Patrick Roberts

Research Group Leader
Department of Archaeology
isoTROPIC
+49 3641 686-730
006

Curriculum Vitae

Patrick Roberts received a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology, an MSc in Archaeological Science, and DPhil in Archaeological Science at the University of Oxford. As Independent W2 Research Group Leader of the isoTROPIC Research Group and Lead Scientist of the Department of Archaeology, Patrick is committed to pioneering and applying multidisciplinary approaches to studying past human interactions with climatic and environmental change as well as the deep roots of the Anthropocene and our species’ influencing of Earth systems. As PI of the ERC-funded PANTROPOCENE project and the isoTROPIC Research Group, Patrick is particularly interested in exploring the degree to which past human land use and landcover change in the tropics led to major shifts in the operation of different Earth systems on local, regional, and global scales, as well as what this means for contemporary conservation and sustainability challenges. He is author of the academic monograph ‘Tropical; Forests in Prehistory, History Modernity’ published by Oxford University Press and the popular book ‘Jungle: How Tropical Forests Shaped the World and Us’ published by Penguin/Viking Random House.

As part of his research, Patrick applies a variety of different methodologies to the study of human and planetary history, including stable isotope analysis, palaeoecology, dendrochronology, remote sensing, and land use and land cover modelling. He set up and oversees the isotope laboratory, dendrochronology unit, and remote sensing facility at the Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology. Patrick is also committed to close collaboration with Indigenous and local stakeholder communities and has coordinated repatriation processes and the adaptation of research into policy. He has taken part in UNESCO symposia that bring together archaeologists and anthropologists together to discuss potential solutions for the conservation of ecological and cultural heritage in global tropical forest environments. Patrick is also co-founder of the Pantropica Research Network. In 2021, Patrick was awarded the Heinz Maier Leibniz Prize, the top award for early career investigators in Germany and the first time that it has been awarded to an archaeologist. He is also a National Geographic Explorer.

Full Academic Publication List

Book (2)

1.
Book
Roberts, P.: Jungle: how tropical forests shaped the world - and us. Basic Books, New York (2021), 432 pp.
2.
Book
Roberts, P.: Tropical forests in prehistory, history, and modernity. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2019), XVI, 350 pp.

Book Chapter (5)

3.
Book Chapter
Patalano, R.; Roberts, P.: Climate Proxies. In: The encyclopedia of ancient history: Asia and Africa, eahaa00609 (Eds. Potts, D. T.; Harkness, E.; Neelis, J.; McIntosh, R.) (2021)
4.
Book Chapter
Roberts, P.: Foreword [to Bioarchaeology and Dietary Reconstruction across Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages in Tuscany, Central Italy / Giulia Riccomi]. In: Bioarchaeology and Dietary Reconstruction across Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages in Tuscany, Central Italy, pp. x - xi. Archaeopress, Summerville (2021)
5.
Book Chapter
Roberts, P.; Krigbaum, J.; Lee-Thorp, J.: Hunting and gathering in prehistoric rainforests: insights from stable isotope analysis. In: Foraging in the past: archaeological studies of Hunter-Gatherer Diversity, pp. 119 - 158 (Ed. Lemke, A. K.). University Press of Colarado, Louisville (2019)
6.
Book Chapter
Roberts, P.; Hendy, J.; Boivin, N. L.: Scientific Practice. In: The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences, pp. 1526 - 1530 (Ed. López Varela, . L.). Wiley, Hoboken (2018)
7.
Book Chapter
Perera, N.; Roberts, P.; Petraglia, M. D.: Bone Technology from Late Pleistocene Caves and Rockshelters of Sri Lanka. In: Osseous Projectile Weaponry, pp. 173 - 188 (Ed. Langley, M. C.). Springer (2016)

Journal Article (144)

