I am a PhD student in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. My research interests focus on exploring interactions between humans, animals and their respective environments using stable isotope ecology and zooarchaeology. During my undergraduate and masters studies at the University of Kiel, I particularly concentrated on improving reconstructions of animal husbandry practices, such as foddering and seasonal mobility, from oxygen, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope data through use of modelling approaches and modern comparative datasets. I am keen to continue such method development during my doctoral research in order to refine oxygen isotope analysis of faunal remains for the investigation of climate and seasonality in Late Pleistocene contexts. Oxygen isotope analysis of faunal material represents a very valuable source of information for climatic and environmental reconstruction, shedding light on the context of human behaviour through time. It is therefore essential that the methods and interpretative approaches used to build such environmental frameworks produce the most faithful results possible. Specifically, I seek to improve upon sample pretreatment methods as well as the conversion of δ18O in biological tissues into temperature estimates. This will potentially help to consistently reproduce a biological δ18O signal as well as allow more sophisticated isolation of climatic information from overprinting impacts of animal behaviour and physiology. Working on archaeological material from a number of different European sites I am particularly looking to explore the relationship between seasonality and hominin mobility and site occupation as well as how they conjointly precipitate in animal exploitation strategies.
As a sideline in my interest in animal exploitation, I also investigated impacts of animal environment and diet as well as dairy processing on the carbon isotopic composition of single fatty acids in milk as part of my masters thesis. During my studies I been involved in a variety of isotopic, zooarchaeological, ethnographic and archaeological field work projects in Jordan, Mongolia, France and Germany.