Honorary Research Fellow



BA - Hons (Anthropology & Sociology) University of Queensland
PhD (Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology) The Australian National University

Professional activities:

Member - The Australian Archaeological Association
Member - International Council for Zooarchaeology


Australian Museum Collections Fellowship 2008
Wenner-Gren Richard Carley Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship 2006-7

Research interests:
  • Australian Archaeology/Prehistory
  • Toxic plant exploitation
  • Zooarchaeology, taphonomy and site formation
  • Human ecology, optimal foraging theory
  • Holocene economic change
Representative publications:

(in press 2013) Tomkins, H., Ulm, S., Asmussen, B., and Faulkner, P. The molluscan remains of Tanamu 1: Subsistence and resource habitats. In David, B., I.J. McNiven and T. Richards (eds) Lapita to Post-Lapita Transformations at Caution Bay: Cultural Developments along the South Coast of Mainland PNG [working title].  Accepted October 10, 2012.

Asmussen, B.
and McInnes, P. 2013. Assessing the impact of mid-to-late Holocene ENSO-driven climate change on toxic Macrozamia seed use: a 5000 year record from Eastern Australia. Journal of Archaeological Science 40(1):471-480.

Petchey, F., S. Ulm, B. David, I.J. McNiven, B. Asmussen, H. Tomkins, N. Dolby, K. Aplin, T. Richards, C. Rowe, M. Leavesley and H. Mandui. 2012 High-resolution radiocarbon dating of marine materials in archaeological contexts: Radiocarbon marine reservoir variability between Anadara, Gafrarium, Batissa, Polymesoda spp. and Echinoidea at Caution Bay, southern Coastal Papua New Guinea. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences  Published online Nov 16 2012 DOI 10.1007/s12520-012-0108-1.

Petchy, F., Ulm, S., David, B., McNiven, I., Asmussen, B., Tompkins, H., Richards, T., Rowe, C., Leavesley, M., Mandui, H., and Stanisic, J. 2012  Radiocarbon Marine Reservoir Variability in Herbivores and Deposit-feeding Shellfish from an Open Coastline, Papua New Guinea. Radiocarbon 54, (3–4):1–12
Asmussen, B. and Healy, J. 2012 'The oldest book in Queensland': The Book of the Dead of Amenhotep. Museums Australia Magazine Summer edition.

McNiven, J., David, B., Richards, T., Rowe, C., Levesley, M., Milanes, J., Connaughton, S.P., Barker, B., Aplin, K., Asmussen, B., Fulkner, P., and Ulm, S., 2012. Lapita on the South Coast of Papua New Guinea: Challenging New Horizons in Pacific Archaeology. Forum Australian Archaeology 75: 16-22.
Asmussen, B. 2012 Aboriginal names for Australian cycads of Macrozamia, Bowenia and Lepidozamia spp: A response to “Cycads in the Vernacular: A Compendium of Local Names”. Journal of Aboriginal Studies 2:54-71.

McNiven, I.J., B. David, K. Aplin, J. Mialanes, B. Asmussen, S. Ulm, P. Faulkner, C. Rowe and T. Richards 2012 Terrestrial engagements by terminal Lapita maritime specialists on the southern Papuan coast. In S.G. Haberle and B. David (eds), Peopled Landscapes: Archaeological and Biogeographic Approaches to Landscapes, pp.121-156. Terra Australis 34. Canberra: ANU E Press.

Asmussen, B. 2011. Torres Strait Islander Archaeological Collections in the Queensland Museum: 3500 years ago to 1872. In Torres Strait Islands, A Celebration. Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, State Library of Queensland and Queensland Museum, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art Stanley Place, Brisbane. Pp. 251-257.

McNiven, I., David, B., Richards, T., Aplin, K., Asmussen, B., Mialanes, J., Leavesley, M., Faulkner, P., and Ulm, S. 2011 New Direction in Human Colonisation of the Pacific: Lapita Settlement of South Coast New Guinea. Australian Archaeology 72:1-6.

Asmussen, B. 2011. Changing Perspectives in Australian Archaeology, part X. There is likewise a nut. . . a comparative ethnobotany of Aboriginal processing methods and consumption of Australian Bowenia, Cycas, Lepidozamia and Macrozamia species. Technical Reports of the Australian Museum (online) 23 (10): 147–163.

Asmussen, B. 2010. In a nutshell: the identification and archaeological application of experimentally defined correlates of Macrozamia seed processing. Journal of Archaeological Science  Volume 37, Issue 9, September 2010, Pages 2117-2125.

Asmussen, B. 2009. Review of “What’s Changing: Population or Land Use Patterns”. Australian Archaeology 69:75-76.  

Asmussen, B. 2009. Another Burning Question. Hunter-gatherer exploitation of Macrozamia spp. Archaeology in Oceania. 43:142-149.  

Asmussen, B. 2009. Intentional or incidental thermal modification? Analysing site occupation via burned bone. Journal of Archaeological Science 36(2):528-536. 

Asmussen, B.
2008. Anything more than a picnic? Ceremonial Macrozamia feasting and mid-late Holocene socio-economic change in Australia. Archaeology in Oceania 43(3):93-103.

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