Nicole Boivin graduated from University of Calgary in 1992, later earning her MPhil (1996) and PhD (2001) from the University of Cambridge. She is currently the Director of the Department of Archaeology at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) in Jena, Germany.
One of Boivin’s most significant contributions to archaeology is that her work cross-cuts the traditional divide between the natural sciences and humanities, exploring the entanglement of biological, cultural and ecological processes from prehistory to the present. Her primary geographic areas of research are South Asia, Arabia, East Africa and the Indian Ocean. Her most recent ERC funded project Sealinks investigated the emergence of long-distance trade and connectivity in the Indian Ocean, and its relationship to processes of biological exchange and translocation. She is interested in human history over the long-term, and the broad patterns of migration, interaction and environmental manipulation that have shaped the human story.
Boivin is author of Material Cultures, Material Minds: The Role of Things in Human Thought, Society and Evolution (2008, Cambridge University Press). She is editor of several books, most recently Human Dispersal and Species Movements: From Prehistory to the Present (in press, Cambridge University Press).
In her new role at the MPI-SHH she has been a strong advocate for women in archaeology, resulting in a strong gender balance in the Department of Archaeology. She serves as a mentor for early career scholars, promoting work-life balance and paving new avenues for women archaeologists from different backgrounds.
Written by Alicia Ventresca Miller
Editing and additional content by Becky