1.
Journal Article
Joka, K.; Hixon, S.; Lucas, M.; Wachtel, I.; Davidovich, U.; Gonzaga Santesteban, L.; Roberts, P.: Exploring the potential of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of perennial plants from archaeological sites: A case study of olive pits and grape pips from Early Bronze Age Qedesh in the Galilee. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 54, 104410 (2024)
2.
Journal Article
Orfanou, E.; Zach, B.; Rohrlach, A. B.; Schneider, F. N.; Paust, E.; Lucas, M.; Hermes, T.; Ilgner, J.; Scott, E.; Ettel, P. et al.; Haak, W.; Spengler, R.; Roberts, P.: Biomolecular evidence for changing millet reliance in Late Bronze Age central Germany. Scientific Reports 14 (1), 4382 (2024)
3.
Journal Article
Antonosyan, M.; Azatyan, K.; Bobokhyan, A.; Frahm, E.; Hovhannisyan, A.; Mkrtchyan, S.; Roberts, P.; Saribekyan, M.; Yepiskoposyan, L.; Amano, N.: Yeghegis-1 rockshelter site: new investigations into the late Chalcolithic of Armenia. Antiquity, 2023.201 (2024)
4.
Journal Article
Jha, D.; Patalano, R.; Ilgner, J.; Achyuthan, H.; Alsharekh, A. M.; Armitage, S.; Blinkhorn, J.; Boivin, N.; Breeze, P. S.; Devra, R. et al.; Drake, N.; Groucutt, H. S.; Guagnin, M.; Roberts, P.; Petraglia, M.: Preservation of plant-wax biomarkers in deserts: implications for Quaternary environment and human evolutionary studies. Journal of Quaternary Science, 3597 (2024)
5.
Journal Article
Zhang, Y.; Westaway, K. E.; Haberle, S.; Lubeek, J. K.; Bailey, M.; Ciochon, R.; Morley, M. W.; Roberts, P.; Zhao, J.-x.; Duval, M. et al.; Dosseto, A.; Pan, Y.; Rule, S.; Liao, W.; Gully, G. A.; Lucas, M.; Mo, J.; Yang, L.; Cai, Y.; Wang, W.; Joannes-Boyau, R.: The demise of the giant ape Gigantopithecus blacki. Nature, s41586-023-06900-0 (2024)
6.
Journal Article
Hamilton, R.; Amano, N.; Bradshaw, C. J. A.; Saltré, F.; Patalano, R.; Penny, D.; Stevenson, J.; Wolfhagen, J.; Roberts, P.: Forest mosaics, not savanna corridors, dominated in Southeast Asia during the Last Glacial Maximum. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 121 (1), e2311280120, pp. 1 - 8 (2024)
7.
Journal Article
Hawkins, S.; Zetika, G. A.; Kinaston, R.; Firmando, Y. R.; Sari, D. M.; Suniarti, Y.; Lucas, M.; Roberts, P.; Reepmeyer, C.; Maloney, T. et al.; Kealy, S.; Stirling, C.; Reid, M.; Barr, D.; Kleffmann, T.; Kumar, A.; Yuwono, P.; Litster, M.; Husni, M.; Ririmasse, M.; Mahirta; Mujabuddawat, M.; Harriyadi; O’Connor, S.: Earliest known funerary rites in Wallacea after the last glacial maximum. Scientific Reports 14 (1), 282 (2024)
8.
Journal Article
Roberts, P.; Carleton, W. C.; Amano, N.; Findley, D. M.; Hamilton, R.; Maezumi, S. Y.; Winkelmann, R.; Laubichler, M. D.; Renn, J.: Using urban pasts to speak to urban presents in the Anthropocene. Nature cities 1 (1), s44284-023-00014-4, pp. 30 - 41 (2024)
9.
Journal Article
