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Current Work

Jillian specialises in the scientific analysis of rock art and the shelter/cave environments that house it. To understand how people interacted intentionally with their landscape, and with each other, she applies instruments and methods from materials science to a range of archaeological finds and site fabrics (particularly pigments). Working collaboratively with Indigenous custodians she has co-designed and conducted rock art conservation projects throughout Australia. A field archaeologist with over a decade of industry experience, Jillian’s research blends the physical sciences with archaeological and anthropological approaches. Her inclusive style has seen her complete extensive consultation programs involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders comprising Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal custodians, regulatory agencies, land owners, the managers and staff of scientific facilities and other special interest groups such as philanthropic bodies, bush walkers, historical societies and artists.

Jillian is a Research Fellow at the Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit within the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research. Her current role is part of Professor Paul Taçon's Australian Laureate Fellowship: ‘Australian rock art history, conservation and Indigenous well-being’.

Expertise Keywords

  • Archaeological Science
  • Australian Archaeology
  • Conservation and Material Science
  • Rock Art
  • Spectroscopy

Subject Area Codes

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
  • Chemical Characterisation of Materials

Country Affiliations

  • Australia

Research Publications and Outputs

Recent Publications

Publications: 16 (Other: 16)

Funded Griffith Research

Engagement and Impact

Learning and Teaching

Research by Higher Degree Supervision or Scholarship

Supervision Overview

Jillian has a number of active research programs with opportunities for graduate projects. Subject areas include: pigment provenance, rock art conservation (condition assessments and experimental treatments), regional archaeopigment studies and ochre quarry geomorphology.


Education and Training

  • BA Bachelor Of Arts With Honours, Australian National University - 2006
  • DPhil Doctor of Philosophy, University of New England - 2015

Academic experience

  • Research Fellow, Place Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit, Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research 2016 -

Awards and Honours

  • UNE Strategic Top-Up Scholarship, University of New England 2009 - 2014
  • Australian Postgraduate Award, Australian Federal Government 2009 - 2014

Professional experience

  • Archaeologist, McCardle Cultural Heritage Pty Ltd 2004 -
  • Archaeologist, Insite Heritage 2004 -
  • Archaeologist, Umwelt (Australia) Pty Limited 2005 - 2009
  • Senior Archaeologist, Rock Art Conservator, Excavation Director, Lithic Technology Analyst, various short term projects for consultancies in NSW, QLD and WA including: Vertus Heritage, Navin Officer Heritage Consultants. IDHA Partners, Extent Heritage, Wallis Heritage Consulting and Snappy Gum Heritage Services 2009 -

Visiting appointments

  • Honorary Research Fellow, University of Queensland 2014 -

Professional memberships

  • AICCM Member, Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material 2018 -
  • IIC Member, International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works 2018 -
  • Member, Australian Rock Art Research Association 2004 -
  • Member, Australian Archaeology Association 2004 -
  • Associate (#5835), Australian Institute for Geoscientists 2014 -