Lee Arnold

Associate Professor Lee Arnold

Associate Professor

School of Physical Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Associate Professor Lee Arnold is a Quaternary Scientist and specialist in geochronology. His research focuses on reconstructing archaeological, palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental histories using luminescence dating techniques, with a particular emphasis on single-grain optically stimulated (OSL) dating applications and advancements.

Lee obtained his DPhil in Geography at the University of Oxford in 2006 and has held research positions at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and the National Research Centre for Human Evolution (CENIEH), Spain. During his career, Lee has been awarded two Australian Research Council (ARC) Fellowships, and was formerly the director of the National Luminescence Dating Facility in Burgos, Spain. He has worked extensively at archaeological and palaeontological sites across Europe, North America, Africa, Australia and Russia.

Application of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), thermally transferred OSL (TT-OSL), post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence (pIR-IRSL) and thermoluminescence (TL) dating techniques in the Quaternary and archaeological sciences, including studies of human evolution and dispersal, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, palaeoclimatology, landscape evolution and geomorphology.

Methodological developments and analytical improvements in luminescence dating techniques, with a particular focus on:

- OSL dating and characterisation of single grains of quartz

- Statistical age models and statistical analysis of equivalent dose (De) distributions

- OSL signal composition and component-resolved dating

- Extended-age luminescence dating of quartz and feldspar

Megafaunal evolution and extinction dynamics across Australia, Beringia, and the Eastern Mediterranean

The timing of human dispersal in Eurasia, the initial occupation of the circum-Mediterranean, Lower and Middle Palaeolithic archaeology of the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Europe.

The human colonisation of Australia and its impacts on biodiversity.

Geomorphology, landscape evolution and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of Australian drylands through the Quaternary Period.

Quaternary geochronology - Comparative chronological studies using different dating techniques, analytical improvements and technique development, applications of dating techniques in studies of human evolution / dispersal, Quaternary palaeoenvironments, and palaeontology, Bayesian modelling of chronological datasets.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Research Portal grant (proposal 11643). Do the lacustrine sediments from subtropical Australia Brown Lake, North Stradbroke Island, show increased aeolian activity during the Last Glacial Maximum? L.J. Arnold, G. Jacobsen, R. Lewis., M. Mariani, J. Tibby, 2018.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Research Portal grant (proposal 11688). Reconstructing Quaternary climate sequence at Alexandra Cave using single-grain OSL dating and environmental proxies. Priya, P. Gadd, J. Tibby, L.J. Arnold, E. Reed, M. Demuro, 2018.

Portuguese Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, Foundation for Science and Technology: Research and Technological Development Project (PTDC/HIS-ARQ/098164/2008). Archaeology and evolution of first humans at the Atlantic face of the Iberian Peninsula. Zilhão, J. Aubry, T., Angelucci, D., Matias, H., Daura Lujan, J., Sanz Borràs, M., Vilas Boas de Castro Nabais, M., Deschamps, M., Goncalves, M., Cabanes Cruelles, D., Trinkaus, E., Badal García, E., Brugal, J.-P., López García, J-.L., Arnold, L.J., Demuro, M., Quam, R., Marques Gabriel, S., Gomes, L., Dzavo Varanda, L., de Araujo Igreja, M., Zapata Crespo, J., Égüez Gordon, N., de Castro Rodrigues, A., Serrão da Cunha Cardosa, J., Pike, A.W.G., Arsuaga, J.-L., Hoffmann, D.L., 2018.

Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP180101913). Extricating extinction histories at Lake Callabonna’s megafauna necropolis. T. Worthy, L.J. Arnold, A. Chinsamy-Turan. 2018/

The Leakey Foundation (San Francisco, USA). Neanderthal occupation of the southern Caucasus: Chronological and biogeographic framework. T. King, L. Asryan, P. Andrews, M. Barham, R. Grün, M. Duval, L.J. Arnold, J. Murray, J.M. Pares, S. Parfitt, J. Van der Made. 2018.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Research Portal grant (proposal 11411). Using terrigenous sediment and dust to understand North Stradbroke Island’s palaeoenvironment during the late Pleistocene. L.J. Arnold, G. Jacobsen, J. Tibby, R. Lewis. 2018.

Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP160101249). Naracoorte Caves: A critical window on faunal extinctions and past climate. L.J. Arnold, R. Hill, L. Reed, A. Cooper, J. Austin, J. Tibby, R. Drysdale, J. Hellstrom, G. Price, H. Macdonald, M. Hutchinson, N. Spooner. 2017.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Research Portal grant (proposal 10920). Unlocking the potential of Warratyi rock shelter: The nature, timing and palaeoenvironmental context of human colonisation in Australia’s arid interior. G. Hamm, V. Levchenko, J. Bennett, L.J. Arnold. 2017.

Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) Project (LE170100177). A regional optical dating facility for South Australia. L.J. Arnold, N. Spooner., G. Prideaux, R. Hill, A. Collins, J. Austin, J. Tibby, T. Worthy, P. Hesp, R. Popelka-Filcoff, M. Hutchinson. 2017.

The Palarq Foundation for the conduct of Spanish archaeological missions abroad. Evolution of human settlement during the Quaternary in Eastern Morocco: Aïn Béni Mathar – Guéfaït (Province of Jerada). M.G.,Chacón Navarro, R. Sala I Ramos, H. Aouraghe, M. Soto Quesada, A. De Lombera, A. Tarriño Vinagre, J. Agustí Ballester, H.-A., Blain, P. Piñero García, C. Álvarez Posada, M. Duval, L.J., Arnold, A. Benito Calvo, F. Burjachs Casa, I. Expósito Barea, R. Viñas Vallverdú, J.M. Pares Casanova, A. Canals Salomó, J. Van der Made, A. Rodríguez-Hidalgo, F. Rivals, C. Tornero Dacasa, M. Saña Seguí, I. García Martínez de Lagrán, H. Haddoumi, K. el Hammouti, A. Oujaa, I. Boumhaoud, A. el Harradji, A. el Atmani, T. Madani, S. Bengarmra, H. Mhamdi. 2017.

University of Adelaide Funding, Interdisciplinary Research Scheme 2016. Preliminary Investigation of Quaternary Vertebrate Fossil Sites from Caves in Central and Northwest Tasmania: Testing a Multi-Proxy Approach for Reconstructing Past Biodiversity and Environment. E. Reed, A. Cooper, L.J., Arnold, J. Tibby, N.A. Spooner. 2016.

Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) (ALNGRA16003). A multi-proxy record of climatic and environmental change over a glacial-interglacial cycle from sub-tropical Australia. Barr, C., Tibby, J., Arnold, L.J., 2016.

University of Adelaide, Environment Institute Major Collaborative Research Project Scheme 2015. Refining the timing and palaeoenvironmental context for megafauna extinction records at Naracoorte, South Australia. E. Reed, L.J., Arnold, F. McInerney, J. Tibby, J. Tyler, J. Farkas. 2015.

University of Adelaide, Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing Pilot Projects Scheme 2015. Single-grain sorter and loader for optical dating. Spooner, N.A., Cazzolato, B., Creighton, D., Arnold, L.J., Demuro, M., Questiaux, D. 2014.

Provincial Council of Bizkaia, Programme for the Promotion of Archaeological and Paleontological Research. Excavation and study of the open-air Châtelperronian site of Aranbaltza (Barrika). J. Rios Garaizar, D. I. Ortega, Garate Maidagan, I. Líbano Silvente, A. Gómez Olivencia, E. Regalado Bueno, U. Aurrekoetxea Frenández, L. Bourguignon, A. San Emeterio Gómez, L. Rodriguez González, E. Iriarte Avilés, A. Aranburu Artano, L. J. Arnold, M. Demuro, C. Lahaye, P. Guibert, M.J. Iriarte. 2014.

The Leakey Foundation (San Francisco, USA). Homo erectus behavior and adaptation: Reinvestigating the hominin site of Tighennif (formerly Ternifine), Algeria. M. Sahnouni, A. Pérez Gonzalez, J.M. Parés, L. J. Arnold, M. Duval, J. Rios. 2014.

Australian Research Council Future Fellowship Project (FT130100195) Trying times: Millennial to million year luminescence chronologies for improved reconstructions of Australian megafaunal extinctions. L.J. Arnold, 2013.

Provincial Council of Bizkaia, Programme for the Promotion of Archaeological and Paleontological Research. Excavation and study of the open-air Châtelperronian site of Aranbaltza (Barrika). J. Rios Garaizar, D. Garate Maidagan, I. Líbano Silvente, A. Gómez Olivencia, I. Ortega, L. Bourguignon, E. Iriarte Avilés, A. Aranburu Artano, L. J. Arnold, M. Demuro, X. Murelaga, M.J. Iriarte. 2013.

