About me

Hello, I’m Lucy Timbrell, a PhD student from the Archaeology of Human Origins Research Group at the University of Liverpool!

I am a palaeoanthropologist from Gloucestershire in South West England. I am fascinated by the evolution of modern human diversity; how and why we look and behave differently from each other and from our hominin ancestors.

I was awarded my BSc Hons in Evolutionary Anthropology from the University of Liverpool in 2018 and MPhil in Biological Anthropological Science from the University of Cambridge in 2020. Both my masters and undergraduate projects used 3D geometric morphometrics and traditional morphometrics to investigate questions about modern human morphological diversity.

My PhD in Archaeology at the University of Liverpool was borne from my interest in relatively recent human evolution, and will involve analysing climatic, geographic and archaeological data to decipher the nature of population dynamics of the earliest Homo sapiens groups in Africa. For my PhD, I am learning new analytical methods like climatic modelling and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), as well applying geometric morphometrics to archaeological materials. Due to the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, I am developing a remote collaborative data collection model for geometric morphometric analysis from photographs with numerous institutions and researchers all over the world. My PhD is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council – North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, The Leakey Foundation and The Wenner Gren Foundation.

In my free time, I co-organise the University of Liverpool Evolutionary Anthropology Seminar Series and the NOrthern Palaeoanth and Evoanth (NOPE) Network. I also teach in the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool and have an Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

To find the most up-to-date list of my publications, please check out my Google Scholar profile. Here’s a quick overview:

Title Reference
Using the shape of the basicranial portion of the temporal bone to distinguish between relatively closely-related human populationsTimbrell, L. and Plomp, K. (2019). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 26(101885)
How to read stone tools: A new mode system for describing variation in the Eastern African lithic record?Timbrell, L. (2020). Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News and Reviews. 29(5): 280–282
Strength in Numbers: Combining Old Datasets to Answer New QuestionsTimbrell, L. (2020). In: New Frontiers in Archaeology
Proceedings of the Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference 2019.
Conversations in Human Evolution: Volume 1Timbrell, L. (2020). Archaeopress.
Conversations in Human Evolution: Volume 2Timbrell, L. (2021). Archaeopress.
The University of Liverpool Evolutionary Seminar Series: transcending the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemicTimbrell, L. and Phillips, C. (2021). Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News and Reviews. 30(4): 236:241
A spatiotemporally explicit palaeoenvironmental framework for the Middle Stone Age of eastern AfricaTimbrell, L., Grove, M., Manica, A., Rucina, S. and Blinkhorn, J. (2022). Scientific Reports.
The importance of noise colour in simulations of evolutionary systemsGrove, M., Timbrell, L., Jolley, B., Polack, F. and Borg, M. J. (2022). Artificial Life. 27(3).
Evaluating refugia in recent human evolution in AfricaBlinkhorn, J., Timbrell, L., Grove, M. and Scerri, E.M.L. (2022). Philosophical Transactions B.
A collaborative model for lithic shape digitisation in museum settingsTimbrell, L. (2022). Lithic Technology.
Testing inter-observer error under a collaborative research framework for studying lithic shape variabilityTimbrell, L., Scott, C., Habte, B., Tefera, Y., Monod, H., Qazzih, M., Marais, B., Black, W., Maroma, C., Ndiema, E., Henderson, S., Elmes, K., Plomp, K and Grove, M. (2022). Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 14, 209 
Technological and geometric morphometric analysis of ‘post-Howiesons Poort’ points at Border Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaTimbrell, L., de la Peña, P., Way, A., Hoggard, C. S., Backwell, L., d’Errico, F., Wadley, L. and Grove, M. (accepted). Quaternary Science Reviews.
Moving far or moving often? A neglected axis of variation in hunter-gatherer mobilityGrove, M., Hall, H., Benson, A., Timbrell L. and French, J. (in submission). Journal of Archaeological Sciences: Reports
From difference to inequality in human forager societiesGrove, M., Hall, H. and Timbrell, L. (in prep). Philosophical Transactions B.
An assessment of the effects of wall topography on sex estimations from Palaeolithic hand stencilsCrosby, H., Filskow, E. and Timbrell, L. (in prep). EXARC

Recently, I did an interview with The Leakey Foundation as part of their Grantee Spotlights series. You can read my interview here!

Thanks for supporting me and Conversations in Human Evolution!

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