Dr Joe Dortch
Honorary Research Fellow
Adjunct and Honorary Staff and Visitors (Social Sciences)
- Contact details
- Adjunct and Honorary Staff and Visitors (Social Sciences)
The University of Western Australia (M257)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
- 6488 2860
- Personal homepage
- BA S'ton, PhD W.Aust.
- I'm interested in the interaction between past hunter-gatherer societies and their environments, particularly in Australia.
I've directed research projects investigating Aboriginal responses to environmental change, archaeological evidence for Late Pleistocene faunal extinctions, and past Aboriginal burning and landscape management in south-western Australia. I have also consulted to communities and industry, assessing heritage sites and recommending management strategies, in south-western Australlia, metropolitan Perth, Pilbara, Goldfields and Gascoyne regions.
- Key research
- Environmental archaeology; Australian Aboriginal archaeology; ethnography and archaeology; taphonomy; faunal remains analysis; macroscopic charcoal analysis (anthracology); stone artefact analysis; application of Geographical Information Systems in archaeology; ancient DNA in aarchaeology.
Murray, D., Haile, J., Dortch, J., White, N., Haouchar, D., Bellgard, M.I., Allcock, R.I., Prideaux, G.J., and Bunce, M. 2013 Scrapheap Challenge: A novel bulk-bone metabarcoding method to investigate ancient DNA in faunal assemblages. Scientific Reports 3: 3371.
Dortch, J., Balme, J. and Ogilvie, J. 2012 Aboriginal responses to Late Quaternary environmental change in a Mediterranean-type region: zooarchaeological evidence from south-western Australia. Quaternary International 264:121-134.
Rusack, E., Dortch, J., Hayward, K., Renton, M., Grierson, P., & Boer, M. 2012 The role of habitus in the maintenance of traditional Noongar plant knowledge in southwest Western Australia. Human Ecology 39: 673-682.
Rasmussen, M., and 56 others, including Dortch, J. 2011 An Aboriginal Australian Genome Reveals Separate Human Dispersals into Asia. Science 22 Sep 2011.
Gunn, R.G., Dortch, J., Ogleby, C., & Thorn, A. 2011 The petroglyphs of the Kybra Aboriginal Site, South-Western Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 94: 557-581.
Dortch, J. and Wright, R.V.S. 2010 Identifying palaeo-environments and changes in Aboriginal subsistence from dual-patterned faunal assemblages, south-western Australia. Journal of Archaeological Science 37:1053-1064.
Oskam., C., Haile, J., Rigby, P., Alemtoft, M., Olsen, M., Gifford, M., Jacomb, C., Baynes, A. Dortch, J., Parker-Pearson, M., Gilbert, T., Holdaway, R., Willerslev, E., Bunce, M. 2010 Fossil avian eggshell preserves ancient DNA. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277:1991-2000.
Dortch, J., Dortch, C., and Reynolds, R. 2006 Investigation of Aboriginal fish-traps at Oyster Harbour, south-western Australia. Australian Archaeology 61: 38-43.
Trueman, C.N.G., Field, J.H., Dortch, J., Charles, B., and Wroe, S. 2005 Prolonged co-existence of humans and megafauna in Pleistocene Australia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102: 8381-8385.
Dortch, J. 2005 Reconstructing Aboriginal impacts on Australian forests. In M. Calver (ed.) Proceedings of the 6th National Conference of the Australian Forest History Society, pp. 527-541. Millpress, Rotterdam.
Dortch, J. 2004 Late Quaternary extinction of Black-footed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis) in south-western Australia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 211: 185-204.
Wroe, S., Crowther, M., Dortch, J., and Chong, J. 2004 The size of the largest marsupial and why it matters. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 271: S34-S36.
Field, J., Fullagar, R., Dortch, J., and Dutkiewicz, A. 2003 Sandstone quarries and grinding stone manufacture: survey and excavation at Yambacoona Hill in south-eastern Australia. Australian Archaeology 56: 46-47.
