McLaughlin, Rowan

Postdoctoral Researcher Associate

Phone: (+34) 607 982 079


Sponsor: European Research Council Executive Agency - H2020 (ref. ERC-2015- CoG – GA 683018)

PhD in Scientific Archaeology from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland (2008), postdoctoral research assistant in Queen’s University (2008-2009), field archaeologist working in Ireland and Scotland (2009-2015), Research Fellow in Queen’s University Belfast supported by the ERC-funded ‘Fragsus’ project 2015-2018. Elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquities of London. Since 2018, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Catalan Institute of Palaeoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES).

My diverse interests lie in multi-disciplinary approaches to understanding economy and human population dynamics in the past. This experience includes palaeodietary studies, chronological modelling and the application of GIS to archaeological and chronological problems. Above all, I am interested in synthesis, combining sources of information and tackling the complexities of the archaeological record, which is both large and diverse, but also at times frustratingly biased and incomplete. To this end, I have been developing methods and theories that attempt to deal with chronological uncertainties in large datasets.

Prior to coming to IPHES I was part of the ‘Fragsus’ project, an ERC-funded team from Belfast, Cambridge and Malta investigating the prehistory of Malta from geoarchaeological, chronological, palaeoecological and palaeodietary perspectives. Other recent collaborations include documenting the archaeological evidence for 17th Century migration between Britain and Ireland, studies in prehistoric and early medieval Britain and Ireland, and developing methods for working with large and complex radiocarbon datasets.

Current project:

PALEODEM. Late Glacial and Postglacial Population History and Cultural Transmission in Iberia (c. 15,000-8,000 cal BP). (ERC-CoG-2015-683018). Funding agency: European Research Council. Role: Postdoctoral researcher. PI: Dr Javier Fernández López de Pablos. In this role I am responsible for chronological modelling, palaeodemographic analysis, and time-series based analysis and meta-analysis of archaeological and environmental data from Iberia.

Selected publications

McLaughlin, T.R., Stoddart, S., and Malone, C. 2018. Island risks and the resilience of a prehistoric civilisation. World Archaeology.

McLaughlin, R., Hannah, E., and Coyle-McClung, L. 2018. Frequency analyses of historical and archaeological datasets reveal the same pattern of declining sociocultural activity in 9th to 10th Century CE Ireland. Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution 9: 1–24.

McLaughlin, T.R. 2018. On applications of space-time modelling with open-source 14C age calibration. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.

McLaughlin, Rowan and Lyttleton, James. 2017. An Archaeology of Northern Ireland, 1600–1650. Belfast: Department for Communities (NI). ISBN 978-1-5262-0612-1

McLaughlin, T.R., Whitehouse, N.J., Schulting, R.J., McClatchie, M., Barratt, P., and Bogaard, A. 2016. The changing face of Neolithic and Bronze Age Ireland: a big data approach to the settlement and burial archives. Journal of World Prehistory 29, 117-153.

McLaughlin, T.R. 2007. Diet in Mesolithic Europe: New evidence from dental microwear. Internet Archaeology  22.