Dr Fiona Petchey

Senior Research Fellow; Deputy Director

Qualifications: MA(Hons) Anthropology Auckland, DPhil Waikato

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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

  • Verpoorte, A., Cosgrove, R., Wood, R., Petchey, F., Lenoble, A., Chadelle, J. P., . . . Roebroeks, W. (2019). Improving the chronological framework for Laugerie-Haute Ouest (Dordogne, France). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 23, 574-582. doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.11.017

  • Posth, C., Nägele, K., Colleran, H., Valentin, F., Bedford, S., Kami, K. W., . . . Powell, A. (2018). Language continuity despite population replacement in remote Oceania. Nature Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0498-2

  • Petchey, F., Clark, G., Lindeman, I., O'Day, P., Southon, J., Dabell, K., & Winter, O. (2018). Forgotten news: Shellfish isotopic insight into changing sea-level and associated impact on the first settlers of the Mariana Archipelago. Quaternary Geochronology, 48, 180-194. doi:10.1016/j.quageo.2018.10.002

  • Skelly, R., David, B., Leavesley, M., Petchey, F., Guise, A., Tsang, R., . . . Richards, T. (2018). Changing ceramic traditions at Agila ancestral village, Hood Bay, Papua New Guinea. Australian Archaeology, 84(2), 181-195. doi:10.1080/03122417.2018.1515146

View All research publications by Fiona Petchey

Contact Details

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