ESHE Board Elections - 2021

Last year, 2020, we elected new officers for ESHE. This year, we elect the regular board members. The role of the board is to approve members to the society, make decisions that affect the society and assist in the organization of the annual meetings. The board members must be members of the society and be committed to playing an active role in these tasks. Up to 12 positions are available. The board term is two years.

If you would like to be considered as a candidate, please send us ( a short paragraph stating who you are and why you would like to serve along with a photograph of yourself. These statements will be posted here so that members can have an idea of the candidates prior to the election (which will be held during the General Assembly of the 2021 meeting).

To see the list of the officers and regular board members past and present, see About Us.

Board Member Candidates 2021

Amélie Beaudet

I am a palaeoanthropologist and a lecturer in Human Origins at the Department of Archaeology of the University of Cambridge (UK). I started my research on the African fossil record within the frame of my PhD at the University of Toulouse (France) in 2012. During my first postdoctoral contract at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) in 2016, I developed a particular interest in the evolution of the hominin brain. I then joined the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) in 2017 to study the fossil hominin assemblage from the ‘Cradle of Humankind’ as a member of the Sterkfontein team. In 2020 I moved to Cambridge where I am lecturing and pursuing my work on human evolution. My research mainly focuses on the paleobiology of early hominins and the adaptative and evolutionary contexts in which our own genus emerged.

Stefano Benazzi

I am a paleoanthropologist, with special interest in studying Middle-Late Pleistocene hominins, mainly Neanderthals and modern humans, dental morphology and morphometrics, and applying computer-based methods to investigating the relationship between function and morphology in human and non-human primate teeth.

Since 2017 I am running an ERC consolidator grant (n. 724046 – SUCCESS), which aims to understand when modern humans arrived in Southern Europe, the biocultural processes that favored their successful adaptation and the final cause of Neandertal extinction.

I received my PhD in Physical Anthropology from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2007 and, since then, a post-doc in several international institutes. I am currently a full professor in Physical Anthropology, the Director of the Laboratory of Osteoarchaeology and Paleoanthropology (BONES Lab), and the Coordinator of PhD Programme of Cultural and Environmental Heritage at the University of Bologna.

I have been a member of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution since 2015 and I am committed to continue endorsing the high-quality standard that ESHE has achieved since its inception, attracting students and researchers by promoting the spirit of the society, ie a holistic approach in the study of human evolution.

Jacopo Niccolò Cerasoni

Jacopo Niccolò Cerasoni is a Ph.D. student with the Pan African Evolution Research Group, MPI-SHH (DE) and University of Tübingen (DE). His doctoral project focuses on the study of technological behaviour and hominin-environment relationships in Pleistocene West Africa. This work is carried out by the interdisciplinary application of various methods, both in the field (survey and excavation) and in the lab (geospatial, lithic, and phytolith analysis). As part of his Ph.D., he carried out fieldwork projects in Ivory Coast, Benin and Nigeria, where he surveyed and excavated both previously excavated and newly discovered sites. His main research objective is to contextualise West African archaeology and paleoecology within its continental framework, offering a better picture of this poorly understood region’s past environmental and hominin contexts. Jacopo is also interested in scientific imaging, being a promoter and contributor to the development of open-access methods for the creation and standardisation of imaging products intended for academic publication and public outreach purposes.

Philipp Gunz

I am a biological anthropologist who studies the evolution of human development. I obtained my PhD at the University of Vienna (2005), and I am currently a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. I am a specialist for the reconstruction of fossil skulls from computed tomographic scans, and the statistical analysis of shape — a set of methods called geometric morphometrics.

I am a founding member of ESHE and took on some of the bureaucratic responsibilities required for a non-profit organization in Germany. For a decade I was part of the core team organizing ESHE, reviewing abstracts, compiling the abstract volume, and organizing the conference schedule. Organising last year’s online conference and general assembly presented us with some unique challenges, and I am really proud that our willingness to take risks and dedication paid off. I would be happy to see ESHE continue to grow and adapt in the future, and contribute my experience and expertise to the new ESHE team.

Mateja Hajdinjak

I am a geneticist specialized in recovering genome-wide sequencing data from hominin fossil material with the aim of reconstructing past migrations, frequency of interactions, admixture and population structure of different human groups. I completed my PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, focusing on the transition from the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic and reconstructing the population history of some of the earliest modern humans as well as some of the last Neandertals in Europe. As a Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellow at the Francis Crick Institute in London, I am continuing working on human evolutionary genomics using ancient DNA, with a special focus on human groups in Africa and west Eurasia.

