skip to content

Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


B.A., Anthropology major, Indigenous Studies minor, June 2007, University of British Columbia Okanagan

M.A., Archaeology, December 2010, University of Calgary

Ph.D., Anthropology, August 2015, University of Texas at Austin


As an environmental archaeologist, with an expertise in microbotanical methods, phytolith, starch analysis and microcharcoal, I am interested in how people used plants in the past. More broadly I study how people used, modified and ultimately constructed their environments and how this feedback impacts human experience and plant-use.

During my PhD I conducted phytolith analysis at several key Epipaleolithic (ca. 23-14.7 cal. BP) sites in the Levant (Israel and Jordan) to investigate hunter-gatherer plant-use throughout the climate fluctuations of the late Pleistocene.

This research led me to consider the critical role of reliable resources, particularly wetland resources, to hunter-gatherer life-ways. Building on this, my current project – H-E Interactions (funded by the European Commission under a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship) – employs a combination of microbotanical approaches, (phytolith, starch and microcharcoal analyses) and geoarchaeology, in particular micromorphology, to investigate how increasingly anthropogenic wetland landscapes and the reliable resources therein may have influenced the evolution of plant-food production and the origins of agriculture through the Final Pleistocene into the Early Holocene (ca. 23-8 ka cal. BP) in the Levant.

Marie Curie Research Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Research Associate, Darwin College
Dr Monica  Nicolaides Ramsey

Contact Details

Email address: 
Not available for consultancy