Mathew John Stewart

Postdoctoral Researcher
Extreme Events Research Group
+49 3641 686-736

Main Focus

Mathew is a zooarchaeologist working in areas of Arabia, East Africa, and Indonesia. His research focuses on taphonomy, human-animal-environment interactions, and palaeo-environmental and -ecological reconstruction.

Curriculum Vitae

Mathew received a BA with honors in Biological Sciences from the University of Wollongong, Australia. In 2019, he earned his PhD in the same discipline from the University of New South Wales, Australia. His dissertation, titled “A taphonomic and zooarchaeological study of Pleistocene fossil assemblages from the western Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia”, used the fossil record to reconstruct past environments and ecologies and investigate how human, animal, and environmental interactions have changed through time. His work has been funded by the Leakey Foundation and the Palaeontology, Geobiology, and Earth Archives (PANGEA) Research Centre.

In addition to working in Arabia, Mathew has been involved in research projects in China, East Africa, and Indonesia. He now holds a postdoctoral position at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany, as part of the Extreme Events Research Group.



Smith, H.E., Price, G.J., Duval, M., Westaway, K., Zaim, J., Rizal, Y., Aswan, Puspaningrum, M.R., Trihascaryo, A., Stewart, M.,Louys, L., 2021. Taxonomy, taphonomy, and chronology of the Pleistocene faunal assemblage at Ngalau Gupin Cave, Sumatra. Quaternary International (in press).

Stewart, M., Andriex, E., Clark-Wilson, R., Vanwezer, N., Blinkhorn, J., Armitage, S.J., al Omari, A., Zahrani, B., Alqahtani, M., Al-Shanti, M., Zalmout, I., Al-Mufarreh, Y.S.A., Alsharekh, A.M., Boivin, N., Petraglia, M.D., Groucutt, H.S., 2021. Taphonomy of an excavated striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) den in Arabia: implications for Palaeoecology and prehistory. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences (in press).

Stewart, M., Carleton, W.C., Groucutt, H.S., 2021. Climate change, not human population growth, correlates with Late Quaternary megafauna declines in North America. Nature Communications 12, 1–15

Guagnin, M., Shipton, C., Martin, L., Kingwell-Banham, E., Breeze, P., Graham, L., Ott, F., Stewart, M., El-Dossary, S., Zahrani, B., Al-Omari, A., Alsharekh, A.M., Petraglia, M.D., 2021. A tale of two hearths: Neolithic and intermittent mid to late Holocene occupations in the Jubbah oasis, northern Saudi Arabia. Archaeological Research in Asia 26, 1000278.

Groucutt, H.S., Breeze, P.S., Guagnin, M., Stewart, M., Drake, N., Shipton, C., Zahrani, B., al Omari, A., Alsharekh, A., Petraglia, M.D., 2020. Monumental landscapes of the Holocene humid period in northern Arabia: the mustatil phenomenon. Holocene (in press).

Stewart, M., Clark-Wilson, R., Breeze, P.S., Janulis, K., Candy, I., Armitage, S.J., Ryves, D., Louys, J., Price, G.J., Cuthbertson, P., Bernal, M., Drake, N.A., Alsharekh, A., Zahrani, B., al-Omari, A., Roberts, P., Groucutt, H.S., Petraglia, M.D., 2020. Human footprints provide snapshot of last interglacial ecology within the Arabian interior. Science Advances 6: eaba8940.

Roberts, P., Prendergast, M., Janzen, A., Shipton, C., Blinkhorn, J., Zech, J., Crowther, A., Sawchuk, E.A., Stewart, M., Ndiema, E., Petraglia, M.D., Boivin, N., 2020. Late Pleistocene to Holocene human palaeoecology in the tropical environments of coastal eastern Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 537, 109438.

Stewart, M., Louys, J., Breeze, P.S., Clark-Wilson, R., Drake, N.A., Scerri, E.M.L., Zalmout, I.S., Al-Mufarreh, Y.S.A., Soubhi, S.A., Haptari, M.A., Alsharekh, A.M., Groucutt, H.S., Petraglia, M.D., 2020. A taxonomic and taphonomic study of Pleistocene fossil depostis from the western Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia. Quaternary Research 95, 1–22.

Guagnin, M., Breeze, P.S., Shipton, C.F., Ott, F., Stewart, M., Martin, L., el-Dossary, S., Graham, L., Kingwell-Banham, E., Zahrani, D., al-Omari, A., Alsharekh, A., Petraglia, M.D., 2020. The Holocene Humid Period in the Nefud Desert: New evidence for hunting and herding in the Jebel Oraf palaeolake basin, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Arid Environments 178, 104146.

