Dr Ania Kotarba

Lecturer in Museum and Curatorial Studies

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Ania is an Archaeologist and Cultural Heritage professional whose current research interests focus on protection, management, and documentation (by means of 'community archaeology') of cultural heritage vulnerable to damage and destruction due to climate change and extreme weather events. Throughout her career, Ania has worked on projects and expeditions in over 30 countries from the Near and Middle East, South Asia, East and Southern Africa, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, Northern and Western Europe, and in the Pacific region including in Australia and Remote Oceania.

Dr Kotarba is active in the international field of cultural heritage management as an Expert Member of ICOMOS Australia (International Committee for Monuments and Sites), its Scientific Committee for Risk Preparedness (ANZCORP), as well as an Expert Member of ICAHM (International Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management). Following her dream to work for UNESCO, she has also interned at ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) in Rome, Italy and ATHAR (Architectural and Archaeological Tangible Heritage in the Arab Region) in Sharjah, U.A.E.. Dr Kotarba has broad consultancy sector expertise, having worked in senior roles in heritage consultancies around the world, as well as being appointed a Heritage lead on an Independent Panel of Experts for World Bank infrastructural projects.

Ania has vast experience in the museum and conservation sector, having worked at the Museum of London and consulted at the Sharjah Archaeological Museum and Qatar Museum Authority. She is also involved in the field of digital humanities through her work as a CI on an ARC-funded 'Slow digitisation' project.

In recent years Ania has been passionately active as both a professional and educator in the field of risk preparedness and loss mitigation for cultural heritage vulnerable to climate change, natural disasters and armed conflict. In this area she works with Indigenous communities from Channel Country, QLD, Northern Arnhem Land, NT and Torres Strait Islands. She is currently directing and producing a short documentary with Yolngu-speaking Marthakal Indigenous Rangers from Arnhem Land on threats to cultural heritage from climate change in Northern Territory. In 2022 she run the first Australian Disaster Risk Management for Cultural Heritage (DRM4CH) course with ANZCORP at Flinders University.  

Ania was educated at The University of Oxford, where she completed a DPhil in maritime and landscape archaeology focusing on an ancient Greco-Roman port of trade in Egypt. She has since worked as a senior lecturer in Archaeology, Ancient History, and Archaeological Science at a number of Australian Universities, including the University of Wollongong, Macquarie University in Sydney, and Flinders University in Adelaide. Ania joined the University of Adelaide in mid-2023 as a Lecturer and a Programme Director in  Curatorial and Museum Studies.

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2024 Kotarba-Morley, A. M., Kourampas, N., Morley, M. W., MacAdams, C., Crowther, A., Faulkner, P., . . . Boivin, N. (2024). Coastal landscape changes at Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar: Contextualizing the archaeology of an early Islamic port of trade. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 19(1), 57-91.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS2
    2018 Rothacker, L., Dosseto, A., Francke, A., Chivas, A. R., Vigier, N., Kotarba-Morley, A. M., & Menozzi, D. (2018). Impact of climate change and human activity on soil landscapes over the past 12,300 years. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 7 pages.
    DOI Scopus53 WoS35 Europe PMC2
    2018 Kotarba-Morley, A. M. (2018). Port town and its harbors: sedimentary proxies for landscape and seascape reconstruction of the Greco-Roman site of Berenike Trogodytica on the Red Sea coast of Egypt. Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean, 26(2), 61-92.
    2016 Osypiński, P., Morley, M. W., Osypińska, M., & Kotarba-Morley, A. M. (2016). Affad 23: Settlement structures and palaeoenvironments in the Terminal Pleistocene of the Middle Nile Valley, Sudan. Antiquity, 90(352), 894-913.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS7
    2016 Crowther, A., Faulkner, P., Prendergast, M. E., Quintana Morales, E. M., Horton, M., Wilmsen, E., . . . Boivin, N. (2016). Coastal Subsistence, Maritime Trade, and the Colonization of Small Offshore Islands in Eastern African Prehistory. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 11(2), 211-237.
    DOI Scopus69 WoS57
    2015 Crowther, A., Veall, M. A., Boivin, N., Horton, M., Kotarba-Morley, A., Fuller, D. Q., . . . Matheson, C. D. (2015). Use of Zanzibar copal (Hymenaea verrucosa Gaertn.) as incense at Unguja Ukuu, Tanzania in the 7-8th century CE: Chemical insights into trade and Indian Ocean interactions. Journal of Archaeological Science, 53, 374-390.
    DOI Scopus45 WoS38
    2015 Kotarba-Morley, A. M. (2015). The Port of Berenike Troglodytica on the Red Sea: A Landscape-Based Approach to the Study of its Harbour and its Role in Indo-Mediterranean Trade. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, 50(3), 422-423.
    2014 Crowther, A., Horton, M., Kotarba-Morley, A., Prendergast, M., Quintana Morales, E., Wood, M., . . . Boivin, N. (2014). Iron Age agriculture, fishing and trade in the Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania: New evidence from Ukunju Cave. Azania, 49(1), 21-44.
    DOI Scopus42 WoS33
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2020 Kotarba-Morley, A. M., & Thomas, F. R. (2020). Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in Kiribati. In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology (pp. 1-16). Springer International Publishing.
    2018 Kotarba-Morley, A. M. (2018). Ancient ports of trade on the red sea coasts -the ‘parameters of attractiveness’ of site locations and human adaptations to fluctuating land- and sea-scapes. Case study berenike troglodytica, Southeastern Egypt. In N. M. A. Rasul, & I. C. F. Stewart (Eds.), Geological Setting, Palaeoenvironment and Archaeology of the Red Sea (pp. 741-774). Sweitzerland: Springer International Publishing.
    DOI Scopus1
    2017 Kotarba-Morley, A. M. (2017). The Maritime Context of the Trans-Mediterranean—Indian Ocean Trade: Critical Review of Roman Era Vessels of the Red Sea. In D. A. Agius, E. Khalil, E. Scerri, & A. Williams (Eds.), Human Interaction with the Environment in the Red Sea (pp. 171-206). Leiden, The Netherlands: BRILL.
    DOI Scopus3

Dr Kotarba has a strong track record of external and internal research funding success having attracted over $2.5 mln in research funding to her institutions. She is a CI on two current ARC grants, a Land and Sea grant and a Lead CI on an RAA grant.

