speakers/discussants for the Early Rice symposium 2015

Robin Allaby (Warwick) is Reader in the School of Life Sciences, with key research interests in plant evolutionary genetics; evolution of plant domestication; molecular archaeobotany; molecular anthropology; and phylogenomics.

Huw Barton (University of Leicester) is Reader in Bioarchaeology in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

Jennifer Bates (Cambridge) is a PhD student intending to submit her thesis in archaeological science at the University of Cambridge in the summer of 2015. Her thesis has been exploring the role of villages in Indus Civilisation agricultural systems (c.3200-1300BC) through an analysis of macrobotanical and phytolith remains. As of October 2015, she will be taking up a three-year research position at Selwyn College, University of Cambridge during which she will be expanding on these themes, looking at how the Indus Civilisation impacted other cultures on its borders through a study of food and its role in the creation, recreation and maintenance of local identities.

Bérénice Bellina-Pryce (CNRS, Paris) is Director of the French archaeological mission in Upper Thai-Malay Peninsula. Her research focuses on exchange and cultural transfer processes around the Indian Ocean and more especially between the populations of the Bay en Bengal and of the the South China Sea. She specializes in the technological analysis of industries as a means to comprehend socio-economic and political systems and to reconstruct the impact of long-distance exchange on ethnicity and identity construction.

Peter Bellwood (Australia National University) is emeritus Professor of Archaeology. He is author of numerous books, including Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelgao (1997, 2nd edition), First Farmers (2005), and First Migrants (2013).

Andy Bevan (UCL) is Professor of Spatial and Comparative Archaeology.

Amy Bogaard (University of Oxford) is Professor of Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeology in the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford.

Nicole Boivin (Oxford) is Senior Research Fellow at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, she directed the SEALINKS project which was developed through an ERC grant.

Cristina Castillo (UCL) is currently a Research Associate at UCL, Institute of Archaeology forming part of a team in the NERC funded grant 'The Impact of Evolving Rice Systems from China to Southeast Asia.' She specializes in archaeobotany with a focus on Southeast Asia. Her work involves analyzing the plant remains from archaeological sites across Southeast Asia and reconstructing the ecology, diets, and the farming systems of the inhabitants from these sites. Her work includes the examination of long distance exchange networks, the development of agricultural practices, as well as the introduction and adoption of crops into Southeast Asia from other regions through the study of plant remains.  At present, she works on the archaeobotany of Prehistoric sites in Thailand, Vietnam, Bali and the Philippines, but also Historic sites in Cambodia, including Angkor Wat, Ta Phrom and the Terrace of the Leper King. 

Louis Champion (UCL) is currently a PhD student at the Institute of Archaeology, pursuing archaeobotanical research in western Africa, especially sites in Benin and Mali.

Dorian Q Fuller (UCL) is Professor of Archaeobotany at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He completed his PhD. in Cambridge (2000) on the origins of agriculture in Southern India. Since he has expanded his studies in domestication to include all India, China, Sudan, Ethiopia, West Africa, and the Near East. He jointly edits the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. He has recently renewed excavations at the site of Jarmo, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Liviu Giosan (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute ) is a geoscientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He was educated in geology in Romania (Bucharest University) and oceanography in the US (State University of New York at Stony Brook).  Giosan is a member of the U.S. Advisory Committee for the International Ocean Discovery Program and a member of the Mississippi River Diversion Expert Panel. He has been a leader and participant in research cruises on the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and land-based expeditions in the Americas, Asia and Europe. His work has been published in leading scientific journals such as Nature, Geology, Nature Geoscience, Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and Geophysical Research Letters, including work such as: the discovery of a new type of river delta, the recognition of a fundamental sediment deficit for most river deltas to withstand future sea level rise, the discovery of catastrophic effects of historic deforestation on the evolution of the Danube delta and the Black Sea, the recognition of climate as a driver of the collapse of the ancient Indus civilization and the expansion of agriculture in peninsular India. 

Charles Higham (University of Otago) graduated in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and having completed his PhD, was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Otago in 1967. He began his fieldwork in Southeast Asia in 1969, and has since co-directed with Thai colleagues, major excavations at Ban Na Di, Khok Phanom Di, Nong Nor, Ban Lum Khao, Noen U-Loke and Non Ban Jak, as well as smaller openings at many other sites. In 1981, he initiated water flotation for plant remains at Ban Na Di, and has applied this at his subsequent excavations. This has resulted several large samples of rice remains available. His current research concentrates on the late Iron Age moated site of Non Ban Jak, where the dead were interred in rice-filled graves within residential buildings. 

Ryo Ishikawa (Kobe University) is Assistant Professor in the School of Agricultural Sciences. His research focuses on the rice genetics, especially functional genetics of the phenotypic adaptations of domesticated rice.

GuiYun Jin (Shandong University) is a Professor of Archaeobotany. She has worked on both phytoliths and macro-remains.

Pramod Joglekar (Deccan College) is Professor of Archaeozoology. he has worked widely in India on faunal analysis of all periods.

Penny Jones (Cambridge) is completing a PhD in archaeological science at the University of Cambridge. My research uses stable isotope analysis of plant and animal remains to test the impacts of climate change on agriculture in the Indus Civilisation, via the lens of crop water stress. I hope to use my results to contribute to our understanding of how climate change may have influenced the major agricultural and social changes that occurred as the Civilisation's urban centres declined.

