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 trained at Southampton University and UWA, where I completed my PhD on Aboriginal responses to the environmental changes in south-western Australia resulting from the last glacial period. Since then I've directed research projects investigating archaeological evidence for Late Pleistocene faunal extinctions, past Aboriginal burning and landscape management in south-western Australia, and sampling archaeological sites for ancient DNA extraction and analysis. I have assisted in community consultations in genetic research. Throughout my career I have consulted to communities and industry, and continue to do so, 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
- Assistant Professor, 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 150 industry 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:
Ms C. Monks (2013-)
Mr A. Cooper (2014-)
Ms C. Byrne (2014-)
Ms A. Lullfitz (2014-)
Mr D. Murray (Curtin University) (2013-)
2010: ARCY 2227 and ARCY 7486.
Supervised Honours students:
2013: Ms Bush, Ms Tassone, Ms Hudson, Mr Shepherd.
2011: Mr Forde, Mr Curry-Bowran.
2009: Mr Cameron, Ms Huizen, Mr Johnston, Mr Seah, Ms Rusack (Plant Sciences, UWA), Ms Lee (Archaeology, U. Sydney)
2008: Ms Worrell
2004: Ms Ngo (Archaeology, U. Sydney)
- Current external positions
- Director, Dortch & Cuthbert Pty Ltd
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