Selected successful funding (last 5 years):

2023 Chief-Investigator (CI). Australian Research Council Linkage Grant. Diving into the Desert. Indigenous and Future Floodplain Management (LP210300105). 699,112 AUD

2023 CI. Rock Art Australia Seed Funding Scheme. Watercrossings: Reconstructing the Indigenous Watercrafts. Employing rock art analysis, machine learning and experimental shipbuilding to reconstruct Australian Indigenous watercrafts. 12,500 AUD

2023 Lead CI. Macquarie Research Fellowship (NOT UNDERTAKEN). Keeping heritage above water: Protecting vulnerable Sea Country and Coastal Indigenous Cultural Heritage (Marthakal Indigenous Protected Area, Northern Territory). Full value approx. 450,000 AUD

2022 CI. Flinders Research Support Grant. Keeping your heritage above water: How to protect vulnerable Sea Country and Coastal Indigenous Cultural Heritage. Case study of the Marthakal Indigenous Protected Area, Northern Territory, Australia (CNTR0011672). 46,756 AUD

2022 Partner Investigator (PI). Polish National Centre for Science (NCN) OPUS 21. The Seascape archaeology of the harbour of Constantinople at Küükekmece Lake basin – land and underwater surveys, communication and economical networks, mobility (2021/41/B/HS3/03675). 265,947 AUD

2021 CI. Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative (ARC SRI). Slow digitisation, community heritage and the objects of Martindale Hall (SR200200900). 277,442 AUD

2021 CI. Early Career Impact Seed Grant Flinders University. Diving into the Desert: A pilot study mapping sophisticated Indigenous water management infrastructure and practices on Mithaka Channel Country, QLD/SA (RPF21/637). 9,867 AUD

2021 PI. Polish National Centre for Science (NCN) SONATINA 5. The pioneering exploration of the Puck Lagoon based on high-resolution airborne and acoustic remote sensing (2021/40/C/ST10/00240). 256,953.00 AUD

2020 CI. ERC Research Project CHASS Grants. Mapping the impacts of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2019–2020 catastrophic fire season on Australian cultural resources and heritage assets. 8,000 AUD

2020 CI. Ethical Futures Grant Scheme. Changing Ethnic Citizenry in Kiribati. ‘Sustainability Archaeology’ on Abaiang Atoll, Republic of Kiribati. 2,000 AUD

2018 Lead Academic. New Colombo Mobility Programme. The Kullu-Spiti Himalayan Crossroads Field Programme. 99,000 AUD

2018 CI. Global Challenges Fund. Sustainable Past of maritime Kiribati?: Historical and ethnographic adaptations of Kiribati people to a changing natural environment. 5,100 AUD

Other funding includes support from Saudi Geological Survey, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (for work in Bangladesh), The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Poland, Centre for Archaeological Science Small Strategic Grant, GeoQuest Seed GrantUOW SEES Small Equipment Grant, UOW SMAH Small Equipment Grant, World Monument Fund bursary, Macquarie University Emerging Scholar Award, MQ Faculty of Arts Travel and Research Fund, ACRC (Ancient Cultures Research Centre), CACHE (Centre for Ancient Cultural Heritage and Environments) workshop funding, ANCORS (Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security) Travel Support Grant, UOW Early Career Researcher grant, The Griffith Egyptological Fund, Craven Committee, Thomas Whitcombe Green Fund, Anderson Fund, Society for Nautical Research, The Roman Society (Society for Promotion of Roman Studies) Hugh Chapman Memorial Fund, Institute of Archaeology at The University of Oxford Meyerstein Award, St Cross College Travel and Research Grant, Thomas Wiedemann Memorial Fund, Classical Association bursary, Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology travel fund


During the last few years of teaching Ania delivered and co-delivered a total of 28 courses to more than 3000 under- and postgraduate students across Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences. This allowed her to obtain a unique skillset and gather experience in communicating culturally-sensitive and scientifically complex notions to diverse cohorts of students.

At The University of Adelaide Ania is a Programme Director in Museum and Curatorial Studies and she coordinates and teaches a number of courses in this graduate programme.

She currently coordinates and teaches: MUSEUM7002 The Secret Life of Objects, MUSEUM7006 Minor Research Project, MUSEUM7003 The Thesis, MUSEUM7004 The Internship. In 2024 she will also be coordinating and teaching: MUSEUM7001 Making the Museum, MUSEUM7005 The Exhibition and MUSEUM7007 Museum Collections Management

  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Subaerial and Submerged Hunter-Gatherer/Indigenous and Archaeological Feature Identification with Remote Sensing, Dampier Archipelago, WA Flinders University Archaeology Doctorate Full Time Peter Ross
  • Position: Lecturer in Museum and Curatorial Studies
  • Phone: 83135031
  • Email: ania.kotarba@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor Third Floor
  • Room: 311
  • Org Unit: School of Humanities

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