Jed Kaplan (ARVE, Lausanne) is European Research Council Professor at Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne.

Ellie Kingwell-Banham (UCL) recently completed her PhD at UCL on  Early rice agricultural systems in India. She currently works as a research assistant on the Comparative Pathways to Agriculture project. Her research is focused on India and Sri Lanka and she specializes in macrobotanical and phytolith analysis. Her work has  focused on the identification of cultivation systems through plant remains, the development of rice agriculture in South Asia and the development of irrigation systems in south India and Sri Lanka.

Marco Madella (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)-- is Professor of Archaeology.

Katie Miller recently completed an MSc in Environmental Archaeology at UCL. Her work so far has focussed on the archaeobotany of Southeast Asia, in particular that of prehistoric Thailand.

Rabi Mohanty (Deccan College) is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology. In frecent years he has directed excavations in Odisha and eastern Maharashtra (Vidarbha). He has a been a long-time collaborator with the UCL Early Rice Project.

Charlene Murphy (UCL) is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. She is currently working in South Asia on the Comparative Pathways towards Agriculture Project. She completed her PhD at UCL (2011) on Mediterranean Archaeobotany focusing on the city of Pompeii. She has undertaken fieldwork in Italy, Turkey, Iraq, UK, Canada, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Sureshkumar Muthukumaran (UCL) is a PhD student in Ancient History in the UCL History department.

Mark Nessbit (Kew) is Research Leader in Economic Botany at Kew Royak Botanic Gardens. He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. He completed his PhD on archaeobotany at UCL in 1997.

Marc Oxenham (Australia National University) is Reader in Archaeology and Physcial Anthropology, and an Australian Future Fellow. He research has has concentrated on exploring aspects of human palaeohealth, palaeopathology and behaviour by way of analyses of human skeletal and dental material from Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam and the Philippines.

Philip J. Piper (Australia National University) is an Associate Professor, with expertise in archaeozoology. His recent research has focused on excavations in the Philippines and Vietnam.

Barry Rollet (University of Hawaii at Manoa) is Professor in the Anthropology Department at Manoa. He received his PhD in 1989 from Yale, and has been a visiting Professor at Harvard (1998-2001). He has worked on the archaeology of Polynesia (especially the Marquesas Islands) and more recently on Neolithic Fujian, with an interest in the origins of Austronesians.

Min Rui (Yunnan Institute) is a senior field archaeologist with the Yunnan Province Institute of Archaeolgy and Cultural relics. He has directed excavations at several Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in Yunnan, including in recent years at Haimenkou and Baiyancun, where UCL researchers are collaborating on archaeobotanical studies.

Vasant Shinde (Deccan College) is Vice-Chancellor of Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institue, Pune. He is Professor of Archaeology with extensive field experience and expertise in the archaeology of India and the Indus Civilization. He received his PhD in 1984 from the University of Pune.

Rasmi Shoocongdej (Silpakorn University) is Professor of Archaeology, with particular interest in Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Fabio Silva (UCL) is a NERC Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, working on the Early Rice Project, with a focus on geo-spatial modelling and GIS.

Monica Smith (University of California, Los Angeles) is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of A Prehistory of Ordinary People (University of Arizona Press, 2010) and The Archaeology of an Early Historic Town in Central India (BAR, 2001) and editor of The Social Construction of Ancient Cities (Smithsonian, 2003). For the past ten years she and her Indian-based colleague Prof. R.K. Mohanty have co-directed excavations at the Early Historic settlements of Sisupalgarh and Talapada in Odisha state, India.

Janice Stargardt (University of Cambridge) is a Professorial Research Fellow, working on the history of the environment, historical geography and archaeology of South, South East and East Asia in the Departments of Geography and Archaeology, Cambridge. She convenes a British Academy Project on early Buddhism, frequently serves as Visiting Professor at universities in Europe and Asia and takes part in innovative group research in India, Burma, Thailand and China.  She is Director of Studies in Human, Social and Political Sciences at Sydney Sussex College.

Chris Stevens (UCL) is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He currently works on the Comparative Pathways towards Agriculture Project. He completed his PhD. at Cambridge on Iron Age and Romano-British agriculture and since has worked in Italy, Amarna, Egypt, China and Kurdistan. He is co-editor of The Archaeology of African Plant Use (2014 Left Coast Press) and co-author of Environmental Archaeology: Approaches, Techniques & Applications (Tempus 2003).

Tilok Thakuria (Northeastern Hill University, Meghalaya, India) is  Assistant Professor of History and Archaeology, North Eastern Hill University, Meghalaya, He has worked on the archaeology of Odisha and has recently begun archaeological fieldwork in survey and excavations in northeast India.

Mark Thomas (UCL) is Professor of Evolutionary Genetics.

Jill Thompson  (Bradford) is Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology at University of Bradford School of Archaeological Sciences.

Alison Weisskopf (UCL)-- is Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, funded by NERC. She works on the Early Rice Project, and has been part of both NERC grants on rice. She leads phytolith research on the project, including from sites across China, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Yijie Zhuang (UCL) is a lecturer in Chinese Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. His main research interests are agricultural development, ecology and ecological diversity of early agricultural practices and long-term changes of agrarian landscapes. Some of his recent projects related to development of rice agriculture are agricultural intensification of the Liangzhu rice farming at the Maoshan site, evolution of rice paddy fields in China and lately a pilot geoarchaeological study at Angkor Wat.