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Terrace Archaeology

and Culture in Europe


The TerrACE team comprises researchers from 8 institutions and Universities in 5 European nations. Our staff represent a broad spectrum of the archaeological and environmental science, comprising expertise in botany, DNA analysis, geoarcheology, phytolith  analysis, remote sensing and mapping, soil micromorphology, soil chemistry, and luminescence dating techniques. 

Tony Brown

Principal Investigator, Geoarchaeology

Professor, University of Tromsø Museum


Tony Brown is a geoarchaeologist with interests in palaeoecology, human impact, subsistence and environmental change. He has worked in a wide variety of environments, periods and geographical areas from East Africa to Svalbard. Although his work was originally focused on floodplains and alluvial sites he has more recently worked on wetland and lake sites including projects on crannogs (artificial islands) and Medieval flooding. He has currently two major interests, sedaDNA and multi-proxies from lakes in Scotland and Ireland (waves of Colonisation in the Sea of Moyle) and Jomon nutritional archaeology and environmental change in Japan. TerrACE is a return to an interest in slopes, colluviation and human impact.

Daniel J. Fallu


Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Tromsø Museum

Daniel J. Fallu received his doctorate in archaeology from Boston University in 2017. His dissertation focused on the geoarchaeology of Mycenae, Greece at the end of the Bronze Age. His research combines archaeological soil micromorphology, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to better understand the connections between environment, human activity, and landscape change in antiquity. Dr. Fallu has conducted geoarchaeological research on terraces at Mycenae and on Crete. Dan's role in TerrACE will be sampling for pXRF, pOSL, and aDNA analyses.


Mónica Alonso


Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Barcelona

Mónica Alonso is a microarchaeologist specialized in phytoliths, ash pseudomorphs, faecal spherulites and Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. Her research interest aims to shed new light on how past societies developed and managed agriculture and herding practices, using a microarchaeological approach. To do this particular emphasis is given on, taphonomical processes that may have affected the preservation of the microarchaeological record and that may alter the final interpretation of the results. In particular, her PhD was focused on the first pastoral activities by prehistoric populations from the North of the Iberian Peninsula.


Rosa Maria Albert 

Phytoliths and Biological Microremains

Research Professor, ICREA, Pg. Lluis Companys, 23, Barcelona (Spain)

ERAAUB, Dept. of History and Archaeology, Universitat de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain)

Rosa Maria is an archaeologist specializing in palaeovegetation and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction through the study of biological microremains, such as phytoliths, starches, spherulites, and calcium oxalates. Her research focus is to improve our understanding on the relationship between humans and vegetation changes, as well as the patterns of land-use, and the exploitation of plants for different purposes, such as diet and fuel for fire.



Inger Alsos

Plant aDNA 

Professor, University of Tromsø Museum

Inger Greve Alsos is leader of the Ancient DNA lab and the Research Group in Taxonomy and Biodiversity at Tromsø Museum, UiT – Arctic University of Norway (UiT). Alsos has especially focused on past and potential future distribution of arctic and subarctic plants. She has combined genetic data (AFLP fingerprinting, cpDNA sequences, and ancient DNA), species distribution modelling, and fossil data to explore dispersal routes, colonization frequencies, and long-term genetic effects of climate change. She is currently working on ancient DNA of lake sediments from N Europe and the Alps, as well as a full-genome reference library for the Norwegian and Polar flora.


Sara Cucchiaro

Remote Sensing

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Padova


Sara Cucchiaro is a young researcher who is about to finish her PhD in environmental sciences. During her PhD project, she has worked on high-resolution topographic technologies to monitor and model hydrological and geomorphological processes in mountain catchments. She has studied the effects of torrent control work on sediment dynamic through multi-temporal surveys using aerial (UAV) and terrestrial photogrammetry, GNSS, and LiDAR technologies. The terraces monitoring is a new important challenge to continue the studying of the human impacts on landscape by exploiting the high-resolution techniques to realize multi-temporal surveys.


Francesco Ficetola

DNA Analysis

Professor, University of Milan

Gentile Francesco Ficetola is professor of zoology at the University of Milan (Italy). His research focuses on the determinants of biodiversity patterns, and on the long-term effects of human activities at multiple scales, from micro-habitat to global. Since 2018 he coordinates the ERC grant IceCommunities, which exploits the power of environmental DNA to reconstruct community dynamics and ecosystem functioning after the retreat of glaciers. He published 165 papers on these topics in peer-reviewed journals.



Andreas Lang

Luminescence Dating

Professor, University of Salzberg

Andreas Lang is a physicist and geomorphologist by training and has pioneered luminescence dating of anthropogenic deposits. deposits. Andreas also runs the luminescence laboratory at the University of Salzburgh and is an expert of luminescence dating of fluvial and colluvial sediments. Besides establishing chronologies his TERRACE research is on quantifying material fluxes and process-rates.

Florence Mocci


Researcher, Centre Nationale pour la Recherche Scientifique

Florence Mocci (researcher in the Centre Nationale pour la Recherche Scientifique), is an alpine landscape archaeologist at the Centre Camille Jullian (a CNRS research laboratory and Aix Marseille University). Since the 1990s she has directed interdisciplinary and diachronic archaeological fieldwork in mountainous regions (Sainte-Victoire, Verdon, Ubaye and the Écrins massif).  She has extensive long-term experience of interdisciplinary work and has collaborated for many years with the environmentalists from the Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d'Ecologie marine et continentale (IMBE). She is well known for her research into the occupation and human activities in high alpine mountains. Since 2020, she has directed a European research program PATHWAy_Protohistoric to Medieval pastoralism in the Western Alps: The origins and development of long-distance transhumance (A*MIDEX Aix Marseille Université)  with international collaborator K. Walsh (University of York). She is a member of the Scientific Council of the Ecrins (Vice-President) and Mercantour national parks, and the Parc Naturel Régional du Queyras."

Ben R. Pears


Research Fellow, University of Southampton

Ben Pears is a geoarchaeologist with a specialism in the historic landscape and human-environment interactions within fluvial and marginal locations. Presently part of the AHRC funded 'Waves of Colonisation in the Sea of Moyle' project investigating landuse and settlement on islands in Scotland and Ireland. Other research projects include 'Flood & Flow' (Leverhulme), analysing watery place names, flooding and the early medieval landscape and 'Fields of Britannia' (Leverhulme), reanalysing historic landscape continuity between the Roman and medieval periods. Technical specialisms include particle size analysis, pOSL, micromorphology, geochemical and elemental analysis, landscape and archaeological survey, geochronology, archaeological excavation.

Lisa Snape

Luminescence Dating

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Salzburg

Lisa Snape received her PhD from the University of Durham (UK) in 2018. The aim of her thesis was to apply optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating coupled with geoarchaeological techniques to understand the evolution of ancient landscape features located in the frontier regions of the Sasanian Empire (224-624 AD). During this time she developed a broader interest in interdisciplinary approaches applied to the past by integrating geoarchaeology, chonometric dating and landscape analysis. Lisa’s role is to develop a chronostratigraphic framework of agricultural terraces sampled as part of the TerrACE project.

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Paolo Tarolli

Remote Sensing

Associate Professor, University of Padova

Paolo Tarolli is Associate Professor and head of Earth Surface Processes and Society research group at University of Padova (Italy). He is Executive Editor of the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and Science Officer of the Natural Hazards division at the European Geosciences Union (EGU). He is expert in digital terrain analysis; earth surface processes analysis; natural hazards; geomorphology; hydro-geomorphology; lidar; structure-from-motion photogrammetry, and GIS; new research directions include the analysis of topographic signatures and using remote sensing of human activities from local to regional scale. He is author of more than 80 publications (2 invited review articles, 6 special issue editorials) in leading international journals. He edited one book for Springer on World Terraced Landscapes. He is member of the European Geosciences Union, American Geophysical Union, and British Society for Geomorphology.

