Dr. João MARREIROS
Exactly 10 years ago, during the International Conference on Use-Wear Analysis (Use-Wear 2012) held in Faro, the collaborative dynamic between researchers successfully guided the participants to the creation of the Association of Archaeological Wear & Residue Analysts. Despite this, the history of our discipline is much older. Our association builds on several international meetings that, since Vancouver 1977, have illustrated the continual growth of the discipline. Consequently, this contributed to establishing use-wear and residue analysis as a fundamental field in Archaeology.
These meetings, and more recently AWRANA, allowed several researchers with different backgrounds and expertise to build a dynamic community. Currently, our AWRANA has significantly contributed not only to strengthen these dynamics, but essentially to mature cooperation between researchers. From my perspective, the association is a perfect platform for bringing together colleagues with similar research interests to encourage scientific discussion. This background also fosters and reinforces AWRANA’s focus on pursuing true interdisciplinary and collaborative investigations. Based on the current members, I envision our association as the perfect platform to reinforce the interdisciplinary nature and synergy already present between us. This does not only hold the potential to pursue the goals of our discipline in the field of archaeology, but also to cultivate pioneering methodological and theoretical studies in our field.
In this context, I would like to present my candidacy for the position of President of our Association. I must start by briefly introducing myself. I am an archaeologist interested in unravelling and understanding early hominin technological innovations, with a special fascination in how stone tools were designed and used. To address these questions, my approach combines methodological developments in the lab with artifact analysis, experiments and field work. This has been the scope of my research during my PhD and Post-Doc at UAlg (Portugal), and during my last 5 years as a Research Group Leader at TraCEr-MONREPOS (Germany). My research projects focus on the Late Middle Palaeolithic and Initial Palaeolithic in areas such as Portugal, Germany, Armenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ethiopia, and Israel. In this framework, I have established several dynamic collaborations with researchers from diverse institutions, which resulted in organized conferences, workshops, joint papers and projects. Ideally, I would like to establish an open and sharing environment for the development of the AWRANA’s agenda, whereas my vision for our association relies on several strategic aims:
1. Promote membership and dissemination; increase membership by expanding our newsletter and also strengthen AWRANA’s involvement on social media platforms, as well as the presence at broader themed conferences (e.g. EAA, SAA, ESHE);
2. AWRANA conferences; support the organizers of our international conference. Our support should encourage the continuation and implementation of important actions such as: Student travel grant, Student talk/poster prizes, Childcare and Ombudspersons;
3. Promote collaborative research; create tools at AWRANA to encourage scientific discussion and data sharing (for example: an online discussion forum, mailing list, regular series of online lectures, database sharing, analytical guidelines and protocols). By doing so, the scientific exchange outside the conference period should be supported/ensured;
4. Research synergy; promote the creation of collaborative platforms between the different research labs (e.g. equipment and data sharing); establish AWRANA as a hub for encouraging training of junior and senior researchers at different associated laboratories.
5. Interdisciplinary; support exchange between the use-wear community and other disciplines (e.g. dental microwear, tribology, material sciences). I am available to actively contribute and help to keep building the excellent and dynamic research environment at AWRANA. As a regular member, I am keen to be part of AWRANA’s executive board. I look forward to working closer with you all.