Felix Riede

Professor II

Academic interests

I’m an evolutionarily- and ecologically-minded prehistorian who has developed a signature ‘palaeoenvironmental’ approach that fuses the traditional archaeological attention to human-environment relations across time with the narrative and ethical awareness of the environmental humanities. At AU, I have founded and nurtured, through a series of internal and external grants, the Centre for Environmental Humanities (CEH); in my own research, funded repeatedly by the Independent Research Fund Denmark, numerous private foundations and lately the ERC, I explore the multifaceted impacts of environmental change – especially extreme environmental events such as volcanic eruptions – on past human communities as well as the impacts that humans have had on the environment. In addition, I strongly promote environmental ethical engagement and Open Science. Between 2019 and 2022, I am associated with OSEH as Professor II. At the same time, I am Professor of Climate Change Archaeology and Environmental Humanities at Aarhus University in Denmark. There, I head the Laboratory for Past Disaster Science and my research focuses on the societies of Europe's deep time, on cultural transmission and on human vulnerability and resilience to natural hazards and climate change, from deep past to the the Anthropocene.

Courses taught

  • I currently do not teach at UiO.


Born in Germany, I am educated in the UK with a BA in Anthropology and Archaeology from Durham University and an MPhil and PhD from Cambridge. After finishing my PhD, I was briefly associated with Wolfson College as Junior Researc Fellow and the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies as Research Associate after which I took up a British Academy Post-doctoral Fellowship at University College London. In 2009, I moved to Aarhus, to begin my appointment as Assistant Professor. Interspersed with sabbatical periods in Cambridge (UK) and Cambridge (MA), I have since progressed to Associate and, since 2018, Professor.

Thanks to consistent and generaous funding by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and numerous other private foundations as well as, above all, the Independent Research Fund Denmark's Sapere Aude funding programme, I have been able to consistent pursue collaborative and interdisciplinary research into environmental deep history, the societal impacts of extreme events and the role of archaeology in the Anthropocene. I currently also lead an ERC Consolidator Grant project that blends state-of-the-art climatic and ecological modelling approaches with archaeological data and interpretations, focussing on the climatically, environmentally and culturally turbulent period around the end of the last ice age.


  • 2019-present              European Research Council Consolidator Grant: CLIOdynamic ARCHaeology: Computational approaches to Final Palaeolithic/earliest Mesolithic archaeology and climate change (ca. 2 million €)
  • 2018-2019                 Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education International Network Programme: Aarhus-Cape Town Environmental Humanities Partnership (ca. 270.000 DKK)
  • 2017 – present            The Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities (Sapere Aude career step 2: Starting Grant): Laboratory for Past Disaster Science (http://projects.au.dk/lapadis/), phase 2 (ca. 7,000,000 DKK)
  • 2017 – present            EU-Life programme grant: Coast to Coast Climate Challenge, sub-project C24: Climate history | Culture history (http://www.c2ccc.eu/projektmateriale/delprojekterne/tvargaende-innovative-projekter/klimahistorie--kulturhistorie/;ca. 1,000,000 DKK)
  • 2016                           Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation International Network Programme (INP) grant: Towards an experimental understanding of human cognitive evolution (ca. 300,000 DKK)
  • 2014 – 2017               AU Interdisciplinary Network Grant: Climate|Culture|Catastrophe Network (C3NET: http://c3net.au.dk/; ca. 300,000 DKK)
  • 2013 – 2016               International Union for Quaternary Science (INQUA) special project: Cultural and palaeoenvironmental changes in Late Glacial-Middle Holocene Europe – gradual or sudden? (http://www.inqua.org/habcom/projects/1404.html) (ca. 120,000 DKK)
  • 2011 - 2013                The Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities (Sapere Aude career step 1: Young elite researcher): Laboratory for Past Disaster Science (http://projects.au.dk/lapadis/), phase 1 (ca. 2,000,000 DKK)
  • 2011 – 2013               Wenner-Gren Foundation: Krogsbølle excavation project (100,000 DKK)
  • 2011 - 2013                Beckett-Fond: Krogsbølle excavation project (50,000 DKK)
  • 2011 - 2013                Dronning Margrethe II og Prins Henriks Fond: Krogsbølle excavation project (ca. 20,000 DKK)


  • Nov. 2019-present      Professor II, OSEH with particualr ffiliation with IAKH, UiO (NO)
  • Feb. 2018-present      Director of Research, Dept. of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Aarhus University (DK)
  • Feb. 2016-Feb. 2019  Founding Director, Centre for Environmental Humanities, School of Culture & Society, Aarhus University (DK)
  • Feb. 2015-Jan.2018    Head of Department, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Aarhus University (DK)

Positions held

  • Feb. 2018-present      Professor with special responsibilities in environmental humanities and climate change archaeology, Dept. of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Aarhus University (DK)
  • Mar. 2013-Aug. 2013  Visiting Scholar, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University (USA)
  • Apr. 2012-2015           Associate Professor (Lektor) in Prehistoric Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, School of Culture & Society, Aarhus University (DK)
  • Mar. 2012-May 2012  Visiting Scholar, Department of Geography & McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge (UK)  
  • Apr. 2009–Mar. 2012   Assistant Professor (Adjunkt) in Prehistoric Archaeology, Institute of Anthropology, Archaeology and Linguistics, Aarhus University (DK)
  • Oct. 2007–April 2009  British Academy Post-doctoral Fellow, AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity, Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UK)
  • Aug. 2007–May 2009  Associate Lecturer, Open University (UK)
  • Oct. 2006–Sept. 2007 Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College & Research Associate, Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • Oct 2006–June 2007  Faculty Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Anthropology & Archaeology, University of Cambridge (UK)



Tags: Environmental Humanities, Archaeology, Climate Crisis, volcano, Palaeography

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Published Nov. 11, 2019 10:22 AM - Last modified Feb. 21, 2020 10:40 AM

Research groups