Current Students

James Perkins

  • Archaeology and Palaeoecology; School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Email:

Project title: Niche Construction and Plant use in the Mesolithic

My research project focuses on examining the land-use and plant-use of Ireland’s first Mesolithic (8000BC-4000BC) settlers within a broader European context. Archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence has recently been used to suggest that some Mesolithic “hunter-gatherers” in Europe actively managed woodlands but this has never been tested in Ireland. My research seeks to redress this situation by combining extant archaeobotanical data with new, high-resolution archaeobotanical and palynological analyses. The results will be interpreted using niche construction theory to explore the nature, impact and timing of Ireland’s first people’s palaeoenvironmental interactions, substantially improving our understanding of Mesolithic hunter-gatherer settlement patterns and subsistence strategies.

Supervisory Team: Dr Laura Basell, Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (QUB), Dr Gill Plunkett, Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology (QUB).

Start Date: September 2016