Ryan Rabett

    Dr Ryan Rabett

    Senior Lecturer

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 5147

    For media contact email comms.office@qub.ac.uk
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    Research Interests

    Southeast Asia (Upper Pleistocene to Mid-Holocene)

    Palaeolithic archaeology (Asia, North Africa, North America, Europe)

    Human colonization & adaptation


    Human evolution

    UNESCO World Heritage


    My research explores the process of hominin adaptation and dispersal into different Late Quaternary environments. My research goals are two-fold: firstly, to better understand these localised trajectories of early human behaviour; but also, secondly, to find ways of melding principles of Pleistocene adaptation (often forged under capricious conditions) into contemporary economic models and responses. The ultimate aim being: to enhance modern adaptive capacities to abrupt shifts in environment as much as to better understand the ways our ancestors responded in the past. With these ambitions, as a Palaeolithic archaeologist and zooarchaeologist, I’m currently leading (PI) research projects in three regions of the world: Southeast Asia, North America and the Mediterranean. 


    Lecturer in Human Palaeoecology


    Module Co-ordinator (2016-17)

    GAP1001 Ancient Humans & Landscapes

    GAP3082 Palaeolithic Pioneers: Adaptation & Colonization in Global Perspective

    Contributions to:

    GAP3072 Human Evolution

    GAP1013 Introduction to World Archaeology


    Module Co-ordinator (2015-16)

    GAP3082 Palaeolithic Pioneers: Adaptation & Colonization in Global Perspective

    Contributions to:

    GAP3072 Human Evolution

    GAP1013 Introduction to World Archaeology


    Achievements and Distinctions

    UNESCO World Heritage:

    During 2012-14 I was part of the executive committee responsible for preparing the Vietnamese State Party’s nomination dossier for the Tràng An Landscape Complex; a nomination that was ultimately inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a mixed property (cultural and natural) in June 2014 – http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1438/



    Since 2014, I have also become actively involved with the UNESCO Human Evolution: adaptions, dispersals and social developments (HEADS) thematic programme, which is seeking greater representation and conservation of properties on the World Heritage List relating to human evolution and its relevance to us today.

    Research Statement

    Current research projects (see Activities):

    2016-2019      SUNDASIA: Human Adaptation to Coastal Evolution: Late Quaternary evidence from Southeast Asia (Ninh Binh province, Vietnam)

    Funding: AHRC AH/N005902/1 / Xuan Truong Enterprise. Project website: https://sundasia.com/


    2007-2014       Tràng An Archaeological Project (Ninh Binh province, Vietnam); 

    2011-2015       Northeast Algonquin Palaeo-Lake Environmental Assessment (Ontario, Canada);  

    2013-               Pleistocene Kefalonia Project (Ionian Islands, Greece)

    Current collaborative research:

    2008-               The Cyrenaica Prehistory Project, Libya (zooarchaeologist) http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/haua-fteah-project

    Past research:

    2011                Living on the Edge: archaeological survey of shell middens on five islands in Sligo Bay, Ireland (zooarchaeologist) – Queen’s University, Belfast;

    2010                Callao Cave project, Philippines (zooarchaeologist) – University of the Philippines;

    2006-08           Regionalism in the Development of Modern Human Behaviour (PI) – University of Cambridge;

    2003-05           The Niah Caves Project, Borneo (zooarchaeologist) – University of Leicester and University of Cambridge



    Professional affiliations:    

    Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association (http://ippa.weblogs.anu.edu.au/)

    Canadian Archaeological Association (https://canadianarchaeology.com/)

    Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London UK (http://www.rgs.org/HomePage.htm)

    International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) (http://www.icomos.org/en/)

    UNESCO Human Evolution: adaptions, dispersals and social developments (HEADS) (http://whc.unesco.org/en/heads/)

    Past Global Changes (PAGES) network (http://www.rgs.org/HomePage.htm)

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