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EMCR Australian Academy of Science (SCU)
School Director HDR SCGS

Military Rd, Lismore, 2480, NSW
T +61 2 6620 3271
E renaud.joannes-boyau@scu.edu.au



Dr Renaud Joannes-Boyau’s research focuses on the development and application of direct dating methods and micro-analytical techniques to key questions in archaeological sciences, such as the timing of human evolution, hominid ecological niche, diet and early life history. His research is concerned with the understanding of mobilisation, incorporation and diffusion of isotopes, trace element and radionuclides onto fossil remains. Renaud has made a significant contribution to geochronology and geochemistry applied to human evolution, with the dating of key fossils (e.g. early Homo sapiens from Jebel Irhoud, Homo naledi..) and the geochemical imaging of extinct hominins.



5-Year Journal Impact Factors (JIF) and journal quartile (Q) were obtained from Journal Citation Reports (ISI Web of Knowledge). Number of citations (C) were obtained from Google Scholar. LINK to download the paper

Austin, C., Smith, T., Bradman, A., Hinde, K., Joannes-Boyau, R., Bishop, D., Hare, D., Doble, P., Eskenazi, B., Arora, M. (2013) Barium distributions in teeth reveal early life dietary transitions in primates. Nature 498, 216-219. JIF 41.46; C 108 LINK

This paper described for the first time the use of geochemical tracers in fossil teeth to establish the breastfeeding habits of extinct species, in particular in Homo neanderthalensis offspring.


Richter, D., Grün, R., Joannes-Boyau, R., Steele, T., Amani, F., Rué, M.,  Fernandes, P., Raynal, J-P., Geraads, D., Ben-Ncer, A., Hublin, J-J., McPherron, S., (2017). The Age of the Jebel Irhoud (Morocco) hominins and the origins of the Middle Stone Age. Nature 546, 293–296. JIF 41.46; C 102 LINK

This paper changes completely our understanding of Human origin and expansion. The research highlights the dating of the oldest early Homo sapiens, using our methodological breakthrough.

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Westaway, K.E., Louys, J., Due Awe, R., Morwood, M.J., Price, G.J., Zhao, J.-x., Aubert, M., Joannes-Boyau, R., Smith, T., Skinner, M.M., Compton, T., Bailey, R.M., van den Bergh, G.D., de Vos, J., Pike, A.W.G, Stringer, C., Saptomo, E.W., Rizal,Y., Zaim, J., Santoso, WD., Trihascaryo, A., Kinsley, L., Sulistyanto, B. (2017). An early modern human presence in Sumatra at 73-63 kyr. Nature 548, 322–325. JIF 41.46; C 39 LINK

Provided the oldest evidence of anatomically modern humans in Southeast Asia at 73-63 ka. This ages have important repercussion for the out-of-africa model.

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Joannes-Boyau, R., Grün, R. (2011). A comprehensive model for CO2− radicals in fossil tooth enamel: Implications for ESR dating. Quaternary Geochronology 6, 82-97. JIF 2.853; C 39 LINK

The paper reported on the new methodological breakthrough allowing the accurate ESR dating of fossil teeth, by unveiling the misinterpretation of the compound ESR signal in the fossil teeth.


Dirks, P., Roberts, E., Hilbert-Wolf, H., Kramers, J., Hawks, J., Dosseto, A., Duval, M., Elliott, M., Evans, M., Grün, R., Hellstrom, J., Herries, A., Joannes-Boyau, R., Makhubela, T., Placzek, C., Robbins, J., Spandler, C., Wiersma, J., Woodhead, J., Berger, L. (2017). The age of Homo naledi and associated sediments in the Rising Star Cave, South Africa. Elife 6, e24231.JIF 7.725; C 59 LINK

This paper revealed the incredibly young age of Homo naledi fossil remains, and its implication for human evolution theory. The challenging dating of new Homo species led to the development of a new methodological breakthrough.



  • ARC Discovery grant (2016Visualizing evolving South African landscapes & the evolution of early Homo

  • AINSE Research Awards (2015Understanding the Human Journey: non-destructive elemental mapping of hominin fossil teeth using high-resolution microPIXE analyses

  • Excellence in Research Award (early to mid-career researcher, 2014) in recognition for excellence in field of research.

  • ARC Discovery grant (2013A new timeline for human evolution using a pioneer non-destructive direct dating method.

  • VC Post-doc Fellowship (2013Investigation of the mobilisation, incorporation and migration of stable isotopes and radionuclides into animal and human fossil remains for reconstruction of palaeoenvironment, diet and migration patterns.