Dr Emilie Dotte

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 2 6125 3775

Areas of expertise

  • Archaeological Science 210102
  • Archaeology Of New Guinea And Pacific Islands (Excl. New Zealand) 210106
  • Pacific History (Excl. New Zealand And Maori) 210313
  • Quaternary Environments 040606

Research interests

Main research interests and areas of expertise:

Relationships between Francophone and Anglophone traditions in Pacific Archaeology

Historiography and Epistemology of Francophone traditions in the Archaeology of the Pacific Islanders

Inter-relations between Ethnology and Archaeology in the Pacific

Precolonial, contacts and early colonial periods in the Pacific Islands - the interface between indigenous oral traditions, ethnohistorical, historical and archaeological sources

New Caledonia and French Polynesia archaeology (including environmental archaeology)

Arboriculture and the hisotry of people, plants and forests in the Pacific Islands

Oceania indigenous perceptions of the "environment" in relation to the western concepts of wild/domesticated plants or nature/culture, and their uses in interpretation of archaeobotanical/palaeoenvironmental data

The development of anthracology in Oceania archaeology - from arid Australia to tropical Pacific Islands (including through supervision of students' research projects)


Emilie studied History, Cultural Anthropology and Archaeology at the Universities of Montpellier (Paul Valery), of Minnesota and of the Sorbonne (Paris I). She received her Master (Maitrise and DEA) in Oceania Prehistory and Environmental Archaeology from the Sorbonne and holds a double cotutelle PhD in Prehistory from the Sorbonne and the ANU. Her PhD thesis focused on New Caledonia precolonial archaeology and looked at the relations between Kanak settlement patterns and the vegetation, involving the first application of anthracology (archaeological wood charcoal analysis) in the region. 

After completing her PhD, Emilie worked at the University of Western Australia as the laboratory manager for Archaeology, as a research assistant on Prof. Peter Veth's ARC Barrow Island Archaeology Project, and as a consultant archaeobotanist - with live projects in the Pilbara, WA; in New Caledonia with the Institute of Archaeology of New Caledonia and the Pacific; and in French Polynesia, especially as part of Jenny Kahn and Patrick Kirch NSF project "Vulnerability and Resilience on Islands Socioecosystems". She is still associated to UWA as a Honorary Research Fellow.

Emilie recently joined the ANU as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within Prof. Matthew Spriggs's ARC Laureate Project "The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific - a Hidden History".

Researcher's projects

As part of the ARC Laureate Project "The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific - a Hidden Histor", Emilie is investigating the development of Francophone literature and traditions in Pacific scholarship.

This project seeks to better understand the distinct historiography and epistemology of the Francophone tradition of archaeology in the Pacific. It also aims at investigating the relations between the over-represented Anglophone research and the more discrete Francophone one, from co-ignorance to co-influences and the creation of particular partnerships between researchers; to examine their role in the development of current narratives, practices and concepts in Pacific Archaeology.

Emilie maintains an interest in archaeobotany projects she has launched with international collaborators in the Pacific and Australia.


Current student projects

Andrea Ballesteros Danel - CASS, ANU - A History of Trans-Pacific Contact Theories: The American Connection (Co-Supervisor with Matthew Spriggs)

Chae Byrne - UWA - Reconstructing a vanished landscape: a palaeoecological and palaeoethnobotanical investigation from Barrow Island, WA through archaeobotanical analysis (Co-Supervisor with Peter Veth and Joe Dortch)

India-Ella Dilkes - UWA - Kimberley Carpology: In a Nutshell. A macrobotanical analysis of carpological assemblages recovered from the Kimberley, Western Australia (Co-supervisor with Jane Balme and Peter Veth)

Alexandra Ribeny - CASS, ANU - Fueling the Khmer: Anthracology, Tropical Deforestation and the Iron Industry c. 11th – 15th centuries AD (Co-supervised with Tim Denham and Mitch Hendrickson)

Rose Whitau (COMPLETED 2018) - CAP, ANU - Quaternary Vegetation Change in the Southern Kimberley region, Western Australia: archaeological wood charcoal analysis from four sites in Bunaba and Gooniyandi Country (Co-Supervisor with Sue O'Connor, Janelle Stevenson and Jane Balme)



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Updated:  14 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers