ArchaeoChats: Conversations with Our Collaborators from Around the World

To explore major questions in human origins and societal change, the Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology relies on a network of global collaborations and partnerships with people and institutions from around the world. Together, we combine cutting-edge field and laboratory analyses to formulate new ways of understanding the past. Much of our research is only possible because of the contributions of collaborators and partners from labs around the globe and in countries in which we conduct fieldwork.
To highlight partner contributions and showcase their essential involvement in MPI-GEA projects, Emma Finestone and Robert Patalano of the Department of Archaeology present ArchaeoChats, a discussion series with our collaborators from international institutions.

ArchaeoChats Ep 5: Dr. Yoshi Maezumi, University of Amsterdam

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Yoshi Maezumi, a paleoecologist specializing in the legacy of human land use and fire management in modern ecosystems. She is a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and principal investigator of the Fire Intensity in Rainforest Ecotones (or FIRE) project which examines the role of fire in shaping Amazon rainforest-savanna ecotones.  Dr. Maezumi’s research includes a multi-proxy toolkit, with her two main areas of focus being macro-charcoal and pollen analyses for the reconstruction of past human-environment interactions. Yoshi combines archaeology and paleoclimate data to tell the story of plant cultivation, domestication, and the spread of food production in tropical South America. In this video she will tell us about a few of her new projects that will take her out of the Amazon and into Africa, Australia, and North America.


ArchaeoChats Episode 4: Dr. Emmanuel Ndiema, Head of Archaeology at the National Museums of Kenya

Dr. Emmanuel Ndiema is the Head of Archaeology at the National Museums of Kenya and an affiliated researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. Receiving his PhD from Rutgers University in 2011, he investigates cultural responses to climatic variability and subsistence and land-use patterns among Kenyan pastoralists communities. As one of Kenya's Senior Research Scientists, Dr. Ndiema is also an integral staff member at the Koobi Fora Field School and collaborator on multiple projects ranging from the Late Pleistocene to the Holocene. In this interview, Emma Finestone and Robert Patalano discuss with Dr. Ndiema his active involvement at Panga ya Saidi and Kakapel Rockshelter, as well as his commitment to community engagement and outreach.

ArchaeoChats Episode 3: Dr. Julio Mercader, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Calgary

Dr. Julio Mercader is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology. His research interests concentrate on assessing the ancient environments, diet, subsistence, and technological developments that contributed to early human evolution through the integration of biological sciences, geological research, and physiochemical characterisation of archaeological materials. He collaborates with the Department of Archaeology on numerous projects, including “Global Markers of the Anthropocene,” in which he focuses on microbotanical evidence of anthropogenic landscape modification. Julio is also the Principal Investigator of the Stone Tools, Diet, & Sociality at the Dawn of Humanity project, which includes researchers from the Max Planck Institute to investigate how changing paleoenvironmental conditions influenced hominid dietary behaviour and stone tool technology development and use at Oldupai Gorge in Tanzania. In this interview, he discusses his 20+ year research career across Africa, his contributions to archaeological science, and how he would like to see the fields of archaeology and paleoanthropology progress in the coming years.

ArchaeoChats Episode 2: Dr. Shixia Yang, Paleolithic Archaeologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Dr. Shixia Yang is a Palaeolithic archaeologist from the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. After completing her PhD in 2015, Dr. Yang spent two years as postdoc at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Geology and Geophysics and was awarded a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to conduct research at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History between 2017 and 2019. Shixia’s research examines how human evolution relates to climate change, and specifically how humans have adapted to different environments in East Asia through stone tool production. Shixia works on a project titled: “Behavioral Adaptations of the Earliest Humans in East Asia” in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute, and has published a variety of papers on the lithic assemblages and technological innovations in the Loess Plateau and the Nihewan Basin of China.

ArchaeoChats Episode 1: Martha Kayuni, University of Zambia

Martha joined the University of Zambia as a Staff Development Fellow in November 2012 and she earned a Master of Arts in Archaeology in 2017. Her master's thesis explored rock art in the context of hunter-gatherer activities in the area of Shiwa Ng’andu, Zambia. She was appointed as a Lecturer at the University of Zambia in 2018 where she teaches anthropology. Martha works on a research projects studying rock art, hunter gatherer societies, cultural resource management, and food production and the origins of agriculture. She collaborates with MPI Department of Archaeology Group Leader Dr. Steve Goldstein on field projects studying the movement of people, plants and animals in Holocene Zambia.

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