Dr Fiona Petchey

Senior Research Fellow; Deputy Director

Qualifications: MA(Hons) Anthropology Auckland, DPhil Waikato

Personal Website:

Research Interests

Dr Petchey's research involves the application of radiocarbon techniques to the improvement of archaeological chronologies by the joint investigation of site taphonomy combined with sample specific radiocarbon (14C) effects in shell and bone caused by diet and environmental conditions. Her research is based on the premise that isotopic analysis (d13Ccollagen, d13Ccarbonate, d15N and d34S for bone, and d18O and d13C for shell), combined with geographic, archaeological and metabolic information, can help disentangle the mix of 14C from terrestrial and marine sources. This research has led the way in obtaining reliable calibrated radiocarbon data from Neolithic burials from Portugal and Lapita age sites in Fiji, Samoa, New Britain, Saipan and Vanuatu.

Teaching Commitments


Anthropology; Radiocarbon Dating

Archaeological science

Recent Publications

  • Rowe, C., David, B., Mialanes, J., Ulm, S., Petchey, F., Aird, S., . . . Richards, T. (2019). A Holocene record of savanna vegetation dynamics in southern lowland Papua New Guinea. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 14 pages. doi:10.1007/s00334-019-00724-7 Open Access version:

  • David, B., Aplin, K., Peck, H., Skelly, R., Leavesley, M., Mialanes, J., . . . Ford, A. (2019). Moiapu 3: Settlement on Moiapu Hill at the very end of Lapita, Caution Bay hinterland. In S. Bedford, & M. Spriggs (Eds.), Debating Lapita: Distribution, Chronology, Society and Subsistence (pp. 61-88). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press. doi:10.22459/TA52.2019.03

  • O'Regan, G., Petchey, F., Wood, R., McAlister, A., Bradshaw, F., & Holdaway, S. (2019). Dating South Island Māori rock art: Pigment and pitfalls. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 24, 132-141. doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.12.009

  • Potts, D. T., Radner, K., Squitieri, A., Ameen, A., Rohde, J., Yawar, P., . . . Potts, H. B. (2019). Gird-i Rostam 2018: preliminary report on the first season of excavations by the joint Kurdish-German-American team. JEOL, 47, 91-127.

View All research publications by Fiona Petchey

Contact Details

Room: C.G.01A
Phone: +64 7 838 4278