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<    PhD project – ESR 3    >

Anastasia Nikulina

Modelling human-environment interactions in landscape change (ABM)


MA in Archaeology of North and Central Asia (Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia)

BA History (Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia)


Host University: Leiden University, Netherlands

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jan Kolen, Prof. Dr. Wil Roebroeks 

Co-supervisors: Dr. Fulco Scherjon, Dr. Katharine MacDonald

Country of Origin: Russia

Languages: English, Russian, French

Contact Email:



About Me

I am a Siberian woman with a strong interest in human-environment interaction in the past. My previous research experiences include 3D-modelling in archaeology, spatial analysis of archaeological sites distribution in conjunction with palaeoenvironmental data, 7 years of field works in Russia and Europe as well as variable internships, participation in different international conferences and field schools.

About my project

My current research is devoted to hunter-gatherer impact on landscapes during the Eemian (last interglacial) and the Mesolithic. I am going to investigate different ways of hunter-gatherer environmental transformations with a specific focus on anthropogenic burning. In order to clarify the role of humans in the past environmental changes, I am going to incorporate a wide range of palaenvironmental and archaeological data, and conduct agent-based modelling in conjunction with GIS and further statistical analyses.  


Nikulina A., MacDonald K., Scherjon F., Pearce E. A., Davoli M., Svenning J.-C., Emily Vella, Gaillard M.-J., Zapolska A., Arthur F., Martinez A., Hatlestad K., Mazier F., Serge M. A., Lindholm K.-J., Fyfe R., Renssen H., Roche D. M., Kluiving S., Roebroeks W., 2022. Tracking Hunter-Gatherer Impact on Vegetation in Last Interglacial and Holocene Europe: Proxies and Challenges. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.


Roebroeks W., MacDonald K., Scherjon F., Bakels C., Kindler L., Nikulina A., Pop E., Gaudzinski-Windheuser S., 2021. Landscape modification by Last Interglacial Neanderthals. Science Advances. 7(51), DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abj5567


Nikulina A.V., Zolnikov I.D., Novikova O.I., 2021. Site catchment analysis of Eneolithic – Medieval settlements in the central Baraba Lowland. Russian Archaeology. 1, 47–58. DOI: 10.31857/S086960630013703-2 (In Russian with English abstract)


Zolnikov I.D., Nikulina A.V., Pavlenok K.K., Vybornov A.V., Postnov A.V., Bychkov D.A., Glushkova N.V., 2020. Regularities in the spatial location of archaeological objects in Tomsk region. Russian Archaeology. 1, 22–32. DOI: 10.31857/S086960630008251-5 (In Russian with English abstract)


Nikulina A.V., 2019. GIS-based analysis of settlement patterns for the central Baraba Lowland (Western Siberia, Russia) in relation to climatic conditions of the Middle – Late Holocene. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 4, 302–312. DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.01.018


Chupina D.A., Zolnikov I.D., Smolentseva E.N., Lashchinskii N.N., Nikulina A.V., Kartoziya A.A., 2018. GIS mapping of the territory by the response to aridization and humidification: a case study of the south of the West Siberian Plain. Izvestiya Rossiiskoi Akademii Nauk. Seriya Geograficheskaya. 5, 81–90. DOI: 10.1134/S2587556618050047 (In Russian with English abstract).


Nikulina A.V., Zolnikov I.D., Kuzmin Y.V., Sofeikov O.V., Chupina D.A., Glushkova N.V., Pchelnikov, D.V., 2018. Methodology of GIS-based spatial analysis of the Bronze Age, the Early Iron Age and the Medieval settlements in the central part if the Baraba lowland. Tomsk State University Journal. 428, 117–126. DOI:  10.17223/15617793/428/16 (In Russian with English abstract).