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Professor Susana Carvalho

Associate Professor, Fellow in Palaeoanthropology


Chimpanzee behaviour (especially tool use, material culture), primate archaeology; origins and evolution of technology, archaeology of East African Pliocene, novel methods for primatological/archaeological data collection and analyses. I am a primatologist and archaeologist interested in the evolution of technological behaviour, specialising in wild chimpanzee tool use and in Pliocene archaeology. I am one of the founders of the field of primate archaeology.

My research includes: wild chimpanzee tool-use based on natural observations and field experimentation; resource exploitation strategies in human and non-human primates; classification and analysis of tools used by wild chimpanzees; hominin and chimpanzee raw material preferences; earliest hominin tool-use sites and assemblages; evolution of carrying behaviour (transport) and other technology-related behaviours. This inter-disciplinary research has taken me to East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique) and West Africa (Guinea). I continue studies of the first percussive technologies of extinct hominins, as found in the Great Rift of Africa, especially at Lake Turkana. In 2015, I became Director for Paleontology and Primatology in one of the most diverse African ecosystems: Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique.


I am an Associate Professor in Palaeoanthropology at the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology and St Hugh’s College. I received a BA in Archaeology from Oporto University (1997), then a MSc in Human Evolution from Coimbra University (2007), after having worked some years in between in municipal archaeology. My PhD in Biological Anthropology from Cambridge (2013) focused on living primates as behavioural models for the origins of technology. I held a Junior Research Fellowship at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and had postdoctoral positions at Oxford and at the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology, George Washington University, USA. I joined the University of Oxford in 2015, as Associate Professor of Palaeoanthropology and Fellow of St. Hugh’s College.


  • Hockings J.K., Bryson-Morrison N., Carvalho S., Fujisawa M., Humle T., McGrew W., Nakamura M., Ohashi G., Yamanashi Y., Yamakoshi G., Matsuzawa T. Tools to tipple: Ethanol ingestion by wild chimpanzees using leaf-sponges. Royal Society Open Sci 2: 150150.
  • Benito-Calvo A.*, Carvalho S.*, Arroyo A., Matsuzawa T., de la Torre I. First GIS analysis of modern stone tools used by wild chimpanzees in Bossou, Guinea, West Africa. PLoS ONE 10: e0121613.
  • Hockings K., McLennan M., Carvalho S., Ancrenaz M., Bobe R., Byrne R., Dunbar R., Matsuzawa T., McGrew W., Wood B., Wrangham R., Hill C. Apes in the Anthropocene: Adaptation & Survival. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 30: 215-222.
  • Caruana M., Carvalho S., Braun D., Presnyakova D., Haslam M., Archer W., Bobe R., Harris J. Quantifying traces of tool use: A novel morphometric analysis of damage patterns on percussive tools. PLoS ONE 9: e113856.
  • Haslam M., Gumert M., Biro D., Carvalho S., Malaivijitnond S. (2013). Use-Wear patterns on wild macaque stone tools reveal their behavioural history. PLoS ONE 8(8): e72872.
  • Carvalho S., Matsuzawa T., McGrew W. (2013). From pounding to knapping: How living apes can help us model hominin lithics. In: C. Sanz, J. Call, C. Boesch (Eds.). Tool Use in Animals: Cognition and Ecology. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 225-241.
Associate Professor, Fellow in Palaeoanthropology
Archaeology and Anthropology
Academic - Fellows & Lecturers