I have been a member of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE) from 2015 and attended every meeting since. The ESHE meetings have proved to be a perfect environment for young scientists and for communicating research among aDNA geneticists, paleoanthropologists and archaeologists. As an ESHE board member, I would be committed to further the meaningful engagement and the collaborative approaches between ancient DNA field and other disciplines in answering questions of interest. I would like to put a special focus on the involvement of both students and early career researchers, particularly from developing countries.

Andrew William Kandel

As a Paleolithic Archaeologist, I have gained broad experience in many aspects of prehistory. My ongoing excavations in Israel and Armenia examine the Middle and Upper Paleolithic, while previous studies delved into the African Stone Age. My expertise focuses on lithic technology, personal ornaments and marine adaptations as well as landscape and environmental reconstruction. After finishing my PhD at the University of Tübingen in 2005, I continued as a Post-Doctoral researcher in South Africa before joining the research project, "The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans" (ROCEEH).

I would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the society by being on its board and to help steer the society forward in the coming years. I have been a member of ESHE since its inception and attended almost every meeting. I enjoy the close-knit feel of the society and especially appreciate how the society empowers early career researchers through its generous bursaries and awards. I am always impressed by the academic level of the annual meetings and the diverse group of scientists attending, each bringing insights that foster a healthy exchange of information.

Fotios Alexandros Karakostis

I am a Paleoanthropologist currently working as Junior Research Group Leader in the University of Tübingen, Germany. My research group is dedicated to investigating the proposed evolutionary interplay between tool-use and language communication, while my previous work has mainly focused on bio-cultural evolution and the reconstruction of habitual manual behaviors in the fossil hominin record. Additionally, I have acted as an elected representative of doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers in my institution for several years. Ever since I first joined the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE) in 2013, I followed all developments within our Society as closely as possible, actively participating to all yearly conferences, meetings, and events. As such, I am extremely excited and motivated with the prospect of becoming further engaged in the Society as a regular board member. If given this amazing opportunity, I am determined to promote the active participation and further integration of early career researchers within our Society. Furthermore, I will be devoted to promoting communication among its members, encouraging the interaction among researchers from diverse scientific fields who nevertheless focus on similar evolutionary questions and hypotheses.

Trine Kellberg Nielsen

I am a Palaeolithic archaeologist, presently working as a PI in the NeanderEDGE research project at the University Of Aarhus, Denmark. My research focuses on Neanderthal distribution and mobility, particularly along the most northern part of their range – asking the question; how far north is the Neanderthal range and how did they adapt in these environments. I have been a member of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE) since 2013 and a regular board member since 2017. I would highly appreciate the opportunity to continue in the role of regular board member and I therefore wish to be considered for re-election at the ESHE 2021 meeting. As present and hopefully future board member, I am particularly committed to representing early carrier researchers within the ESHE organisation in order ensure an inclusive meeting environment as well as the further development of the eco-ESHE incentive, which focuses on implementing sustainable strategies in conference planning. For the last few years, I have also been working actively on bringing the ESHE meeting to Denmark. This is still high on my agenda for when we are able to meet up safely in larger gatherings again. I therefore hope to stay on the ESHE board in order to hopefully achieve this goal within the next couple of years.

Ana Belen Marin Arroyo

Ana B. Marín-Arroyo, Associate Professor of Prehistory at the University of Cantabria, where I lead the Human Evolution Group–EvoAdapta.  As an archeozoologist specialized in studying the Paleolithic, I focus on human resilience to climate changes with particular attention to their animal diet, with cutting-edge interdisciplinary methods (taphonomy, stable isotopes, Bayesian analysis, modelling).  I have a substantial track record of publications and great experience supervising PhD and PostDoc researchers. I have been awarded several international prizes and maintain a wide network of collaborations. Currently, I am the PI of the SUBSILIENCE ERC project focused on knowing how the climatic changes at the end of MIS3 could have affected the decline and subsequent extinction of Neanderthals. I would like to serve the ESHE society by providing the help needed to improve its management before and during the annual meetings and other tasks required for its good functioning.

Philipp Mitteroecker

I am an evolutionary biologist and anthropologist with strong interests in human evolution, evolutionary medicine, morphometrics, statistics, and the philosophy of science. I have studied the development and evolution of human and primate anatomy, with various medical applications. I have contributed to methodological advancements in modern morphometrics, multivariate biostatistics, and quantitative genetics. I am particularly interested in the interaction of developmental, environmental, and evolutionary processes in human evolution. A current research focus is on human childbirth: an evolutionary conundrum involving biological, environmental, and sociocultural dynamics.

I am teaching morphometrics, statistics, theoretical and evolutionary biology at the University of Vienna and the University of Graz, and I am a directorial board member of the KLI Institute for Evolution & Cognition Research as well as a board member of the European Evolutionary Developmental Biology Society (EuroEvoDevo).

