José Iriarte, PI

Professor José Iriarte is an archaeologist and archaeobotanist with a strong track record of research on human-environmental interactions, the development of agricultural economies, and the emergence of complex societies in lowland South and Central America. He is the director of the University of Exeter Archaeobotany and Paleoecology Laboratory and the Centre for the Archaeology of the Americas and has extensive experience directing international multidisciplinary projects integrating archaeology, archaeobotany, palaeoecology, palaeoclimate, soil science, remote sensing (Lidar), ancient DNA, and modern ecology across Latin America.

Recently, the work of his research group on lowland South American landscapes has documented the third global event of rice domestication in Amazonia (Nature Ecology and Evolution 2018), chartered unexplored regions of Amazonia documenting earth-building societies along its entire southern rim (Nature Communications 2018), revealed the lasting repercussions of polyculture agroforestry on Amazonian Dark Earths (PNAS 2014, Nature Plants 2018), assessed the role of climate in cultural developments across Amazonia (Nature Ecology and Evolution 2019), and the human footprint on the expansion of Araucaria forests in southern Brazil (Scientific Reports 2018).

During the last 15 years, José has built a strong track record of externally funded research including the ERC (PAST, FUTURES, and LASTJOURNEY), AHRC, Leverhulme Trust, National Geographic Society, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the British Academy, National Science Foundation (USA) and CNRS totalling £5m. The results of his projects have been published in more than 65 international peer-reviewed journals and has received extensive visibility in international media, including BBC, National Geographic Society, New Scientist, and Scientific American to mention a few.

More details can be found on his personal and institutional websites.