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Kristof Van Oost

Soil Carbon Sequestration

Professor, Georges Lemaître centre for Earth & Climate Research, Earth & Life Institute, UCLouvain, Belgium

Kristof Van Oost received his PhD degree in physical Geography in 2003 (KULeuven). After his PhD, Kristof Van Oost was an EU Marie-Curie fellow at the Earth Surface Processes Research group of the University of Exeter (UK) for two years and specialized in soil biogeochemical modelling. Since 2007, Kristof Van Oost is a Research associate of the FNRW (Since 2015 Senior Research Associate) and Professor at Université catholique de Louvain, affiliated to the Earth & Life Institute, Faculty of Sciences. He led and was involved in many projects funded by BELSPO, FSR, FNRS, EU-FP6&FP7 and World Bank. His interests are in geomorphology and soil science with a particular focus on agricultural erosion and the role of sediment transport in carbon and nutrient cycling across landscapes. Much of his work involves modelling with an emphasis on geographical aspects and scale issues. His recent research seeks to develop new approaches that allow for an integrated study of geomorphology, hydrology and geochemistry in soil landscapes using environmental nuclides and carbon isotopes.


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Clive Waddington

Managing Director, Archaeological Research Services, Ltd.


Clive is a leading prehistorian specializing in landscape archaeology, geoarchaeology, Mesolithic – Iron Age studies, field investigation and methods and communication of archaeology to the public. His many publications cover a wide range of periods and topics and include the results of work on agricultural remains in northern England, including well-preserved prehistoric and early medieval agricultural terraces in the Cheviot Hills. Teasing out stratigraphic relationships and combining these with radiocarbon dates, plus the application of multiple scientific approaches to the terrace soil deposits, is one of Clive’s key research priorities together with integrating the results into their wider archaeological and landscape context and comparing them with other contemporary geo/archaeological records. Having regularly led and worked in research teams for the past 25 years, multidisciplinary approaches to investigating the past runs in Clive’s DNA and he is a highly motivated member of this international team.


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Kevin Walsh

Geoarchaeology, Data Analysis and Integration

Department of Archaeology, University of York


Kevin Walsh's research covers the domain of Geoarchaeology situated within a broader framework that considers forms of human-environment interactions within a socio-ecological framework. His earliest geoarchaeological research comprised the study of the sand dune system around an Early Medieval site on the north shore of Lindisfarne (Holy Island) on the Northumbrian coast. He then moved to Provence, France where he evaluated the range of methodologies employed by environmental archaeologists working n Mediterranean Landscape Archaeology. Fieldwork in this region included geoarchaeological work around the Roman watermill of Barbegal as well as work across the Sainte Victoire mountain near Aix-en-Provence.

With French colleagues, Walsh has pioneered the development of landscape archaeology in the high altitude zones of the French Alps. This work addresses issues of human-environment interactions during the Holocene, combing archaeological, geoarchaeological and paleoecological research. He has also worked in the Peloponnese addressing similar issues, including the exploitation of palaeoenvironmental data in an assessment of geomythology. These projects have all resulted in a number of publications, including a major single-authored book published by CUP that presents an assessment of human-environment interactions across the Mediterranean from the Neolithic to the Roman period. 

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Pengzhi Zhao

Soil Carbon Sequestration

PhD Student, Georges Lemaître centre for Earth & Climate Research, Earth & Life Institute, UCLouvain, Belgium


Pengzhi studied Agriculture Science at Northeast Forestry University in Harbin with a major in Soil and Water Conservation. He conducted his MSc thesis in the black soil region of China, where I he quantified tillage erosion rates and their effects on SOC cycling. Pengzhi is a PhD student working at Université catholique de Louvain, affiliated to the Earth & Life Institute, Faculty of Sciences. His research focuses on the biogeochemical cycles of soil organic carbon (SOC) and stability mechanisms of SOC in colluvial soils. His role in TerrACE is to assess the significance of terraces as SOC store and to improve our understanding of their evolution.

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