Turney, C.S.M., Bird, M.I., Fifield, L.K., Roberts, R.G., Smith, M., Dortch, C.E., Grun, R., Lawson, E., Ayliffe, L.K., Miller, G.H., Dortch, J. and Cresswell, R.G. 2001 Early human occupation at Devil's Lair, southwestern Australia 50,000 years ago. Quaternary Research 55: 3-13.
Dortch, C.E., and Dortch, J. 1997 Aboriginal occupation in the limestone caves and rock shelters of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Region, Western Australia: research background and archaeological perspective. Western Australian Naturalist 21: 191-206.
Dortch, J. 1996 Late Pleistocene and recent Aboriginal occupation at Tunnel Cave and Witchcliffe Rock Shelter, Naturaliste Region, south-western Australia. Australian Aboriginal Studies 1996 (2): 51-60.
Dortch, C.E., and Dortch, J. 1996 Review of Devil’s Lair artifact classification and radiocarbon chronology. Australian Archaeology 43: 28-31.
Dortch, J. 1994 Pleistocene radiocarbon dates for hearths at Tunnel Cave, south-western Australia. Australian Archaeology 38: 45-46.
Dortch, J. 2004 Palaeo-environmental change and the persistence of human occupation in south-western Australian forests. British Archaeological Reports, International Series S1288. Oxford: Archaeopress.
- Roles, responsibilities and expertise
- Honorary Research Fellow, UWA
Research Associate, WA Museum
Partner investigator on "Ancient DNA from cave sediments: a new horizon in the archaeology of Aboriginal Australia", collaboration with Murdoch and Copenhagen Universities
- Funding received
- 2011 ARC Discovery Project, with M. Bunce, J. Haile, and T. Gilbert, Ancient DNA from cave sediments: a new horizon in the archaeology of Aboriginal Australia, $152,000.
2007 Co-wrote an Australian Research Council Linkage Project, with Prof J. Balme and Prof J. Dodson as Chief Investigators, Aboriginal Landscape Transformations, ARC contribution $378,000, partner contributions ~$450,000 (UWA, ANSTO, South Coast NRM, South-West Catchments Council, WA Dept of Environment and Conservation, and Gondwanalink).
2003 University of Sydney Sesquicentenary Research and Development Fund, A new radiometric chronology for Lancefield Swamp and the extinction of Australian megafauna, $25,000.
2003 ARC Discovery Project (including Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship), Late Pleistocene faunal change and the formation of fossil deposits: a taphonomic approach, $253,000.
2002 University of Sydney Sesquicentenary Research and Development Fund, A novel geochemical approach to investigating the burial history of fossil bones: Rare Earth Element analyses, $27,500.
- Industrial relevance
- Since 1992 I have provided cultural heritage management advice on more than 140 development and community projects.
- English, French
- Australian Archaeological Association
Full Member, Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists
Society for American Archaeology
- Previous positions
- Director, Eureka Archaeological Research & Consulting (a UWA business unit that closed in August 2013)
- PhD students:
Mr A. Cooper (2014-)
Ms C. Monks (2013-)
2010: ARCY 2227 and ARCY 7486.
Supervised Honours students:
2013: Ms Bush, Ms Tassone, Ms Hudson, Mr Shepherd.
2011: Mr Forde (2A), Mr Curry-Bowran (2B).
2009: Mr Cameron (1st class), Ms Huizen (2A), Mr Johnston (2B), Mr Seah (2A); Ms Rusack (Botany; 1st); Ms Lee (Archaeology, U. Sydney; 2A)
2008: Ms Worrell (1st)
2004: Ms Ngo (Archaeology, U. Sydney; 2A)
- Current external positions
- Research Associate, WA Museum
Vice-president, WA Chapter, Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc.
- Current projects
- Archaeological interpretation of ancient DNA from cave sediments.
Study of past Noongar landscape management, through assessment of fire ecology, palaeo-ecology and fine-scale environmental, archaeological, historic and oral records.
Grinding stones and their environmental contexts in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
Review of the Lancefield megafauna site.
- Research profile
Research profile and publications