I am the Lise Meitner Professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH), where I am leading the Pan African Evolution Research Group (Pan-Ev). I was formerly the first Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions funded fellow at the MPI-SHH, where I set up and led the aWARE project. Prior to this, I was a British Academy Fellow in Archaeology at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford where I was also a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College. This position followed by my first, Fyssen Foundation funded postdoctoral fellowship which I held at the University of Bordeaux. I obtained my PhD in Archaeology from the University of Southampton, jointly funded by the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Sutasoma Trust.

Education and positions held

  • 2014 – 2018
    • University of Oxford, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 2013 – 2014
    • University of Bordeaux, Fyssen Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2014)
  • 2013
    • University of Southampton, PhD in Archaeology

Research Summary

I am an archaeological scientist interested in exploring the articulation between material culture, genetics, and biogeography to further theoretical, methodological and scientific advances in the field of human evolution. My group is exploring the pan-African evolution of our species, Homo sapiens through a number of diverse projects. We are conducting fieldwork in West Africa, generating new information and data for a range of analyses including environmental reconstruction, ancient DNA and palaeoanthropological studies. We are also conducted a range of modelling and simulation work, combining diverse African archives from palaeontology, climate models and genetics, as well as investing in the development of new methodologies for the analysis of archaeological materials.

Key publications

  • Scerri, E.M.L., Chikhi, L., Thomas, M.G. Beyond Multiregional and Simple Out of Africa Models of Human Evolution. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3, 1370–1372.
  • Scerri, E.M.L., Thomas, M.G., Manica, A., Gunz, P., Stock, J., Stringer, C.B., Grove, M., Groucutt, H.S., Timmermann A., Rightmire, G.P., d’Errico, F., Tryon, C., Drake, N.A., Brooks, A., Dennell, R., Durbin, R., Henn, B., Lee-Thorpe, J., deMenocal, P., Petraglia, M.D., Thompson, J., A., Scally, A., Chikhi, L. Did Our Species Evolve in Subdivided Populations across Africa, and Why Does It Matter? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33, 582-594.
  • Groucutt, H.S., Grün, R., Zalmout, I.S.A., Drake, N.A., Armitage, S.J., Candy, I., Clark-Wilson, R., Louys, J., Breeze, P.S., Duval, M., Buck, L.T., Kivell, T., Pomeroy, E., Stephens, N., Stock, J.T., Stewart, M., Price, G.J., Kinsley, L., Sung, W.W., Alsharekh, A., Al-Omari, A., Zahir, M., Memesh, A.M., Abdulshakoor, A.J., Al-Masari, A.M., Bahameem, A.A., Al Murayyi, K.S.M., Zahrani, B., Scerri, E.M.L., Petraglia, M.D. 2018. Homo sapiens in Arabia 85 thousand years ago. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2, 800–809.
  • Scerri, E.M.L., Blinkhorn, J., Niang, K., Bateman, M., Groucutt, H.S. Persistence of Middle Stone Age technology to the Pleistocene/Holocene transition supports a complex hominin evolutionary scenario in West Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 11, 639-646.
  • Scerri, E. M. L., Drake, N., Groucutt, H. S., Jennings, R. Earliest Evidence for the Structure of Homo sapiens Populations in Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews 101, 207-216