Prof Nicole Boivin

Nicole Boivin is a Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany. Her research is cross-disciplinary, exploring the ways that humans have adapted to and reshaped the planet over thousands of years.

She is committed to bringing information about the past to bear on contemporary challenges, and her Department’s research explores how archaeological data can inform present-day issues ranging from climate change and the Anthropocene to globalization, food security and migration.  Since June 2020, Professor Boivin is spearheading the reorientation of the Max Plank Institute for the Science of Human History.

Nicole Boivin is author of Material Cultures, Material Minds: The Role of Things in Human Thought, Society and Evolution (2008, Cambridge University Press), and editor of several books, most recently Human Dispersal and Species Movements: From Prehistory to the Present (2017, Cambridge University Press) and Globalisation and the ‘People without History’: Understanding Contact and Exchange in Prehistory (Cambridge University Press, 2018). She has been awarded research funding from the European Research Council, National Geographic Society, Natural Environment Research Council UK, Australian Research Council, British Academy, and Arts and Humanities Research Council UK, amongst others prestigious organisations. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, holds an Honorary Professorship at the University of Queensland, and is an Affiliated Researcher at the University of Calgary and the Smithsonian Institution. She sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for several institutions and organisations, including the Global Institute for Silk Road Studies in China, and the Centre for Global Knowledge Studies at the University of Cambridge.