Emma Rehn

    Emma Rehn

    PhD student

    Cairns

    Biographical note

    Emma completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and Archaeology (Hons) at JCU Cairns in 2014. Her interests span the humanities and sciences, with particular focus in her past and present research on human-environment interactions.

    Research topic

    Fire and Environmental Change in Northern Australia during the Late Holocene

    Research outline

    Limited data are available for northern Australia for the reconstruction of past environments (palaeoenvironments), particularly in terms of fire (fossil charcoal) records. This research project examines charcoal particles from sediment cores collected in Arnhemland and Cape York to create fire histories for these sites spanning the last ~3,000 years, to better understand interactions between fire, humans and vegetation in the north.

    Research questions

    • What is the fire history of Cape York and Arnhemland during the late Holocene, and what changes can be seen in vegetation burned (e.g. predominantly grass, leaves, wood)?
    • Are transitions in fire regime (such as initial European invasion and historically recorded land use) visible in the charcoal record, and what are the characteristics of these transitions?
    • How do fossil charcoal analyses compare with modern charcoal, and how can modern charcoal analyses provide detail and context for the fossil assemblage?

    Supervisory Team

    Professor Michael Bird

    Dr Cassandra Rowe

    Professor Sean Ulm

    Research Grants

    2017: Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Postgraduate Research Award

    Conference papers

    Rehn, E., Ulm, S. & Collard, M. (2014). Environmental risk and toolkit variability in Australian contexts. Paper presented to Culture, Climate, Change: Archaeology in the Tropics. Joint Australian Archaeological Association/Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Conference, Cairns, 29 November - 4 December.

    Teaching Experience

    • JCU casual teaching staff, 2016-present:
    • MH1061 – Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
    • MH1062 – The Musculoskeletal System for Sports and Exercise Science

    Extended Profile

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