Dr Samantha Jones
Dr Samantha Elsie Jones holds a BA joint honours degree in Geography and German from the University of Plymouth, an MSc in Environmental Archaeology from Queen's University Belfast, and a Phd in tropical palynology from the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The Phd was also based at Queen's University but included two months fieldwork in the interior highlands of Borneo as part of the 'Cultured Rainforest Project' an interdisciplinary project involving archaeologists, anthropologists and archaeologists, whose main aim was to investigate the cultural significance of rainforests through time.
Samantha's PhD research was completed in 2012 and produced a vegetation record spanning 50,000 years, with evidence of fluvial and climate change, disturbance from 6000 cal BP and palm management/arboreal practices from 3000 cal BP.
After her PhD Samantha held a short postdoctoral fellowship at QUB, assisting the school of Geography with its application towards an Athen SWAN award. Then in 2014 Samantha moved to Spain where she began a two year Marie Curie fellowship based at the Catalan Institute of Human Palaeoecology and Social Evolucion (IPHES), in Tarragona, Spain. The project aimed to use multi-proxy analysis to examine the effects of abrupt climatic events on prehistoric societies from the Iberian Peninsular between the Mesolithic and Bronze Age. In 2014 she extracted a sediment core from the former Villena salt lake in Alicante where she undertook high resoluthion pollen, geochemistry and lithological analysis. Other colleagues (Santiago Giralt and Carles Ferrer) undertook mineral analysis and sediment descriptions. The results have produced a very complex record of lake catchment and vegetation change, associated with the geology, lake salinity, precipitation of minerals, ground water input, erosion and climate change. The record goes back 50,000 years, although this particular project only focusses on the Holocene and Pleistocene/Holocene boundary. The publication for the research will be out very shortly in QSR.
Since September 2017, Samantha is currently working on the Comparative Kingship project at the University of Aberdeen, a Leverhulme funded fellowship, directed by Dr. Gordon Noble. The aim of her work will be to investigate how the environment changed as the kingdoms of northern Britain and Ireland took shape during the first millennium AD, and to understand whether relations with the environment were critical to the success of polities during this time period. To achieve this a number of sites will be analysed in Scotland and Ireland using high resolution C14 dating, pollen, other micro-fossils and geochemical analysis.
I am interested in the use of multi-proxy palaeoecological analysis to reconstruct past environments inorder to gain a better understanding of how past societies lived and utilised the environment in which they lived. I am also interested in the impacts of environmental and climatic stress on human-landscape interactions.
In September 2017 I joined the ‘Comparative Kingship Project’. My main aims during this project will be to investigate how the environment changed as the kingdoms of northern Britain and Ireland took shape during the first millennium AD, and to understand whether relations with the environment were critical to the success of polities during this time period. To undertake this task I will be sampling a number of sites from the former kingdoms of Muster, Dál Riata, and Pictland. This will be followed by high resolution C14 dating, pollen, other micro-fossil and geochemical analysis to provide a detailed environmental reconstruction covering the three kingdoms
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Settlement, landscape and land-use change at a Pictish Elite Centre: Assessing the palaeoecological record for economic continuity and social change at Rhynie in N.E. ScotlandThe Holocene, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 897-914Contributions to Journals: Articles
Identifying Social Transformations and Crisis during the Pre-Monastic to Post-Viking era on Iona: New Insights from a Palynological and Palaeoentomological PerspectiveEnvironmental ArchaeologyContributions to Journals: Articles
A multi-proxy approach to understanding complex responses of salt-lake catchments to climate variability and human pressure: A Late Quaternary case study from south-eastern, SpainQuaternary Science Reviews, vol. 184, pp. 201-223Contributions to Journals: Articles
Late Glacial to Early Holocene socio-ecological responses to climatic instability within the Mediterranean basinQuaternary Science Reviews, vol. 184, pp. 1-4Contributions to Journals: Articles
The ‘cultured rainforests’ of BorneoQuaternary International, vol. 448, pp. 44-61Contributions to Journals: Articles
Lateglacial to Early Holocene recursive aridity events in the SE Mediterranean Iberian Peninsula: The Salines playa lake case studyQuaternary International, vol. 403, pp. 187-200Contributions to Journals: Articles
The cultural antiquity of rainforests: Human–plant associations during the mid-late Holocene in the interior highlands of Sarawak, Malaysian BorneoQuaternary International, vol. 416, pp. 80-94Contributions to Journals: Articles
A pollen morphology study from the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak, Malaysian BorneoPalynology, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 150-204Contributions to Journals: Articles
Culturing the Rainforest: the Kelabit Highlands of SarawakThe Social Lives of Forests. Morrisson, K., Hecht, S. (eds.). University of Chicago PressChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
A Late Pleistocene record of climate and environmental change from the northern and southern Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak, Malaysian BorneoJournal of Quaternary Science, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 105-122Contributions to Journals: Articles