I am an archaeobotanical scientist specialising in the analysis of charred plant macro-fossils, with a focus on plant food and wood fuel use. I investigate the deep histories of human foodways and management of vegetation resources, looking at plant species targeted by prehistoric foragers during the Middle Palaeolithic, Upper Palaeolithic, and Epipalaeolithic. I work on time periods dating to the demise of the Neanderthals and the proliferation of early modern humans, and the latest hunter-gatherer groups in Southwest Asia and parts of Mediterranean Europe. I also investigate the transition to farming and crop domestication in habitations with some of the earliest evidence for settled life and agricultural practices (Pre-pottery Neolithic and later Neolithic) in Southwest Asia. The time depth of my current research, spanning ~75,000 to 8,000 years ago, captures a series of momentous shifts in human lifeways, including technological changes in food preparation, intensive management of vegetation resources, and the establishment of the earliest farming societies.
Before joining ICArEHB in 2023, I was a Research Associate and a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow (2017-2022) at the University of Liverpool (UK). My PhD in Archaeology (2015, Liverpool), looked at woodland use and impacts on vegetation in Anatolia by the last foragers and the earliest farmers. I received my Anthropology MA from Trent University (Canada) and Anthropology and Economics BA from Ithaca College (USA). I grew up in Turkey with the ambition to see the world, and archaeology has allowed me to do this through my education, academic career and field projects.