Fellow Detail

Photo of Iza Romanowska
Name Iza Romanowska
Affiliation University of Southampton
Research area code (F4) Forensic & archaeological sciences
Fellowship Inauguration Year 2016
Short Biography

In 2012 having just completed an MA in archaeology but with virtually no background in mathematics, programming or the exact sciences, I started a PhD in the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation at the University of Southampton. Three years and a few hundreds hours of coding in Python, R and NetLogo later, I can demonstrate that there is nothing that an eager humanities student cannot learn. This experience of being fast-tracked into computer science has also made me a vocal champion of the wider use of simulation to tackle questions about the human past.

I use simulation techniques, in particular Agent-based Modelling (ABM), to study the evolutionary processes that led to the evolution of anatomically modern humans (AMH). I am particularly interested in the earliest journey of the genus Homo: the first ‘Out of Africa’ dispersal 1.8 million years ago, which saw hominins rapidly peopling parts of Africa, Europe and Asia. My research uses the computational framework of ABM to investigate non-linear dynamics between climate fluctuations and the evolution of ‘behavioural versatility’ - an umbrella term to denote human-specific adaptability pattern that enabled our species to reach all corners of the planet and become the most widely distributed organism in history.

In parallel to this work I have developed a set of teaching materials for archaeologists interested in simulation and I promote the wider use of simulation software within the archaeological and humanities communities.

Previous events

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Blog Posts

Blog Publish date
What it’s like to be a Fellow if your background is in humanities Wednesday, 19 December 2018
From zero to a responsible software developer in a week Monday, 16 October 2017
The grand challenges of teaching coding to humanities students Friday, 07 July 2017