School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Eline Van Asperen

Technician

Background

Dr Eline van Asperen is a palaeoecologist and archaeological scientist who specialises in Pleistocene mammal fauna and the European Palaeolithic. Her research examines the relationships between environmental factors and the dynamics of human and animal populations, using both zooarchaeological material and dung fungal spores. At Newcastle she is a research technician on a Wellcome Trust funded project looking at the health impacts of wood and dung fuel burning in prehistory. She is also responsible for the day to day management of the Wolfson Archaeology Laboratory.

Previous positions

- Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Liverpool John Moores University, 2013-2016

- Marie Curie ERG Fellow, Liverpool John Moores University, 2010-2013

Qualifications

- PhD in Archaeology, University of York, 2010

- MA in Archaeology, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2004

Research

My main research interests concern the impact of past environmental change on Quaternary vertebrate and plant community composition, evolution and adaptation.

Current research projects:

- The use of dung fungal spores as a proxy for herbivore impacts on past vegetation
  • Actualistic experiments in the modern environment in Chillingham Wild Cattle Park. Analysis of lacustrine and peat cores, soil and moss samples; in collaboration with Dr. Jason Kirby (Liverpool John Moores University) and Dr. Helen Shaw (Maynooth University, Ireland), 2013-present.
  • Analysis of moss samples from Killarney National Park, Ireland; in collaboration with Dr. Jason Kirby (Liverpool John Moores University) and Dr. Helen Shaw (Maynooth University, Ireland), 2018-present.
- European Quaternary mammal faunas
  • Dietary adaptations and variability of deer from the early Middle Pleistocene site of Untermassfeld; in collaboration with Prof. Ralph-Dietrich Kahlke of the Senckenberg Institut (Weimar, Germany), 2018-present.