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Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr Terrence Ritzman

"I am a physical anthropologist interested in the comparative anatomy of the skull in primates as it relates to human evolution. I employ the comparative method and direct studies of fossil hominins to make inferences regarding the evolutionary processes that operated during the course of human evolution, as well as the patterns, documented by the fossil record, that were produced by these processes. As a post-doc at UCT, I am working with Dr. Becky Ackermann to study the effect of hybridization on variation in the cranial and post-cranial skeletons of primates. This research has direct implications for the study of human evolution, particularly the emergence of modern humans which included (now well-documented) admixture with Neandertals.”

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Dr. Ashley N. Coutu

Research areas: bioarchaeology, isotope ecology, ivory trade
Currently, Ashley is a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow funded by the European Union and jointly based in the Department of Archaeology at UCT and the Department of Archaeology, University of York, UK. Her current research focus is on the pre-colonial ivory trade, specifically analysing the ivory-working remains found on Iron Age sites across southern Africa, such as Ndondondwane and K2, with techniques such as stable and radiogenic isotope analysis as well as Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS).  These sites offer a rich source of data for understanding how ivory became a valuable and integral part of growing trade networks within Africa and around the world.
Memberships: South African Archaeological Society, Society of Africanist Archaeologists, Society for American Archaeologists, Institute of Field Archaeologists, British Institute in Eastern Africa, East African Wildlife Society

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Paul Cavalier

As an applied physicist affiliated to the Electrical Engineering Department, I work on remote sensing techniques, with a particular focus on signal analysis. For archaeological applications, I measure the Earth’s magnetic field on-site, and analyze anomalies created by archaeological artefacts (burnt artefacts, metallic objects, construction foundations…). This allows recovering depths and shapes in order to build an underground model before any excavation is undertaken.
The techniques of data analysis I use are borrowed mostly from geophysical exploration (petrol, mining…), and I have developed new methodologies that find applications in several engineering fields. I like working at the interface of different disciplines, which always leads me to build bridges between specialists.

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