Board elections: Vote now !

Board elections: Vote now !


After a successful 12th International Meeting on Phytolith Research, it is time to call for elections for the new board members. In accordance with the IPS Bylaws a new President-Elect, Rand Evett, has been self-nominated within the current board. A treasurer (3 year term, renewable) and two Member-at-large board positions (2-year terms) are up for election.

Eight individuals have self-nominated to fill these positions. It is now time to vote! Elections are officially open for 30 days, until October 27th.

To vote click on the link below. You can vote for one to fill each of these positions, or neither. Candidate biographies/statements are listed below the link to vote.

Marta Portillo
International Phytolith Society




Rand Evett – President-Elect

As a grassland paleoecology researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, I have been actively involved with phytoliths for 25+ years, presenting results of my research at several IMPRs and in numerous journals. For the past 5 years, I have served as Treasurer and Board member of the IPS. I am also on the IPS International Committee for Phytolith Morphometrics, helping establish methodological standards for phytolith measurements. As a service to the phytolith research community, for the past 8 years I have compiled a comprehensive bibliography and collected a digital archive of every publication related to phytoliths (currently have ~7000 pdfs) that has ever been published worldwide; the bibliography is published on the IPS website, and all pdfs are available to IPS members on request. While collecting the archive of phytolith literature, I have been amazed by the international nature of phytolith research, particularly the amount of high-quality phytolith-related research published in relatively obscure journals in non-English languages. I believe that one of the strengths of the IPS is that the membership includes researchers from many countries with backgrounds in diverse disciplines. As IPS President-Elect, my goal is to expand the IPS membership and encourage phytolith researchers from all countries, including those who do not publish primarily in English, to share their research with a wider audience. In addition, I will promote increased interdisciplinary cooperation by encouraging phytolith researchers to incorporate ideas from other scientific disciplines in their research as well as think of new ways to use phytolith science within other disciplines.

Treasurer (1 position)

Mikhail Blinnikov
My engagement with phytoliths started in college, as I was working on a thesis at Moscow State University investigating alpine grasslands change in the Holocene. My current research with phytoliths focuses primarily on temperate grasslands dominated by C3 Pooid grasses with sites in North America (Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Minnesota) and Russia (Tatarstan and the Altay). I am always excited to hear about new phytolith research conducted in new locations and have been able to communicate and collaborate with many colleagues all over the world. I have been a member of the IPS since its inception and served as the president of the IPS since 2014 and until 2018. As a US-based IPS board member, I will be able to provide necessary functions to the society as the Treasurer.

Zachary Dunseth
· I am an archaeologist with a focus on long-term desert lifeways and subsistence strategies in the arid regions of the eastern Mediterranean. I am a micro-geoarchaeologist, specializing in phytolith and calcitic microremain analysis. Much of my research in the past few years has focused on multiproxy investigations of ancient animal dung remains, including new methods for identification, exploring taphonomy of various macro and micro-archaeobotanical assemblages, and diet and environmental reconstruction.
· As field archaeologist, I have been a part of a number of long term field projects in Israel, including the large tell sites Megiddo (2008-present), Kabri (2009, 2013), Aphek (2016), and Kiriath-Jearim (2017-2019). I most recently started a multidisciplinary investigation at Arad (2019-present), currently on hiatus due to COVID-19. My historical focus has generally been on the Bronze Ages of the 4th-3rd millennium BCE, although I have investigated sites from the 4th millennium BCE to the 1st millennium CE.
· As a micro-geoarchaeologist, I have been a collaborator on a number of projects in the Negev desert, including the ERC-funded project on Byzantine-Early Islamic sites of Shivta, Elusa and Nessana 2015-2019); DFG-funded project exploring the chronology of ancient cisterns, and their potential as paleoclimate archives (2017-2020); and a British Academy and ERC-funded project on Negev agriculture in late antiquity, through the analysis of dung remains.
My current research interests include:
· human-animal-environmental interactions, especially in desert landscapes
· dung archives as indicators of ancient health, diet, subsistence, mobility and paleoenvironment,
· improving phytolith and geoarchaeological methodologies, including standardization of data and interpretational frameworks
· open science initiatives in phytolith research (and geoarchaeological studies in general)
Employment and affiliations
Current positions (2021-present)
· Visiting Assistant Professor, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA 02912
· Natural Sciences Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Babson College, Wellesley, MA, 02457
· Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA 02912
· Visiting Student, Laboratory for Sedimentary Archaeology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel (head: Ruth Shahack-Gross)
· Visiting Student, Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (head: Steve Weiner)
2019 Ph.D., Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
2014 M.A., Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
2009 B.A., Archaeology and Classical Humanities, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA

Member-at-large (2 positions)

