André Carlo Colonese

Contact information
Coastal ecosystems
Marine historical ecology
Foraging-early food production
Archaeological science
(ERC-Consolidator grant)TRADITION
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Research lines

  • Historical Ecology of small-scale fisheries in South America
  • Early food production and coastal adapation in pre-Columbian Atlantic Forest of Brazil
  • Coastal adapation and transition to farming in the Mediterranean basin

I started my undergraduate degree in History, at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Florianópolis, Brazil), but after one year moved to Italy and completed a degree in Prehistoric Archaeology at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, followed by a PhD on Cultures and Environments of the Pleistocene at the Università degli Studi di Siena. My PhD focused on light stable isotopic analysis of land snail shells to reconstruct local climate and environmental conditions in archaeology. I then took up a postdoctoral position at the Institucion Mila y Fontanals in Barcelona (CSIC) to investigate early coastal adaptations in southern South America. In 2011 I was awarded a Marie Curie Intra-European research fellowship to work on stable isotopes and organic residue analysis at the BioArCh research centre, University of York (UK). In 2013 I started an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC, UK) postdoctoral position at the University of York in which I employed organic residue and stable isotope analyses on ceramic artefacts. In 2017 I became Lecturer in Bioarchaeology at the University of York, and in 2019 I took up a position as Director of Researcher in the Department of Prehistory and ICTA at the UAB.

I am an environmental and biomolecular archaeologist who uses archaeozoology, light stable isotope and organic residue analyses to obtain information on human-environment interactions and economic practices in the past. I am the Principal Investigator of TRADITION, an ERC-Consolidator project in the Department of Prehistory and ICTA-UAB. With TRADITION I aim to show the potential of archaeology and history to inform current-day management and conservation strategies for small-scale fisheries in tropical and subtropical South America. Coastal areas offered variable conditions for population growth, technological and economic innovation and social complexity in the past. As such, I am also interested in the nature and development of early food production in tropical coastal areas of South America (Atlantic Forest) and the role that Mediterranean coastal environments had in supporting Pleistocene and Holocene foragers and early farming communities in this region.


Works on faunal assemblages from...

Pre-Columbian and historical faunal remains from several sites in southern Brazil within the context of project TRADITION


Research project

2019 – in progress. ERC-Consolidator Grant: TRADITION No 817911

2019 – In progress. National Geographi Explorer Grant: Exploring the origin of food production in the Atlantic Forest


Featured publications

Cubas, M., Lucquin, A., Robson, H.K., Colonese, A.C., Arias, P., Aubry, B., Billard, C., Jan, D., Diniz, M., Fernandes, R., Valcarce, R.F., Germain-Vallée, C., Juhel, L., de Lombera-Hermida, A., Marcigny, C., Mazet, S., Marchand, G., Neves, C., Ontañón-Peredo, R., Rodríguez-Álvarez, X.P., Simões, T., Zilhão, J., Craig, O.C. Latitudinal gradient in dairy production with the introduction of farming in Atlantic Europe. Nature Communication. In press

Fossile, T., Ferreira, J., Bandeira, DR., Figuti, L., da Silva, S.D., Hausmann, N., Robson, H.K., Colonese, A.C. 2019. Pre-Columbian fisheries catch reconstruction for a subtropical estuary in South America. Fish and Fisheries.

Hendy, J., Colonese, A.C., Franz, I., Fernandes, R., Fischer, R., Orton, D., Spindler, L., Anvari, J., Stroud, E., Biehl, P.F., Speller, C., Boivin, N., Mackie, M., Jersie-Christensen, R.R., Olsen, J.V., Collins, M.J., Craig, O.E., Rosenstock, E. 2018. Ancient proteins in ceramic vessels from Çatalhöyük West reveal the hidden cuisine of early farmers. Nature Communication, 4064.

Pezo-Lanfranco, L., Eggers, S., Petronilho, C., Toso, A., Bandeira, D., Von Tersch, M., dos Santos, AMP., Correia, B., Meyer, R., Colonese, A.C. 2018. Middle Holocene plant cultivation on the Atlantic Forest coast of Brazil? Royal Society Open Science, 5: 180432.

Colonese, A.C., Hendy, J., Lucquin, A., Speller, C., Collins, M., Carrer, F., Gubler, R., Kühn, K., Craig, O.E. 2017. New criteria for the molecular identification of cereal grains associated with archaeological artefacts. Scientific Reports, 7, 6633.

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