Professor Chris Clarkson


School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 53235


I studied archaeology at the University of Queensland, then completed my PhD at the Australian National University under the supervision of Prof Peter Hiscock and Distinguished Professor Sue O'Connor on Holocene technological and cultural change in Wardaman Country, Northern Territory. I then took up a postdoctoral Fellowship in the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolution at the University of Cambridge, working closely with Professors Robert Foley, Marta Mirazon Lahr and Michael Petraglia. I returned to UQ as an ARC Fellow in 2004 and then took up a lectureship in the School of Social Science in 2005. My teaching is centred on stone tools, ancient technologies, Anustralian Indigenous heritage, Human Evolution and other topics. My research involves working closely with Aboriginal people documenting their cultural heritage, understanding the evolution of our species and the migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa and long-term change in many parts of the world, including East Timor, France, Africa, and India. I am currently working on Australia's oldest known site of Madjedbebe in close collaboration with the Mirarr and Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, and the site of Malangangerr with the Manilikarr, Njanmja Aboriginal Corporation and Kakadu National Park.

Research Interests

  • Long-term cultural and technological change in western Arnhem Land
    In collaboration with Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, Njanmja Aboriginal Corporation and Kakadu National Park
  • The technological signature of Homo sapiens Out of Africa migration
  • Long-term cultural change on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island)
    In collaboration with Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and Everick Heritage PTY LTD
  • Global origins of stone projectile point technology


  • Bachelor of Arts, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University


  • Adams, Shaun, Norman, Kasih, Kemp, Justine, Jacobs, Zenobia, Costelloe, Michael, Fairbairn, Andrew, Robins, Richard, Stock, Errol, Moss, Patrick, Smith, Tam, Love, Serena, Manne, Tiina, Lowe, Kelsey M., Logan, India, Manoel, Michael, McFadden, Karen, Burns, Darren, Falkiner, Zac and Clarkson, Chris (2024). Early human occupation of Australia’s eastern seaboard. Scientific Reports, 14 (1) 2579. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-52000-y

  • Samper Carro, S. C., O'Connor, S., Kealy, S., Jones, R. K., Raymond, C., Boulanger, C., Hawkins, S., Lu, T., Langley, M. C. and Clarkson, C. (2024). Exploring changing occupation dynamics at the lakeside cave site Matja Kuru 2, Timor-Leste. Quaternary Science Advances, 13 100127, 100127. doi: 10.1016/j.qsa.2023.100127

  • Norman, Kasih, Bradshaw, Corey J.A., Saltré, Frédérik, Clarkson, Chris, Cohen, Tim J., Hiscock, Peter, Jones, Tristen and Boesl, Fabian (2024). Sea level rise drowned a vast habitable area of north-western Australia driving long-term cultural change. Quaternary Science Reviews, 324 108418, 108418. doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2023.108418

View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

View all Available Projects



Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.