Personal profile

Academic Background

B.A. Archaeology; University of Sydney (1987)

Ph.D. Archaeology; University of Edinburgh (1998)


Joanne Clarke joined the UEA in 2001. Her research interests include societal responses to climatic changes during the early and mid-Holocene in the Near East and North Africa and the impacts of future climate change on heritage in Africa. She has directed archaeological field projects in Gaza, Cyprus and most recently Western Sahara culminating in a book published in 2018. Joanne was PI for an AHRC funded Network in 2011, Environmental Change in Prehistory which resulted in a paper in Quaternary Science Reviews (Clarke et al. 2016) contextualising linked archaeological and environmental narratives in current thinking around resilience, vulnerability and adaptation to rapid climate change. She has also been Co-I on a number of climate-related research projects, most recently with Professor Corinne Le Quéré on the Tyndall Centre’s GCRF funded bid Foundations for Climate Resilient and Sustainable Growing Settlements (U-RES). She is currently working with a team of international scholars modelling the impacts of sea-level rise and coastal erosion on African coastal heritage. Recently she co-authored a paper for Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa (Books et al. 2020) on the impacts of climate change on African heritage now and into the future. This paper has seen considerable media interest. Joanne is a contributing author to the heritage section of the Africa Chapter of the Sixth Assessment Report for the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change. 


Before joining the School of World Art Studies, Dr Clarke served as Jerusalem Director for the Council for British Research in the Levant, and Acting Director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem. She has also worked for the National Museums Scotland, and held the JRB Stewart Fellowship in Cypriot Archaeology at the University of Sydney.

Areas of Expertise

Human / environment interactions in prehistoric Cyprus and the Near East

Impacts of climate change on heritage in Africa

The archaeology and environment of Western Sahara

Human adaptations to climate change in prehistory

Marginal environments


Teaching Interests

  • The development of early agricultural societies in Cyprus and the Near East
  • The archaeology of the Sahara
  • Art and society in the Near East and Mediterranean between 10,000 years ago and 3000 years ago. 

Research supervision

Interested in supervising research students in all areas of archaeological and material culture studies.

Examples of modules taught:

  • Introduction to Archaeology (Level 1 UG)
  • Introduction to Archaeological Fieldwork (Level 2 UG)
  • The Archaeology of Cyprus (Level 2 UG)
  • The Art and Archaeology of Mesopotamia (Level 3 UG)
  • Endangered Heritage (MA module)

Administrative Posts

Senior Adviser, ART

Director of Employability, ART

Course Director, ART (current)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

External positions

Contributing Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

26 Aug 201914 May 2021

Expert Reviewer, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

1 Aug 201931 Jan 2021