AGYA Member

Eleanor Scerri


Areas of Expertise:
Archaeological Science, Human Evolution, Climate Change, Modelling, Biogeography

About me

I am the 'Lise Meitner' Professor in Archaeology at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, where I lead the independent 'Pan African Evolution' research group. I am an archaeological scientist interested in exploring the articulation between material culture, genetics and biogeography to further theoretical, methodological and scientific advances in the field of human evolution. My research group combines primary fieldwork with a range of different modelling approaches using palaeoecological and genetic data, in order to test different hypotheses about the origins of our species. Geographically, my research focuses on the Arabian Peninsula and North and West Africa. Prior to my current position, I held a Marie-Curie Fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, and British Academy Fellowship at the University of Oxford.

Current projects

  • Member of the AGYA Working Groups Common Heritage and Common Challenges, Energy, Water, and Environment and Innovation

Academic Career


2019 -


'Lise Meitner' Professor & Independent Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany


2018 - 2019


Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions Fellowship, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany


2014 - 2018


British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oxford, U.K.


2013 - 2014


Fondation Fyssen Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bordeaux, France


2009 - 2013


PhD in Archaeological Science, University of Southampton, U.K.


2001 - 2002


MA in Archaeology, University of Southampton, U.K.


Selected Publications

  • Scerri, E.M.L., Chikhi, L., Thomas, M.G. Beyond Multiregional and Simple Out of Africa Models of Human Evolution. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3, 1370–1372 
  • Scerri, E.M.L., Thomas, M.G., Manica, A., Gunz, P., Stock, J., Stringer, C.B., Grove, M., Groucutt, H.S., Timmermann A., Rightmire, G.P., d’Errico, F., Tryon, C., Drake, N.A.,  Brooks, A., Dennell, R., Durbin, R., Henn, B., Lee-Thorpe, J., deMenocal, P., Petraglia, M.D., Thompson, J., A., Scally, A., Chikhi, L. Did Our Species Evolve in Subdivided Populations across Africa, and Why Does It Matter? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33, 582-594.
  • Scerri, E.M.L. The North African Middle Stone Age and its place in recent human evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology 26 (3), 119-135.

see a full list of publications>


Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

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