Dr Janelle Stevenson

Research Fellow, School of Culture, History & Language
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
T: +61 2 61253153

Areas of expertise

  • Palaeoecology 060206
  • Palaeontology (Incl. Palynology) 040308
  • Quaternary Environments 040606
  • Archaeological Science 210102

Research interests

Palaeoecology, palynology, palaeoclimatology, fire histories; South East Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands.

 Current Teaching

  • ENVS3029 / ENVS6529 - Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction
  • ARCH2007 - Archaeological Laboratory Methods
  • ARCH8031 - Archaeological Science Research Project 2


Janelle is a palaeoecologist with experience working in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Australia. Her particular interests are in landscapes of the past, how these have changed under different climatic scenarios, and how we can disentangle climate change from human impact in the palaeoenvironmental record.

Janelle is currently involved in several multi-disciplinary collaborative projects:

The pace and rythm of climate: 600,000 years in biological hotspot - ARC Discovery:  led by Janelle along with Dr Marco Coolen from Curtin University and Professor James Russell from Brown University.

This project aims to generate knowledge of long-term changes in vegetation and rainfall for the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP). The IPWP exerts enormous influence on the Earth’s climate through its interactions with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Austral–Asian monsoons and the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone. Yet despite its importance, the response of the IPWP to global climate change remains uncertain. Through palynology, ancient sedimentary DNA and compound specific stable isotope analyses, this project aims to produce a terrestrial vegetation, fire and biodiversity record for the last 600 000 years in Sulawesi. The unrivalled length and resolution of this record for the region would make it a benchmark reconstruction of palaeoclimate that may transform our understanding of the IPWP.

From Prehistory to History: Landscape and Cultural Change on the South Alligator River, Kakadu National Park - ARC Linkage project with Kakadu National Park, and ANU colleagues Dr Sally Brockwell and Dr Robert Levitus.

The Archaeology Of Sulawesi: A Strategic Island for Understanding Modern Human Colonisation and Interactions across our Region - ARC Discovery project led by ANU colleague Professor Sue O’Connor, along with ANU colleague Dr Jack Fenner.

ARC Linkage led by Macquarie University with Partner Organization Rio Tinto Alcan, investigating earth mounds at Weipa along with ANU colleague Dr Sally Brockwell



Return to top

Updated:  20 September 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers