Alexa Benson is a PhD student in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and a participant of the Leipzig School of Human Origins (IMPRS).
She is an archaeological researcher with a broad-scoping education in both palaeoecological and geological sciences. Her master’s thesis on minimalistic sampling techniques of Neanderthal teeth to obtain U-series age estimates and Sr isotopic information, presented an innovative new way to date human remains directly, while preserving the integrity and aesthetics of the materials themselves.
In her doctoral thesis, Alexa will focus on a large-scale comparative multiproxy study spanning the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. For this project, she plans to refine chronologies of some archaeological sites and provide a terrestrial palaeoclimate record spanning the last glacial period.
Prior to arriving to MPI-EVA, Alexa was a research assistant at the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne, where she primarily worked in a pollen laboratory. During this time she worked on high-resolution palaeoenvironmental records of sites across the Southern Hemisphere; primarily Tasmania, Australia. A multiproxy approach was used for this project, including microfossil, charcoal, geochemical and isotopic analysis to provide a comprehensive reconstruction of environmental change.