Dr Kelsey Lowe

Senior Research Fellow

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


My research interests involve integrating interdisciplinary methods with particular emphasis on archaeological geophysics, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and geoarchaeology in archaeological research. Recent work explores the potential use and comparability of soil magnetic susceptibility with other techniques like soil chemistry and geochronology, to understand the nature and persistence of Pleistocene human occupation in Australia. Outside Australia, I have been involved in several international projects in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Indonesia, North and South America, Papua New Guinea and Southeast Asia.

I also have significant relevant industry experience as a consultant in cultural heritage management in Australia and the U.S. I have worked casually as a Senior Heritage Advisor in Australia since 2011 and started my own cultural heritage business specialising in geophysics during the COVID pandemic. Before commencing my PhD, I was a full-time Project Manager at Coastal Environments Incorporated in the U.S. after completing my M.A. at the University of Mississippi. My role involved the management of cultural resources for both federal (e.g. Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Coast Guard) and state (e.g. Mississippi Department of Transportation and Mississippi Department of Archives and History) agencies along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Research Interests

  • Archaeological geophysics
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Geographic information systems
  • Cultural Heritage Management

Research Impacts

My research focuses on developing techniques that assist in understanding past human behaviour, cultural landscapes, and modern humans' spread through archaeological geophysical applications. These findings have been disseminated in 26 scientific journal articles and 46 international and national conference papers. My PhD research (2014) was instrumental in identifying the earliest Pleistocene occupations at two archaeological sites where the stratigraphic integrity was questioned because the deposits were primarily sand and where there was no clear way to corroborate the lithic record in these deposits to the geochronology. I resolved the questions about the onset of human occupation and its association with specific stratigraphic levels through a novel technique that can be applied globally to identify human occupation. As a benchmark for archaeological geophysics, this work led to my involvement in significant and high-profile research projects in Australia, Indonesia and the Caribbean and as an Associate Investigator for the Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH) and a Senior Research Fellow for the UQ Building Capacity for a Centre for the Anthropocene Project.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


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Grants (Administered at UQ)