Short CV/Education and training

Current Position

  • Since 2007
    Associate Professor at the Department of Prehistory, Ancient History and Archaeology of the UB

  • Since 2002
    ICREA Research Professor and Principal Investigator of the Research Group for Paleoecological and Geoarchaeological Studies (GEPEG) of the University of Barcelona (UB)

Postdoctoral Research

  • 2000 – 2001
    Postdoctoral fellow at the CEPAM (CNRS) Sophia Antipolis. The research was led by Directeurs de recherché Patricia Anderson and Liliane Meignen and my research work was on study of Middle Paleolithic fires from Hayonim cave.

Research training (PhD)

  • 1996 – 1999
    PhD in Prehistory at the UB (Spain), under the supervision of Prof. Josep M. Fullola (UB), Prof. Stephen Weiner (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) and Dr. Linda Scott-Cummings (PaleoResearch Lab., USA). My research was conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) from 1996-1999, working on the development of methods for identifying and quantifying the production of phytoliths in plants and their application to Middle Paleolithic hearths to understand combustion processes, and exploitation of plant resources.


  • 1994 – 1995
    MSc in Geography and History at the UB under the supervision of Prof. Josep M. Fullola, working on phytolith identification from storage pits at Cova del Parco (Alòs de Balaguer, La Noguera)

  • 1986 – 1992
    BSc in Geogrpahy and History at the UB

Selected publications

  • *Senior author

  • *Rodríguez-Cintas, A., Albert, R.M. et al., 2020. Palaeovegetation changes recorded in Palaeolake Olduvai OGCP Core 2A (2.09-2.12 Ma) Naibor Soit Formation Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaecology 557.

  • Neumann, K., Stromberg, C., et al., 2019. International Code for Phytolith Nomenclature (ICPN) 2.0. Annals of Botany 124, 189-199.

  • *Esteban, I., Marean, C., et al.. 2020. Palaeoenvironments and plant availability during MIS 6 to MIS 3 on the edge of the Palaeo-Agulhas Plain (south coast, South Africa) as indicated by phytolith analysis at Pinnacle Point. Quaternary Science Reviews, 235. 105667.

  • Blumenschine, R.J., Stanistreet, I.G., Njau, J.K., Bamford, M.K., Masao, F.T., Albert, R.M., Stollhofen, H., Andrews, P., Fernanadez-Jalvo, Y., Prassack, K.A., McHenry, L.J., Camilli, E.L., Ebert, J.I. 2012. Environments and activity traces of hominins across the FLK Peninsula during Zinjanthropus times (1,84 MA), Olduvai Gorge Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution 63, 364-383.

  • Albert, R.M., Bamford, M.K. 2012. Vegetation during uppermost Bed I and deposition of Tuff IF at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, based on phytoliths and plant remains. Journal of Human Evolution 63, 342-350.

  • Albert, R. M., Berna, F., Goldberg, P. 2012. Insights on Neanderthal Fire Use at Kebara Cave (Israel) through high Resolution Study of Prehistoric Combustion Features: evidence from phytoliths and thin sections. Quaternary International 247, 278-293.

  • Albert, R.M., Bamford, M.K., Cabanes, D. 2009. Palaeoecological significance of palms at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania based on phytolith remains. Quaternary International 193, 41- 48.

  • Albert, R.M., Shahack-Gross, R., Cabanes, D., Gilboa, A., Lev-Yadun, S., Portillo, M., Sharon, I., Weiner, S. 2008. Domestic uses of plants during the Iron Age I at Tel Dor (Israel): The results of phytolith analyses. Journal of Archaeological Science 35, 55-75.

  • Albert, R.M., Bamford, M.K., Cabanes, D. 2006. Taphonomy of phytoliths and macroplants in different soils from Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) and the application to Plio-Pleistocene palaeoanthropological samples. Quaternary International 148, 78-94.

