Michael Benedetti

Associated Researcher, ICArEHB

Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behaviour (ICArEHB)
FCHS, University of Algarve
Campus de Gambelas
8005-139 Faro

Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences
University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 South College Road
Wilmington NC 28403

 (001) 9109627650

ORCID: 0000-0002-2900-887X

Research Interests

Dr. Benedetti is a physical geographer with interests in geomorphology, Quaternary geology, and Paleolithic geoarchaeology. His research investigates the response of soils, sediments, and landforms to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. His recent projects have focused on late Quaternary sea level and climate change, landscape change in archaeological settings, and the influence of floods on sediment transport in large rivers.

Short Bio

• Ph.D., M.S., University Of Wisconsin (2000).
• A.B., University Of Chicago (1991).

• Professor, Earth & Ocean Sciences, University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Research Grants, US National Science Foundation
• Inquiry into the origins of modern human distributions. (BCS-1725015, 2017-2020).
• Neanderthal and modern human response to environmental change at the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition, Lapa do Picareiro, Portugal. (BCS-1420453, 2014-2017).
• Human responses to Late Pleistocene coastal environmental change in Portuguese Estremadura (BCS-1118183, 2011-2014).

Grants and Awards, UNC Wilmington
• Undergraduate Research Awards: Spring 2016, Summer 2013.
• Research Reassignment Awards: Fall 2016; Spring 2009.
• Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award: 2014.
• Office of International Programs, Faculty Travel Awards: 2006-17.

Advising – Student Research
• 5 graduate thesis, 6 undergraduate honors thesis, and 28 independent study projects advised.
• 10 peer-reviewed publications with student co-authors.
• Over 40 professional presentations with student co-authors.
• 4 Research Experiences for Undergraduates supplement grants, U.S. National Science Foundation.

Professional Service 
• Editorial Boards: The North Carolina Geographer, Explorations – The North Carolina Undergraduate Research Journal.
• Grant Proposal Technical Committees: Water Resources Research Institute of North Carolina (2002); Environmental Protection Agency (2006); National Science Foundation (2012).

Research Interests

I am a geoarchaeologist interested in unravelling past human behavior from its sedimentary signatures. My main interests concern the interaction between past humans and their environment. I focus on two main lines of research: (1) reconstructing the context and site formation processes underlying the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition and emergence of Anatomically Modern Humans; and (2) deciphering behavioral events from anthropogenic sediments, such as Paleolithic fire use, Neanderthal funerary behavior, and the construction of shell mounds. I am particularly interested in assessing the “invisible record” embedded in archaeological sediments, and to achieve this I use micromorphological investigations of archaeological deposits.