As an archaeological scientist, Magdalena’s existing research contributes strategic findings leading to precise dating and modelling of archaeological and environmental events. These events help us understand how island and coastal societies in the Holocene (the past 11,700 years) have adapted and built resilience toward rapid climate change. She has worked on (1) improving 14C chronologies of island colonisation, including the utilisation of charcoal samples and marine shell dates, (2) building robust Bayesian chronologies of socio-economic events and (3) linking socio-economic events with population and climate.

Magdalena joined JCU in 2022, having previously worked at a dozen other national and international universities. Magdalena is based within the College of Arts, Science and  Education (CASS) and collaborates with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritageresearch teams. As part of her current postdoctoral fellowship, she is investigating the spread of the Lapita people into northeast Australia, the Torres Strait Islands, Papua New Guinea, and the Western Pacific in the late Holocene.

  • Radiocarbon dating
  • Bayesian statistics
  • Frequency statistics
  • Human responses to climate change
  • Island and Coastal Archaeology
  • Archaeology of the Pacific Islands
  • Holocene chronology
  • Climate change archaeology
  • Viking age archaeology
  • Archaeological and environmental chronologies
  • 2022 to present - Postdoctoral Research fellow, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2019 to 2022 - Postdoctoral Research fellow, Kiel University (Kiel)
  • 2011 to 2018 - PhD Candidate, University of Iceland (Reykjavik)
  • 2013 to 2014 - Seasonal Lecturer, University of Iceland (Reykjavik)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2018 - Research fellow, University of Wollongong
  • 2016 to 2018 - Research fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • 2016 - Research fellow, Tokyo Metropolitan University
  • 2015 to 2016 - Research fellow, Australian National University
  • 2015 - Research fellow, University of Washington
  • 2014 - Research fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • 2015 - Society for American Archaeology
  • 2013 - North Atlantic Biocultural Organisation (NABO)
  • 2013 - European Association of Archaeologists

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 16+ research outputs authored by Dr Magdalena Bunbury from 2015 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage - CABAH Cadetship Scheme

CABAH Cadetship Scheme: Research management cadetship

Indicative Funding
$48,290 over 1 year
Magdalena will be trained in research management at the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC), a non-profit organisation in Cairns. She will gain experience in research-informed conservation, government policy development, and community economic development in the tropics (Northern Australia, the Torres Strait Islands, and Papua New Guinea).
Magdalena Bunbury, Sean Ulm and Michael Bird (College of Arts, Society & Education and College of Science & Engineering)
Research management

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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