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Department of Archaeology



2018-present: PhD Student in Archaeology: Modelling spatio-temporal changes in the ecological niches of major domesticated crops in China: application of Species Distribution Modelling’ (working on the ‘Crops pollinators and people, (BuckBee) project’), University of Cambridge

2023: Researcher in Social Media and Cultural Analytics (University of Edinburgh) on the Influential Pasts: understanding and challenging heritage-based tribalism project.

2017-2019: part-time Research Assistant on the AHRC-funded project Ancient Identities in Modern Britain at the University of Stirling (previously based at University College London)

2017: Teaching Assistant on the Advanced Skills in Digital Heritage Module at the Department of Archaeology, Durham University

2016: MSc in GIS and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology, University College London

2015: BA in Egyptian Archaeology, University College London


I am interested in the use and development of computational methods and quantitative analysis in archaeology.  For my PhD, I have expored how dispersal of domesticated species related to their ecological niches, which were predicted using Species Distribution Models based on the present distributional data. My research drew on ecological niche theory, niche construction theory, cultural evolution and gene-culture co-evolutionary theory to interpret how the observed patterns could result from different pathways to niche construction and distributional expansion.

As part of the ‘BuckBee’ project, I have worked on the application of species palaeodistribution modelling in the study of buckwheat dispersal across Eurasia. I explored different statistical approaches with the goal of understanding how ecological, environmental and cultural factors could have constrained or promoted the spread of buckwheat following its domestication.

I have also been working on the development of web data retrieval workflows, and application of text mining methods, network analysis and Bayesian statistics, in digital heritage research involving the study of contemporary meanings of the past through social media data.

Key Publications

Key publications: 


Krzyzanska M, Hunt HV, Crema ER, Jones MK (2021) Modelling the potential ecological niche of domesticated buckwheat in China: archaeological evidence, environmental constraints and climate change. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany.

Bonacchi C, Krzyzanska M (2021) Heritage-based tribalism in Big Data ecologies: Deploying origin myths for antagonistic othering. Big Data & Society 8:205395172110033.

Bonacchi C., Krzyzanska, M., 2019. Digital heritage research re-theorised: ontologies and epistemologies in a world of big data. International Journal of Heritage Studies 0, 1–13.

Bonacchi, C., Altaweel, M., Krzyzanska, M., 2018. The heritage of Brexit: Roles of the past in the construction of political identities through social media. Journal of Social Archaeology 146960531875971.

Teaching and Supervisions


Supervisor and teaching assistant of the module A11/B5: From Data to Interpretation / Foundation Statistics: 2019-2021. 

Research supervision: 

Supervisor: Dr Enrico Crema

Advisor: Professor Martin Jones

Other Professional Activities

Member of Fitzwilliam College

Co-organizer of the Computational and Digital Archaeology Lab (CDAL) Seminar series, 2018-2019

 Speaker for the CDAL seminar series: Michaelmas 2023

Job Titles

PhD Student in Archaeology

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Socio-Politics of the Past
Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies

Contact Details


Person keywords: 
Computational Archaeology
Spread of Agriculture
Statistical Analysis
GIS and Spatial Analysis
Digital Heritage
Geographical areas: 
Central Asia
East Asia
Southeast Asia
Periods of interest: 
Other Late Prehistory
Other Prehistory