on the ecology of early agriculture, long-term land use and landscape change, irrigation and water management and diverse trajectories to social complexity across East, South and Southeast Asia.

Yijie was recently awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for his research on 'Power and historicity of water: An interdisciplinary investigation on the origins of hydraulic societies in late prehistoric China.' He was also co-applicant Dr Hai Zhang's British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship on 'Water and early enclosed settlement on the Huai floodplain, central China: Geoarchaeology of water management and landscape of the late-Neolithic site of Pingliangtai.' 

Yijie co-ordinates our MA in Archaeology and Heritage of Asia degree programme and teaches modules on Art and Archaeology of Ancient China and Art and Archaeology of Early Imperial China (undergraduate) as well as Archaeologies of Asia, Archaeological Heritage Management in Asia and Social Complexity in Early China: from the Neolithic to the Early Empire (postgraduate).

Yijie is also the Institute's International Tutor (for undergraduate students).

Congratulations Yijie!

New Associate Professor (Teaching)

Borja Legarra Herrero

Borja Legarra Herrero, who has been promoted to Associate Professor (Teaching), specialises in the study of 
Aegean Prehistory, the later prehistory of South East Spain, ceramic studies state formation, archaeology and anthropology of death, landscape archaeology and survey methods, and computer games and archaeology. 

His current research projects include 'Minoan gold: an archaeometallurgical analysis of Crete's place in the east Mediterranean world' and 'Verasur: Human Mobility and long-term social change in the west Mediterranean: The case of the Vera Region (Almeria, Spain).' 

Borja contributes to our MA in Mediterranean Archaeology degree programme and teaches on a range of topics related to Late Prehistory in the Mediterranean, with particular interest on Greek Archaeology and Iberian Prehistory - including Social and political dynamics, interaction and cultural contact and material analyses. He has been nominated for UCLU Student Choice Awards for Inspiring Teaching Delivery (2021-22 & 2020-21) for Exceptional Feedback (2018-19).

Borja is leading our BA degree programmes on Classical Archaeology and Classical Civilisation as well as Archaeology with a Year Abroad and is the Institute's Connected Learning Lead.

Congratulations Borja!

This was the 7th round of promotions to be based on the new UCL Academic Careers Framework and saw 25 members of UCL academic staff from the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences gaining promotions for their outstanding contributions to research, education and enabling and leadership at UCL.

The UCL Academic Careers Framework is designed to support every type of academic career path, making sure that personal impact is measured consistently across UCL.

Promotions are effective from 1 October 2024.

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