Maezumi, S. Y.; Power, M. J.; Smith, R. J.; McLauchlan, K. K.; Brunelle, A. R.; Carleton, W. C.; Kay, A. U.; Roberts, P.; Mayle, F. E.: Fire-human-climate interactions in the Bolivian Amazon rainforest ecotone from the Last Glacial Maximum to late Holocene. Frontiers in Environmental Archaeology 2, 1208985 (2023)
10.
Journal Article
Taylor, W. T. T.; Belardi, J. B.; Barberena, R.; Coltrain, J. B.; Marina, F. C.; Borrero, L. A.; Conver, J. L.; Hodgins, G.; Admiraal, M.; Craig, O. E. et al.; Lucquin, A.; Talbot, H. M.; Lundy, J.; Liu, X.; Chauvey, L.; Schiavinato, S.; Seguin-Orlando, A.; Le Roux, P.; Lucas, M.; Orlando, L.; Roberts, P.; Jones, E. L.: Interdisciplinary evidence for early domestic horse exploitation in southern Patagonia. Science Advances 9 (49), eadk5201 (2023)
11.
Journal Article
Ventresca Miller, A. R.; Wilkin, S.; Smithers, R.; Larson, K.; Spengler, R.; Haruda, A.; Kradin, N.; Bazarov, B.; Miyagashev, D.; Odbaatar, T. et al.; Turbat, T.; Zhambaltarova, E.; Konovalov, P.; Bayarsaikhan, J.; Hein, A.; Hommel, P.; Nash, B.; Nayak, A.; Vanwezer, N.; Miller, B. K.; Fernandes, R.; Boivin, N.; Roberts, P.: Adaptability of millets and landscapes: ancient cultivation in North-Central Asia. Agronomy 13, 2848 (2023)
12.
Journal Article
Roberts, P.; Hixon, S.; Hamilton, R. J.; Lucas, M.; Ilgner, J.; Marzo, S.; Hawkins, S.; Luu, S.; Gosden, C.; Spriggs, M. et al.; Summerhayes, G.: Assessing Pleistocene–Holocene climatic and environmental change in insular Near Oceania using stable isotope analysis of archaeological fauna. Journal of Quaternary Science 38 (8), 3555, pp. 1267 - 1278 (2023)
13.
Journal Article
Carleton, W. C.; Klassen, S.; Niles-Weed, J.; Evans, D.; Roberts, P.; Groucutt, H. S.: Bayesian regression versus machine learning for rapid age estimation of archaeological features identified with lidar at Angkor. Scientific Reports 13 (1), 17913 (2023)
14.
Journal Article
Wang, X.; Zhang, B.; Sun, Y.; Ingman, T.; Eisenmann, S.; Lucas, M.; Scott, E.; Ilgner, J.; Wu, G.; le Roux, P. et al.; Wu, X.; Zhang, X.; Fan, A.; Roberts, P.; Stockhammer, P. W.: Isotopic and proteomic evidence for communal stability at Pre-Pottery Neolithic Jericho in the Southern Levant. Scientific Reports 13 (1), 16360 (2023)
15.
Journal Article
King, C. L.; Buckley, H. R.; Petchey, P.; Kinaston, R.; Millard, A. R.; Nowell, G.; Roberts, P.; Ilgner, J.; Gröcke, D. R.: Seeking their fortunes on the Otago goldfields, New Zealand: constructing isotopic biographies of colonial goldminers. Journal of Archaeological Science 157, 105836, pp. 1 - 12 (2023)
16.
Journal Article
Huber, B.; Hammann, S.; Loeben, C. E.; Jha, D.; Giddings Vassão, D.; Larsen, T.; Spengler III, R. N.; Fuller, D. Q.; Roberts, P.; Devièse, T. et al.; Boivin, N. L.: Biomolecular characterization of 3500-year-old ancient Egyptian mummification balms from the Valley of the Kings. Scientific Reports 13 (1), 12477 (2023)
17.
Journal Article
Ciesielska, J. A.; Stark, R. J.; Obłuski, A.; Boivin, N. L.; Lucas, M.; Le Roux, P.; Roberts, P.: Multi-isotopic investigation of population dynamics and mobility among rural medieval Christian communities at Ghazali, Northern Sudan. Journal of African archaeology, 10028, pp. 1 - 23 (2023)
