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Dr Manuel Will

  • College positions:

    Junior Research Fellow

  • Subject:


PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Tübingen

MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge

BA in Prehistoric Archaeology & Paleoanthropology, University of Tübingen

Research interests

Being trained both as an archaeologist and paleoanthropologist, my main research interests lie in the study of human evolution from a joint bio-cultural perspective that takes evidence from artifacts and fossils into consideration. Current research projects focus on aspects of the biological, behavioral and cultural evolution of our genus (Homo) and species (Homo sapiens) in Africa and their dispersal to the rest of the world. I have been part of archaeological fieldwork in Europe, the Near East and Africa, with a particular focus on South Africa. I am also interested in theoretical archaeology and evolutionary biology, including evolutionary archaeology, gene-culture co-evolution, niche construction and cultural transmission theory.


I have taught various undergraduate and graduate classes at the University of Tübingen over the last few years, including:

Human evolution and Paleolithic archaeology in Africa
Theoretical archaeology in the past and present
Analysis of lithic artifacts and assemblages

Selected Publications

Will, M., Kandel, A.W., Kyriacou, K., Conard, N.J. (2016). An evolutionary perspective on coastal adaptations by modern humans during the Middle Stone Age of Africa. Quaternary International 404, 68-86.
Will, M., Stock, J.T. (2015). Spatial and temporal variation of body size among early Homo. Journal of Human Evolution 82, 15-33.
Will, M., Mackay, A., Phillips, N. (2015) Implications of Nubian-Like core reduction systems in southern Africa for the identification of early modern human dispersals. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0131824.
Will, M., Bader, G.D., Conard, N.J. (2014). Characterizing the Late Pleistocene MSA Lithic Technology of Sibudu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. PLoS ONE 9(5): e98359.
Will, M., Parkington, J.E., Kandel, A.W., Conard, N.J. (2013). Coastal adaptations and the Middle Stone Age lithic assemblages from Hoedjiespunt 1 in the Western Cape, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 64, 518-537.

Other interests

As befits an archaeologist, I love to travel and experience the world’s nature, history, culture and heritage. I enjoy all kinds of sports and have been a passionate basketball player (and former coach) since my teenage years. Finally, I would consider myself a true bookworm.