Government of Andalucía, Ministry of Culture, Department of Cultural Heritage Research Project. First human settlers of the Lower Pleistocene in the Guadix-Baza Basin (in Spanish). Sala, R., Martínez-Navarro, B., Toro, I., Agustí, J., Menéndez, L., Huguet, R., Barsky, D., Gómez Merino, G., Rodríguez, D.G., Burjachs, F., Vallverdú, J., Canals, A., Blain, H.A., López, J.M., Gabuccio, M.J., Solé, A., Moreno, E., Expósito, I., Lozano, I., Maldonado, E., Pinto, A., Rodríguez, J., Sánchez, L., Cánovas, I., Chelli, R., Pérez, A., Benito, A., Parés, J.M., Duval, M., Arnold, L.J., Demuro, M., Álvarez, C., Anadón, P., Julià, R., Oms, O., Riera, V., Hawas, R., Patrocinio Espigares, M., Ros, S., Boj, I., Castellano, N. 2013.

European Science Foundation, Research Network Programme EARTHTIME-EU. The Early-Middle Pleistocene transition: Significance of the Jaramillo subchron in the sedimentary record. Duval, M., Arnold, L.J., Hoffmann, D.L., Pares, J.M. 2012.

Greek-EU National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), Operational Research Funding Program "Education and Lifelong Learning" (UoA 70/3/11669). Island biodiversity and cultural evolution: Examples from the Eastern Mediterranean, Madagascar, Mauritius, Philippines during the past 800,000 years. Drinia, H., de Vos, J., van den Hoek Ostende, L., van der Geer, A., MacPhee, R.D.E., Heaney, L., Bautista, A., Andonarakou, A., Lyras, G., Anastasakis, G., Papadopoulos, G., Michaloudi, H., Gainnakopoulou, A., Papazoglou, G., Papageogropoulou, C., Siegmund, F., Ioakim, X., Kotzamani, G., Tsekenis, E., Arnold, L.J. 2011.

Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, National Plan Grant Scheme 2008-2011: Fundamental Research Projects Sub-program (CGL2010-16821). Early human expansion in the Circum-Mediterranean region: A geochronological context. Parés, J.M., Duval, M., Arnold, L.J. Demuro, M. 2010.

Government of Castilla y León (Spain) Education Council Research Project Type A: Early Career Researcher Groups. Geomorphic Evolution, chronology and palaeo-landscape reconstruction of the Bureba Corridor (Sierra de Atapuerca-Sierra de la Demanda-Obarenses Mountains). Benito Calvo, A., Duval, M., Arnold, L.J. 2010.

Portuguese Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, Foundation for Science and Technology: Research and Technological Development Project (PTDC/HIS-ARQ/098164/2008). Middle Palaeolithic archaeology of the Almonda Karstic System. Zilhão, J. João, Pike, A.W.G., Angelucci, D., Trinkaus, E., Badal García, E., Nunes da Silva, F.J., Brugal, J.-P. Davis, S.J.M., Hoffmann, D.L., Arnold, L.J., Demuro, M. 2009.

Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Project (LE0989067). The future of palaeoclimate and archaeological research in Australia: next generation instrumentation for chronology and environmental reconstruction. Zhao, J., Woodhead, J.D., Chivas, A.R., Dodson, J.R., Archer, M., Drysdale, R.N., Webb, G.E., Scheffers, A.M., Prideaux, G.J., Drennan, J., Pandolfi, J.M., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Vasconcelos, P.M., Golding, S.D., Gasparon, M., Rosenbaum, G., Neil, D., McGowan, H.A., Moss, P.T., Weisler, M.I., Yu, K., Price, G.J., Feng, Y., Dove, S.G., Hellstrom, J.C., Maas, R., Hergt, J.M., Gleadow, A.J., Sandiford, M.A., Kohn, B.P., Cupper, M.L., Roberts, R.G., Woodroffe, C.D., Murray-Wallace, C.V., Morwood, M.J., Nanson, G.C., Jacobs, Z., Carr, P.F., McGregor, H.V., Arnold, L.J., Fink, D., Esat, T.M., Hua, Q., Hand, S., Graham, I.T., Cohen, D.R., Curnoe, D.K., Herries, A.I., Sloss, C.R., Boyd, W.E., Scheffers, S.R., Taffs, K.H., Parr, J.F. 2009.

