Dr Donna de Groene

Donna de Groene is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Archaeology, on the INSTAR project New Pastures.  

Donna is a zooarchaeology and isotope specialist, studying human-animal relationships in prehistory. She obtained a PhD at the University of Reading, part of and funded by the ERC MENTICA project (MENTICA - The Middle East Neolithic Transition: Integrated Community Approaches (reading.ac.uk)), Her research focused on the earliest animal management and domestication strategies employed during the Neolithic Transition in the Zagros Mountains of Iran and Iraq.  

Dr de Groene is the lead zooarchaeologist on the IRC -COALESCE funded project ‘New Pastures’ led by Dr Katharina Becker, Department of Archaeology. The project is funded under Strand 1 L – Instar – by the National Monuments Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in partnership with the Heritage Council and supports Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research. 

Project Outline

The project ‘New Pastures’ project will address central gaps in current understanding of the 1st millennia BC and AD by utilizing the abundant data generated by the infrastructural schemes of the recent past to create new knowledge about animal husbandry practices, settlement modes and lifeways of the Iron Age. 

The cutting edge, interdisciplinary research strategy combines zooarchaeological and isotopic analysis, Bayesian modelling and Ancient Genomics to the study of the remains of sheep, goat, cattle and horse found in Ireland. This will create a completely new understanding of animal husbandry practices of the Iron Age in all their facets and address fundamental questions about the subsistence base and lifeways of Iron Age society, previously not studied in Ireland. Dr de Groene will conduct sampling for, and analysis of isotopic analyses for carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and strontium isotopes with project partner Professor Derek Hamilton of Glasgow University, and work with Professor Daniel Bradley and his team at Trinity College on the study of the ancient Genomics of Later Prehistoric and early historic herbivores  

The project is interdisciplinary and collaborative and brings together a range of internationally leading experts from Ireland, the UK, the US and France, with local heritage and community stakeholders from County Kildare and Laois, to co-create knowledge and understanding of our joint heritage, that will create a new baseline understanding of Iron Age life in Ireland. 

Email: DDeGroene@ucc.ie


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