Dr Ingrid Ward

Started at UWA: 2011

Interdisciplinary scientist with a passion for understanding human-landscape dynamics  

The resolution of the archaeological record is the critical limiting factor in understanding past human occupation.Dr Ingrid Ward

Dr Ingrid Ward is a well-recognised geoarchaeologist on both terrestrial and marine archaeological landscapes in UWA’s School of Social Sciences. Her academic career began in the environmental geosciences before digressing into archaeology undertaking an Master of Arts in marine archaeology through James Cook University and then a PhD in geoarchaeology through the University of Wollongong.

Since obtaining her doctorate, Dr Ward has applied her geoscience skills and knowledge in regulatory, consultancy and academic roles both in the UK and Australia. In 2014, after a period away in the UK, she joined the ARC-funded Barrow Island Archaeology Project, leading geoarchaeological and micromorphological research on the 50,000 year old cave site. In 2017 she started a post-doctoral position with the Deep History of Sea Country project, and then in 2018 secured an ARC DECRA fellowship, largely focused around the Barrow-Montebello Island complex. In 2020 she founded the INQUA-funded working group onSubmerged Palaeolandscapes in the Southern Hemisphere.

Dr Ward’s geoarchaeological research interests are both theoretical and applied, and include conceptual models for wreck site formation and archaeological site formation, defining the potential for submerged cultural marine sites and landscapes on the North West shelf, and pioneering use of technologies (e.g., micromorphology, automated mineralogy, ITRAX, 3D tomographic imaging) to provide new and robust insights on Australia’s deep history at the macro- and micro-scale.

The multidisciplinary nature of geoarchaeological research allows Dr Ward to learn from every new site and every new topic she explores and from the people she works with.

Research disciplines: 

  • Geology 
  • Environmental science
  • Marine science

External positions:

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc), University of Newcastle
  • Master of Science (MSc), James Cook University 
  • Master of Arts (MA), James Cook University
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Wollongong


Dr Ward teaches Advanced Archaeological Methods and, as an interdisciplinary scientist, aims to get students to approach each topic from multiple perspectives to give breadth to their learning. Dr Ward believes that student interaction allows for two-way learning. She teaches what she loves and, likewise, learns from her students’ alternative perspectives. 

Supervisor opportunities

Dr Ward has been supervising Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidates since 2012 in the disciplines of geoarchaeology and micromorphology. She welcomes all multidisciplinary PhD candidates, particularly those with a strong interest in the application of geosciences to resolving past lived landscapes. 

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