University of Wollongong Research Infrastructure Block Grants Pool-2. Dual-laser facility for optically stimulated luminescence dating of individual mineral grains. Roberts, R.G., Jacobs, Z., Arnold, L., Chivas, A., Dosseto, A., Morwood, M., Murray-Wallace, C., Nanson, G., Szabo, K., van den Bergh, G. 2009.

Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP0878604). Pleistocene evolutionary dynamics and past environments of Siberia: Reconstructions using luminescence dating of ancient DNA sedimentary archives. Arnold, L.J., MacPhee, R.D., Poinar, H. 2008.

University of Wollongong Research Infrastructure Block Grants Pool-2. Reader for optically stimulated luminescence dating. Nanson, G., Cohen, T., Roberts, R.G., Arnold, L.J., Chivas, A., Murray-Wallace, C., Woodroffe, C., Jones, B. 2007.

University of Wollongong Research Infrastructure Block Grants Pool-2. Beta and gamma radiation detection facilities for luminescence dating. Roberts, R.G., Jacobs, Z., Murray-Wallace, C., Chivas, A., Nanson, G., Morrison, J., Jones, B., Turney, C., Arnold, L.J. 2006.

University of Adelaide, Earth Systems I – Geology BSc first year course – Lecturer 2019-present.

University of Adelaide, Geochronology, Fossils, Palaeoenvironments – Palaeontology BSc third year course Coordinator and Lecturer 2019-present

University of Adelaide, Field Palaeontology School III – Palaeontology BSc third year course Lecturer 2018-present

University of Adelaide, Earth Systems History III – Geology BSc third year course – Lecturer 2015-present.

University of Adelaide, Environmental Geosciences Honours Program – Tutor, coursework supervisor, examiner 2018-present.

University of Adelaide, Earth Science Honours Program – Tutor, coursework supervisor, examiner 2015-present.

University of Adelaide, Principles and Practice of Research (Advanced) II – BSc second year course – Tutor and coursework supervisor 2016.

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Co-Supervisor Palaeoecology of vertebrates of the Late Quaternary from the Naracoort Caves fossil deposits Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jessie-Briar Treloar
    2018 Co-Supervisor Surface and Sub-Surface LiDAR Mapping of Naracoorte Caves Fossil Region Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Craig Robert Williams
    2018 Co-Supervisor variation in chain length and isotope ratios of leaf INAX n-alkanes in plants and soils across Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sian Howard
    2017 Co-Supervisor Chronostratigraphic framework of SE Queensland supporting interpretation of regional climate dynamics since the last interglacial period, encompassing human arrival and Megafaunal extinction Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Richard John Lewis
    2015 Co-Supervisor Climate analysis of Australian interglacials MIS7 and MIS5 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Christopher Wilde Kemp
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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Representative Scientific Advisory Working Group for the International Trapped Charge Dating Association International Trapped Charge Dating Association. Australia
    2018 - ongoing Board Member University of Adelaide Palaeontologist Society University of Adelaide Australia
    2016 - 2016 Chair Session co-convener: Southern Hemisphere Quaternary - Australian Earth Science Convention Adelaide Australia
    2015 - 2015 Chair Fourth Asia-Pacific Luminescence and ESR Dating Conference (APLED) University of Adelaide Australia
    2014 - ongoing Chair Session Chair: 14th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance dating (LED) université du québec à montréal Canada
    2013 - 2013 Chair Session chair: European Science Foundation Research Network Programme EARTHTIME meeting “The Early-Middle Pleistocene transition: Significance of the Jaramillo subchron in the sedimentary record” Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) Spain
    2013 - 2013 Chair European Science Foundation Research Network Programme EARTHTIME meeting “The Early-Middle Pleistocene transition: Significance of the Jaramillo subchron in the sedimentary record” Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) Spain
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2018 - ongoing Member University of Adelaide Palaeontologist Society Australia
    2016 - ongoing Member International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (UISPP) Scientific Committee on Chronologies and Constraints in Eurasia Australia
    2014 - ongoing Member International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) Commission on Stratigraphy and Chronology (SACCOM) Australia
    2014 - ongoing Member Australasian Quaternary Association (AQUA) Australia
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Consulting Editor Quaternary International - Australia
    2017 - ongoing Consulting Editor Geochronometria: journal on methods and applications of absolute chronology
    2016 - ongoing Board Member Nature Scientific Reports United Kingdom
    2015 - ongoing Consulting Editor Quaternary International
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 83133758
  • Email: lee.arnold@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 4380
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Mawson Laboratories, floor 1
  • Room: 1 08
  • Org Unit: Earth Sciences

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