Stewart, M., Louys, J., Groucutt, H.S., Candy, I., Clark-Wilson, R., Breeze, P.S., Drake, N.A., Price, G.J., Al-Mufarreh, Y.S.A., Soubhi, S.A., Zalmout, I.S., Petraglia, M.D., 2019. Taphonomic and zooarchaeological investigations at the middle Pleistocene site of Ti’s al Ghadah, western Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia. Quaternary Science Reviews 218, 228–253.

Stewart, M., Louys, J., Price, G.J., Drake, N.A., Groucutt, H.S., Petraglia, M.D., 2019. Middle and Late Pleistocene mammal fossils of Arabia and surrounding regions: implications for biogeography and hominin dispersals. Quaternary International 5, 12–29.

Roberts, P., Stewart, M., Aziz, N., Breeze, P., Drake, N.A., Groucutt, H.S., Lee-Thorp, J., Louys, J., Zalmout, I.A.S, Petraglia, M.D., 2018. Fossil herbivore stable isotopes reveal Pleistocene hominin palaeoenvironment in ‘Green Arabia’. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2, 1871–1878.

Groucutt, H.S., Grun, R., Zalmout, I.A.S., Drake, N.A., Armitage, S.J., Candy, I., Clark-Wilson, R., Louys, J., Breeze, P.S., Duval, M., Buck, L.T., Kivell, T.L., Pomeroy, E., Stephens, N.B., Stock, J.T., Stewart, M., Price, G.J., Kinsley, L., Sung, W.W., Alsharekh, A., Al-Omari, A., Zahir, M., Memesh, A.M., Abdulshakoor, A.J., Al-Masari, A., Bahameen, A.A., Al Murayyi, K.M.S., Zahrani, B., Scerri, E.L.M., Petraglia, M.D., 2018. Homo sapiens in Arabia by 85,000 years ago. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2, 800–809.

Guagnin, M., Shipton, C., el-Dossary, S., al-Rashid, M., Moussa, F., Stewart, M., Ott, F., Alsharekh, A., Petraglia, M.D., 2018. Rock art provides new evidence on the biogeography of kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis), wild dromedary, aurochs (Bos primigenius) and African wild ass (Equus africanus) in the early and middle Holocene of north‐western Arabia. Journal of Biogeography 45, 727–740

Munn, A.J., Stewart, M., Alemseged, Y., Vendl, C., Leggett, K., 2016. Comparative daily expenditure and water turnover by Dorper and Merino sheep measured using doubly-labelled water. The Rangeland Journal 138, 361–366.

Clauss, M., Stewart, M., Price, E., Peilon, A., Savage, T., van Ekris, I., Munn, A.J., 2016. The effect of feed intake on digesta passage, digestive fill and mass, and digestive dry matter content in sheep (Ovis aries): Flexibility in digestion by not water reabsorption. Small Ruminant Research 138, 12-19.

Munn, A., Savage, T., Ekris-Schouten, I. V., Clauss, M., Peilon, A., Price, E., Stewart, M., 2016. The effect of feed intake on digesta passage, digestive organ fill and mass, and digesta dry matter content in sheep (Ovis aries): felexibility in digestions but not in water reabsorption. Small Ruminant Research 138, 12–19.

Vendl, C., Clauss, M., Stewart, M., Leggett, K., Hummel, J., Kreuzer, M., Munn, A.J., 2015. Decreasing methane yield with increasing food intake keeps daily methane emissions constant in two forgut fermenting marsupials, the western grey kangaroo and red kangaroo. Journal of Experimental Biology 218, 3425–3434.

Munn, A.J., Stewart, M., Price, E., Peilon, A., Savage, T., van Ekris, I., Clauss, M., 2015. Comparison of gut fill in sheep (Ovis areis) measured by intake, digestibility, and digesta retention compared with measurements at harvest. Canadian Journal of Zoology 93, 747–753.

Shine, R., Amiel, J., Munn, A.J., Stewart, M., Vyssotski, A.L., Lesku, J.A., 2015. Is “cooling then freezing” a human way to kill amphibians and reptiles? Biology Open 4, 760–763.

Leslie, A.M., Stewart, M., Price, E., Munn, A.J., 2015. Daily changes in food availability, but not long-term unpredictability, determine daily torpor-bout occurrences and frequency in stripe-faced dunnarts (Sminthopsis macroura). Australian Journal of Zoology 63, 12–17.

Stewart, M., Munn, A.J., 2014. Fibre-induced feed sorting in king quail (Cortunix chinensis): Behavioural plasticity elicited by a physiological challenge. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 200, 789–797.

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