Jennifer Bates
I am an Assistant Professor of Archaeological Science at Seoul National University, South Korea. I have been doing phytolith studies since 2010 when I began my undergraduate thesis looking at Indus Civilization agriculture and environment. Since then I have expanded on this work through my PhD and into three separate post-docs, and am now looking into questions of food, environment and climate in the Southern Indian Neolithic and Iron Age, as well as supervising student projects using phytolith analysis. In addition I am working on projects to explore calcium oxalate phytolith production in plant taxa traditionally discussed as being non-phytolith producers, such as Chenopodium album in order to see how these taxa can be incorporated more readily into our discussions. My primary research project at SNU will be to look at ash mound formation using a multiproxy approach, combining phytoliths with macrobotanical remains, geoarchaeology and geochemistry and an extensive radiocarbon dating programme. This is representative of my approach to phytolith analysis: combine my data with archaeobotanical and other proxy data, and have worked with projects not only in South Asia but across the world. I will be expanding into Korean prehistory with the development of my new lab here at SNU.
PhD Archaeology, University of Cambridge 2011-2016
MA Research Methods in Archaeology, UCL 2010-2011
BA Hons (MA) Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge 2007-2010
August 2021-present Assistant Professor of Archaeological Science, Seoul National University
2019-2021 Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn Paleoecology Lab, University of Pennsylvania
2018-2019 Post-doctoral Researcher, Joukowsky Research Institute, Brown University
2015-2018 Trevelyan Research Fellow, Selwyn College, University of Cambridge
Dr. Jennifer Bates
Department of Archaeology and Art History,
Seoul National University
1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu
Seoul 08826, South Korea

Marcia Regina Calegari
I am a Geography professor at the State University of Western Paraná State (UNIOESTE), Marechal Cândido Rondon campus. I am dedicated to the soil-geomorphology and soil genesis studies. I have developed studies about phytolith since my PhD when I did an internship at CSIC in Barcelona. Since then, this has been my principal research focus, and I use it in studies of paleoenvironmental reconstitution for understanding the genesis and evolution of tropical soils. Since 2013 I am dedicated to the elaboration of a phytolith reference collection of modern plants and soils from the main forested biomes of Brazil. I have also dedicated efforts to disseminate the phytoliths analysis offering courses and attending to events and guiding graduate students in this theme. Currently I am vice-leader of the Working Group “Soil memory: soil as a memory of climate and environmental changes” of the Brazilian Society of Soil Science, where we promote studies related to biotic proxies in soils and paleosols.

Emma Karoune
I completed a PhD in Archaeobotany from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London in 2006, which concentrated on examining macro- and microscopic archaeobotanical material from prehistoric sites in Northern and Eastern India to investigate the transition from foraging to farming communities. After this I went off to be a science educator for several years but in this time have collaborated with my colleagues at UCL on a number of publications focused on archaeobotanical studies of Indian and Chinese prehistoric sites.
I have been returning to academia over the past few years and my current archaeological work is focused on FAIR data in phytolith research. I am the Principal Investigator on the FAIR Phytoliths Project based at Historic England and in collaboration with Universitat Pompeu Fabra and the Spanish National Research Council. I am also involved in a project to develop the use of phytolith research in British archaeology by developing a comprehensive and open reference collection and by starting work on commercial archaeological sites to build a larger dataset of phytolith assemblages to work on methodological issues found in these types of samples.
I also work as a Research Associate at The Alan Turing Institute in the Tools, Practice and Systems Programme. This work focuses on the implementation of open research approaches to different projects within the Institute. I am a core contributor to The Turing Way (an open-source community-led guide to reproducible research) helping to build resources and training for other researchers. I have recently become a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow to focus on promoting a more accessible and inclusive research culture and I am a mentor in the Open Life Science Programme.
I have been a member of the International Phytolith Society for many years and I am to be the chair of the new standing committee – International Committee on Open Phytolith Science.

Welmoed Out
· Experience with phytolith analysis since 2011, internship palaeoecology in 1999 and experience with archaeobotany since 2003, including the study of pollen, macroremains and wood. After finishing my PhD in the Netherlands in 2009, I worked at the University of Sheffield in England, the IMF-CSIC in Spain together with Prof. Marco Madella, and Kiel University in Germany.
· Since 2015, I study plant-people interactions by means of wood/charcoal and phytoliths within the framework of development-led archaeology, to reconstruct vegetation and plant use during the Holocene, primarily in Europe and occasionally elsewhere. I also teach classes Archaeobotany at Aarhus University.
· My main research interests and ongoing projects:
-vegetation, plant use and land use during the Mesolithic and Neolithic in Northwestern Europe (e.g. Landuse 6K);
-detection of woodland management by means of wood age/diameter analysis;
-phytolith morphometry within the framework of cereal identification (e.g. Out et al. 2014, 2021; Ball et al. 2016).
· Commitment International Phytolith Society: involved in the International Committee on Phytolith Morphometry since 2014 and co-organisation of the 12th IMPR online/Kiel in 2021.

Dr. Welmoed Out
Moesgaard Museum
Department of Archaeological Science and Conservation
Moesgaard Allé 20
8270 Højbjerg, Denmark

Kali Wade
I am an early-career archaeobotanist, with experience, specialization, and a passion for phytolith analysis.
Research Interests
· Phytolith methodologies
· Phytolith analysis for paleoenvironmental reconstruction
· Statistics
· 2014-2015: M.Sc., Archaeology (with distinction), University of Edinburgh
· 2010 – 2013: B.A. General Social Science, University of Lethbridge
· 2007-2010: diploma, general studies, Lethbridge College
Work Experience
· 2021: Archaeobotanical Consultant, Atlatl Archaeology Ltd.
· 2017-2020: Senior Research Technician, Environmental Archaeology Laboratory at Boston University
· 2016: Visiting Researcher, Environmental Archaeology Laboratory at Boston University
Contact Information:
Kali Wade
7940 34 Ave NW
Calgary, AB., Canada, T3B 1P5
(403) 370 6577

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