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Dr Katie Manning

Dr Katie Manning


Katie ManningSenior Research Associate


Project website:






Research interests

  • Palaeoecology
  • Palaeodemography
  • Human response to climate change
  • Later prehistory of the Sahara and Sahel

My research is focussed on dietary and demographic changes in prehistory and more broadly, on the human response to climatic change.  I am a lead researcher on the GreenSahara project, hosted by King’s College London and the University of Bristol, which aims to investigate the timing, spatial extent and demographic response to the Holocene African Humid Period.

My PhD research, obtained from the University of Oxford in 2009, involved extensive excavation, survey and ethnographic fieldwork in northern Mali, examining the origins of African agriculture and cultural development in light of climatic change. More recently, my research agenda has broadened, drawing inspiration from ecology and climate science, with particular emphasis on the influence of environmental change (whether through exogenous or anthropogenic forces) on effective carrying capacity, particularly in the context of the European Neolithic, and the impact this has on human sustainability. These questions have major implications for understanding links between climate change, demography and cultural adaptation, which are of direct concern to many contemporary socio-environmental and economic issues. My methods in tackling these questions are highly quantitative and have developed out of an increasingly inter-disciplinary approach and a motivation to integrate anthropological data with some of the fundamental ‘big questions’ in human ecology.

Latest research output

Manning, K. 2016. The Cultural Evolution of Neolithic Europe. EUROEVOL Dataset 2: Zooarchaeological data. Journal of Open Archaeology Data 5, p.e3

Manning, K., Colledge, S., Crema, E., Shennan, S. and Timpson, A. 2016. The Cultural Evolution of Neolithic Europe. EUROEVOL Dataset 1: Stes, Phases and Radiocarbon data. Journal of Open Archaeology Data 5, p.e2.

Manning, K., Crema, E, Timpson, A and Shennan. 2015. Osteometric analysis confirms substantial size reduction in early European domestic cattle. PlosOne e0141873(12).

Bentley, A., O’Brien, M.J., Manning, K. and Shennan, S.2015.On the relevance of the European Neolithic. Antiquity 89 (347): 1203-1210.

Manning, K., Timpson, A. (2015). Response to “Comment on ‘The demographic response to Holocene climate change in the Sahara’. Quaternary Science Reviews, 111, 173-175. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.12.008

Timpson, A., Manning, K., Shennan, S. (2015). Inferential mistakes in population proxies: A response to Torfing's “Neolithic population and summed probability distribution of 14C-dates”. Journal of Archaeological Science 63: 199-202. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2015.08.018

Manning, K., Timpson, A., Colledge, S., Crema, E., Edinborough, K., Kerig, T., Shennan, S. 2014. The chronology of culture: a comparative assessment of European Neolithic dating approaches. Antiquity: a quarterly review of archaeology, 88 (342), 1065-1080. 

Manning, K., Timpson, A. (2014). The demographic response to Holocene climate change in the Sahara.  Quaternary Science Reviews, 101 28-35. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.07.003

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