As a board member of ESHE I like to foster the interaction with other international societies concerned with evolutionary biology and evolutionary medicine, and I want to support interdisciplinary approaches that unite the diverging subfields of anthropology.

Karen Ruebens

Karen Ruebens received her PhD from the University of Southampton (UK) in 2012 and has since been working as a postdoctoral researcher, first at the MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre for Human Behavioural Evolution (Neuwied) and then at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA, Leipzig). After a maternity break she successfully obtained a fellowship through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Career Restart scheme for a project at MPI-EVA focussing on Middle Palaeolithic projectile technology in Western Europe. Her research interests are focused on unravelling Neanderthal behaviour through wider-scale comparative lithic and faunal analyses, most recently including training in Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS).

Karen has been serving on the ESHE board since 2015 and has been involved in reviewing submissions and organising the Pecha Kucha prize. Most recently, she has supported ESHE’s commitment to open science by engaging as an editor to the free open access journal PaleoAnthropology which is now jointly run by ESHE and the PalaeoAnthropology society. Karen is running again as a regular ESHE board member (2021-2023) to provide a degree of continuity during the transitional period following the 2020 presidential elections. She remains committed to make the annual ESHE meetings into dynamic, innovative occasions, including a widely accessible online component, with balanced representations of the varied members and fields in the ever-changing discipline that is human evolution.

Andrew Sorensen

I am a Palaeolithic Archaeologist and postdoctoral researcher with the Human Origins Group at Leiden University in the Netherlands, where I look into the roles fire played in Neandertal and early modern human lifeways, with special emphasis on identifying evidence of fire production by Palaeolithic peoples. Having attended every ESHE meeting since 2012, I have had the opportunity and privilege to watch the organization grow and thrive over the years. I am a co-organizer of Virtual ESHE 2021 and was a member of the local organizing committee for the Leiden ESHE meeting in 2017, where I was first elected to the ESHE Board. With your support, I hope to continue my contribution to the organization of the Society in this official capacity for the coming years. Together with my colleagues on the board and the general membership of the Society, I look forward to advancing the fields of Human Evolution, Palaeolithic Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology in both the professional and public spheres, especially among students and early career researchers.

Sahra Talamo

I am a radiocarbon specialist with a major interest in studying human evolutionary events based on radiocarbon chronology and in developing new methodological approaches for reaching high-resolution chronologies. In June 2019, I became a full Professor at the Chemistry department at Bologna University, where I am running my ERC starting grant, called "RESOLUTION". I have been participating in the ESHE Meeting since 2011.

As a board member of the ESHE, in the last two years, I had particular attention to promote gender equality and support women's application #women in STEM. I am enthusiastic about serving the ESHE society as a board member, and I would like to continue to maintain high research quality and promote multi-disciplinary applications of geoscience/geochronology to Human Evolution.

Most importantly, I will continue to be committed to representing family and career researchers within the ESHE organization in order to ensure parents and, especially, Moms friendly environment.

Nicole M. Webb

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Paleoanthropology within the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. My research focuses on hominin postcranial functional morphology with an emphasis on pelvic anatomy. I use a combination of 3D geometric morphometrics, computer modeling and trabecular bone assessment to explore functional trade-offs and their biomechanical implications. Specifically, I am interested in elucidating the origins of bipedalism and the subsequent evolution of a complex birth pattern in modern humans. My latest projects involve multidisciplinary collaborations with sports medicine clinicians, obstetricians, and endurance athletes to test assumptions relevant to the highly debated “obstetrical dilemma” hypothesis.

I also maintain affiliations to the University of Zurich’s Institute of Evolutionary Medicine where I was a postdoctoral researcher (2018-2021), and the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt where I held a visiting scientist position (2017-2021). In 2018 I completed my Ph.D. in Anthropology, with a focus on primate locomotion, through the Graduate Center (City University of New York), with training provided by the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP). I was an adjunct lecturer for the City University of New York (2012-2017), and more recently I instructed courses at Goethe University Frankfurt (2018-2021) and the University of Zürich (2019-2021).

After relocating to Europe from the United States, I joined the European Society for the study of Human Evolution of which I have been a proud member since 2019. I find the cross-disciplinary research promoted within the organization, as well as the extensive networking platform provided through the annual ESHE meetings, to be imperative for the continued advancement of our understanding of human evolution. Accordingly, I would like to assume a more active role in the society by contributing directly as a member of the ESHE board. I hope to help ensure that its high scientific relevance is maintained, while simultaneously acting as a representative and advocate for its members, especially early career scientists and women in STEM disciplines.