Who we are: the rice project team

Dorian Fuller

Dr. Dorian Q Fuller (UCL Professor of Archaeobotany), project leader (PI)


Alison Weisskopf

Dr. Alison Weisskopf (NERC Research associate), senior post-doctoral researcher on phytoliths from archaeological and modern analogue samples, from India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka.

Cristina Cobo Castillo

Dr. Cristina Cobo Castillo (NERC Research associate), post-doctoral researcher working on archaeobotanical analyses (macro-remains) from Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali, Philippines, Bangladesh). 

Fabio Silva

Dr. Fabio Silva (NERC Research associate), post-doctoral researcher working Geospatial modelling, GIS and the Rice Archaeobotanical Database.

Project Partners

Dr. Ling Qin, Assoc. Prof. of Neolithic archaeology, Peking University, has excavated Neolithic sites in many parts of China. She has established our collaborations and archaeobotanical sampling programs in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Yunnan and Guangdong.

Jixiang Song, Asst. Prof. of archaeobotany ay Sichuan University, with a PhD from UCL (2012), and has started new archaeobotanical research in that region.  

Dr. Tilok Thakuria, Asst. Prof., History and Archaeology, North Eastern Hill University, Meghalaya, has recently begun archaeological fieldwork in survey and excavations in northeast India. 

Dr. P. Ajithprasad, Prof. Archaeology & Ancient History, M.S. Univ. Baroda, Gujarat, India has ongoing field research on early farming and early urban sites in western India. 

Dr. Janice Stargardt, research fellow in Asian historical archaeology and geography & fellow Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, has worked extensively in South and Southeast Asia with current archaeology fieldwork in Myanmar. 

Dr. Miriam Stark, Prof. of Anthropology, Univ. of Hawaii, Manoa works on early Southeast Asia states, with current fieldwork in Cambodia.

Dr. Mizanur Rahman is Asst. Professor in archaeology in Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh and has initiated the first program of flotation and phytolith sampling in Bangladesh in consultation with the PI and PDRA1

Additional Team members of Previous Projects

Dr. Andrew Bevan, Professor of Spatial and Comparative archaeology, is Co-Investigator of ERP 2 ("The impact of evolving of rice systems from China to Southeast Asia"). He continues to contribute to the development of improved geographical modelling of ancient rice agriculture and its spread. 

Melissa Tan (NERC technician), phytolith sample preparation on ERP 2. She completed her MSc in Environmental Archaeology at UCL

Eleanor Kingwell-Banham (NERC-funded PhD student, completed 2015), PhD project title: "Early rice agriculture in South Asia. Identifying early cultivation systems using archaebotany", which was funded through ERP 1 ("The Identification of Arable Rice Systems in Prehistory"). Working on archaeobotanical samples from India, Sri Lanka and China. She is currently on Post-Doctoral researcher on the ComPAg project.

Harriet Martin, worked as out outreach officer (2010-11), and run a pilot program of outreach to London schools. She also designed the original version of this website during ERP 1.

Patrick Austin, worked as a research assistant, sorting archaeobotanical samples from China, India, and Sri Lanka during ERP 1

Overseas Project Partners during ERP 2 ("The impact of evolving of rice systems from China to Southeast Asia")

  • Dr Ling Qin (Project Partner, previous NERC Visiting Researcher, 2009/10, 2011/12), Associated Professor of Neolithic Archaeology at Peking University, head of the PKU archaeobotany laborator
  • Xiaoyan Yang - Associate researcher, Inst. of Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing). She spent 2014/15 as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at UCL.
  • Barry Rolett - Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Peter Bellwood - Professor of Archaeology at Australia National University
  • Rasmi Shoocongdej -Professor of Archaeology at Silapakorn University, Bangkok
  • Rabi Mohanty - Professor of Archaeology at Deccan College Pune
  • Jacob van Etten - Senior Research Associate at Bioversity International (Cali, Colombia), leading a CGIAR international research program on Agricultural Biodiversity for Climate Change adaptation

Other overseas collaborators during ERP 1 ("The Identification of Arable Rice Systems in Prehistory").

Prof. Ling-hua Tang, Jiangsu Academy of Agriculture Science, Nanjing,

Dr. Guiyin Jin, Dept. of Archaeology, Shandong University, Jinan

Prof. Yo-Ichiro Sato, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto

Professor Emeritus Mukund Kajale, from Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute, also continues to work with us on determining the ecology of taxonimic diversity of rice weed assemblages

Prof. Kajale surveying a rice field for weeds

Professor Rabi Mohanty - Archaeology at Deccan College Pune

Prof. Professor William Ruddiman, University of Virginia, has partnered with the Early Rice project in previous initial efforts to modeo methane emissions