AsPr Janelle Stevenson


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Janelle is a palaeoecologist with experience working in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Australia. Her particular interests are in landscapes of the past, how these have changed under different climatic scenarios, and how we can disentangle climate change from human impact in the palaeoenvironmental record.

Janelle is leading or involved in several multi-disciplinary collaborative projects. Two of her current highlight projects is an ARC Discovery project based in Sulawesi and ANU Teaching and Education Grant funded project for education and outreach.

The pace and rythm of climate: 600,000 years in biological hotspot - ARC Discovery:  led by Janelle along with Dr Marco Coolen from Curtin University and Professor James Russell from Brown University.

This project aims to generate knowledge of long-term changes in vegetation and rainfall for the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP). The IPWP exerts enormous influence on the Earth’s climate through its interactions with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Austral–Asian monsoons and the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone. Yet despite its importance, the response of the IPWP to global climate change remains uncertain. Through palynology, ancient sedimentary DNA and compound specific stable isotope analyses, this project aims to produce a terrestrial vegetation, fire and biodiversity record for the last 600 000 years in Sulawesi. The unrivalled length and resolution of this record for the region would make it a benchmark reconstruction of palaeoclimate that may transform our understanding of the IPWP.

The Australian 3D Pollen Project. Janelle was delighted to receive an ANU Teaching Enhnacement Grant in 2018 that has allowed her to develop this project for education and outreach. The publically shared 3D models are published under a data commons license and can be found through the following DOI: 10.25911/5d0ac8204ae57

Janelle is also an Associate Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Biodiveristy and Heritage 

Research interests

Palaeoecology, palynology, palaeoclimatology, fire histories; South East Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands.

 Current Teaching

  • ENVS3029 / ENVS6529 - Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction
  • ARCH2007 - Archaeological Laboratory Methods
  • ARCH8031 - Archaeological Science Research Project 2



Expertise Areas

  • Palaeontology (incl. Palynology)
  • Quaternary Environments
  • Palaeoecology
  • Archaeological Science


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