  • Albert, R.M., Tsatskin, A., Ronen, A., Lavi, O., Estroff, L., Lev-Yadun, S., Weiner, S. 1999. Mode of occupation of Tabun Cave, Mt. Carmel Israel, during the Mousterian period: A study of the sediments and the phytoliths. Journal of Archaeological Science 26 (10), 1249-1260.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

Funded Projects as Principal Investigator

  • Microarchaeology: advancing methodological approaches to understand the relationship between humans and their environments (MICRO-PAST) – Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación – PID2020-119773GB-I00. Award amount: €72,600,000.

  • Terrace Archaeology and Culture in Europe (Multipaleoiberia. Population dynamics and cultural adaptations of the last Neandertals and first Modern Humans in inland Iberia: a multi-proxi investigation. (ERC-2018-STG-805478). PI: Manuel Alcaraz Castaño (Universidad de Alcala). Award amount: €1,387,515. Awarded period: 5 years (Jan. 2019 – Dec. 2023).

  • Palaeanthropological research in Kilombe Caldera, Kenya. Leverhulme Trust. Research Project Grant, June 2017. PI: John Gowlett (University of Liverpool, Great Britain). Award amount: £ 284,127 (322,428 €); Funding for RMA: €7,760 + travelling costs and field expenses. Award Period: 3 years (extended 1 more year due to COVID19).

  • IPG – Developing and Testing an Integrated Paleoscape Model for the early Middle and Late Pleistocene of the South Coast of South Africa. National Science Foundation (NSF). Award Number:1138073; Principal Investigator:Curtis Marean; Co-Principal Investigator:Richard Cowling, Kim Hill, Janet Franklin; Organization: Arizona State University; NSF Organization: BCS Award Date:09/15/2011.

  • Palaeolithic, Pyrotechnology, High Resolution Behavioral Events, and the Neanderthal/Modern Human Question. National Science Foundation (NSF) – 0551927, 2006 – 2007.

  • Paleoclimatic and Paleoenvironmental Context of the Origins of Modern Humans in South Africa: Constructing a Detailed Record from 400,000 – 30,000 Years Ago. National Science Foundation (NSF) – 0524087, 2005 – 2008.

  • Landscape successions and traces of Oldowan hominidland use at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. National Science Foundation (NSF) – 0109027, 2001 – 2003.

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

Member of Scientific Committee

  • Radiocarbon and Archaeology, 6th International Symposium, Pafos (Cyprus), April 10-15, 2011

  • 7th International meeting on Phytolith research, Mar de Plata (Argentina), 2008

  • 6th International meeting on Phytolith research, Barcelona (Spain), 2006

  • 2nd International Workshop "Olduvai Paleolandscape Project", Barcelona (Spain), 2005

  • 5th International meeting on Phytolith research, Moscow (Russia), 2004

  • 1st European Meeting on Phytoliths Research. CSIC. Madrid (Spain), 1996

  • Viatge als Orígens de la Humanitat. University of Barcelona and La Caixa, Barcelona (Spain), 2003

Present member of

  • Founder and Director of the Research Group for Palaeoecological and Geoarchaeological Studies. Recognized as a Quality Research Group by the Catalan Government in 2005; since 2005

  • Member of the Society for American Archaeology, 2006, 2013

  • Board Member of the Quaternary International Journal

  • Member of the Catalan Association of Bioarchaeology, since 2008

  • Member of the International Committee for Phytolith Nomenclature, 2006 – 2010

  • Elected member of the Junta de Facultat of Geography and History, 2004 – 2008

  • Member of the Grup de Recerca Arqueobalear, University of Illes Balears, 2004 – 2008

  • Elected Board Member of the International Society for Phytolith Research, 2004 – 2006

  • Member of Equip de Recerca Arqueomètrica (ERAUB) of the UB, recognized as a Quality Research Group by the Generalitat de Catalunya, 2001 – 2002

  • Member of OLAPP (Olduvai Landscape Paleoanthropology Project), since 2001

  • Member collaborator of the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel), since 1996

  • Member of the International Society for Phytolith Research, since 1996

  • Member of the Seminari d'Estudis i Recerques Prehistòriques (SERP) of the UB, recognized as a Quality Research Group by the Generalitat de Catalunya; 1992 – 2000, 2003 – 2005

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