18.
Journal Article
Spengler III, R. N.; Kienast, F.; Roberts, P.; Boivin, N. L.; Begun, D. R.; Ashastina, K.; Petraglia, M.: Bearing fruit: Miocene Apes and Rosaceous Fruit evolution. Biological theory 18 (2), s13752-022-00413-1, pp. 134 - 151 (2023)
19.
Journal Article
Amano, N.; Wedage, O.; Ilgner, J.; Boivin, N.; Petraglia, M.; Roberts, P.: Of forests and grasslands: human, primate, and ungulate palaeoecology in Late Pleistocene-Holocene Sri Lanka. Frontiers in Earth Science 11, 1133281 (2023)
20.
Journal Article
Roberts, P.; Kaplan, J.; Findley, D. M.; Hamilton, R. J.; Caetano Andrade, V. L.; Amano, N.; Kay, A.; Renn, J.; Winkelmann, R.: Mapping our reliance on the tropics can reveal the roots of the Anthropocene. Nature Ecology & Evolution 7, s41559-023-01998-x, pp. 632 - 636 (2023)
21.
Journal Article
Patalano, R.; Arthur, C.; Carleton, W. C.; Challis, S.; Dewar, G.; Gayantha, K.; Gleixner, G.; Ilgner, J.; Lucas, M.; Marzo, S. et al.; Mokhachane, R.; Pazan, K.; Spurite, D.; Morley, M. W.; Parker, A.; Mitchell, P.; Stewart, B. A.; Roberts, P.: Ecological stability of Late Pleistocene-to-Holocene Lesotho, southern Africa, facilitated human upland habitation. Communications Earth & Environment 4 (1), 129 (2023)
22.
Journal Article
Tang, L.; Wilkin, S.; Richter, K. K.; Bleasdale, M.; Fernandes, R.; He, Y.; Li, S.; Petraglia, M.; Scott, A.; Teoh, F. K. Y. et al.; Tong, Y.; Tsering, T.; Tsho, Y.; Xi, L.; Yang, F.; Yuan, H.; Chen, Z.; Roberts, P.; He, W.; Spengler III, R. N.; Lu, H.; Wangdue, S.; Boivin, N.: Paleoproteomic evidence reveals dairying supported prehistoric occupation of the highland Tibetan Plateau. Science Advances 9 (15), eadf0345 (2023)
23.
Journal Article
Pérez-Ramallo, P.; Ignacio Lorenzo-Lizalde, J.; Staniewska, A.; Aiestaran, M.; Aguirre, J.; Semas Sesma, J.; Marzo, S.; Lucas, M.; Ilgner, J.; Chivall, D. et al.; Higham, T.; Rodríguez-Varela, R.; Götherström, A.; Etxeberria, F.; Grandal-d'Anglade, A.; Alexander, M.; Roberts, P.: To the field of stars: stable isotope analysis of medieval pilgrims and populations along the Camino de Santiago in Navarre and Aragon, Spain. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 48, 103847, pp. 1 - 16 (2023)
24.
Journal Article
Willis, A.; Roberts, P.; Kyaw, M. M.; Win, T. T.; Pradier, B.; King, C.; Ilgner, J.; Lucas, M.; Cook, A.; Piper, P. et al.; Pryce, T.O.: Living in the dry zone: stable isotope insights into palaeodiet in ancient Myanmar. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 48, 103900, pp. 1 - 14 (2023)
25.
Journal Article
Cerasoni, J. N.; Hallett, E.; Orijemie, E. A.; Ashastina, K.; Lucas, M.; Farr, L.; Höhn, A.; Kiahtipes, C. A.; Blinkhorn, J.; Roberts, P. et al.; Manica, A.; Scerri, E. M. L.: Human interactions with tropical environments over the last 14,000 years at Iho Eleru, Nigeria. iScience 26 (3), 106153 (2023)
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