Dr Tam Smith

Honorary Fellow

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


Research Interests

  • Coastal palaeoeconomies
    As an archaeomalacologist who has worked in coastal southeast Queensland for the last 30 years, as well as more recently in Zanzibar and Sri Lanka, I use detailed analyses of molluscan assemblages, combined with biological, ecological, and environmental data to assess human behavioural variability through the identification of chronological and spatial trends in site location and resource exploitation, within the context palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. I use molluscan biometrics to determine levels of exploitation, economic strategies and harvesting practices, evidence of resource depletion and sustainability. The molluscs also act as paleoenvironmental proxies, informing on water quality, salinity levels, and sediment loads.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


  • Adams, Shaun, Norman, Kasih, Kemp, Justine, Jacobs, Zenobia, Costelloe, Michael, Fairbairn, Andrew, Robins, Richard, Stock, Errol, Moss, Patrick, Smith, Tam, Love, Serena, Manne, Tiina, Lowe, Kelsey M., Logan, India, Manoel, Michael, McFadden, Karen, Burns, Darren, Falkiner, Zac and Clarkson, Chris (2024). Early human occupation of Australia’s eastern seaboard. Scientific Reports, 14 (1) 2579. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-52000-y

  • Reeder-Myers, Leslie, Braje, Todd J., Hofman, Courtney A., Elliott Smith, Emma A., Garland, Carey J., Grone, Michael, Hadden, Carla S., Hatch, Marco, Hunt, Turner, Kelley, Alice, LeFebvre, Michelle J., Lockman, Michael, McKechnie, Iain, McNiven, Ian J., Newsom, Bonnie, Pluckhahn, Thomas, Sanchez, Gabriel, Schwadron, Margo, Smith, Karen Y., Smith, Tam, Spiess, Arthur, Tayac, Gabrielle, Thompson, Victor D., Vollman, Taylor, Weitzel, Elic M. and Rick, Torben C. (2022). Indigenous oyster fisheries persisted for millennia and should inform future management. Nature Communications, 13 (1) 2383, 1-13. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-29818-z

  • Faulkner, Patrick, Sarathi, Akshay, Crowther, Alison, Smith, Tam, Harris, Matthew, Ali, Abdallah K., Haji, Othman, LaViolette, Adria, Norman, Neil L., Horton, Mark and Boivin, Nicole (2022). Human-ecodynamics and the intertidal zones of the Zanzibar Archipelago. Frontiers in Earth Science, 10 982694, 1-27. doi: 10.3389/feart.2022.982694

View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Smith, Tam, Koshy, Jinu and Aravazhi, P. (2017). Excavating limestone caves in India: the Billa Surgam experience. Beyond stones and more stones: defining Indian prehistoric archaeology. (pp. 261-309) edited by Ravi Korisettar. Bengaluru, India: The Mythic Society.

  • Smith, A. D. (Tam) (2006). MRAP and beyond: Bribie island, Southeast Queensland. An archaeological life: papers in honour of Jay Hall. (pp. 149-160) edited by S. Ulm and I. Lilley. Brisbane, Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, The University of Queensland.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs