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Photo of Dr Carly Ameen

Dr Carly Ameen

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


01392 726248

Carly is an archaeological scientist specialising in zooarchaeology and a founding member of the HumAnE Research Centre where she directs the Morphometrics Lab. Her research focuses on the use of Geometric Morphometrics (GMM) to distinguish between the faunal remains of closely related animals and identify domesticates in archaeological contexts. She is primarily interested in how changes in animal morphology are related to changing husbandry practices and the unique cultural roles of animals in the past. 

Increasingly, her research focuses around themes of human-animal interactions and the influence of these relationships on human societies both today and in the past. She specalises in a GMM, but promotes a full-suite analytical methodology (combining studies of osteology, metrics, pathology, genetics and isotopes) to the analysis of wild and domestic animals, and humans remains. Increasingly her research aligns with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and her work is focussed on providing a deep-time perspective to some of the largest issues facing humans, animals and our shared environment today.


Carly holds degrees in both archaeological science and anthropology and she completed her PhD at the University of Liverpool in 2018 as part of the NERC funded “Deciphering Dog Domestication” project. Her thesis focused on the analysis of morphometric variability in prehistoric New World dogs, and investigated how changes in canid morphology can reflect changes in the cultural, technological and economic use of dogs in the Americas. After a year as PDRA on the AHRC 'Exploring the Easter E.g.' project, she is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on the AHRC project 'Warhorse: The Archaeology of a Military Revolution'.


Research interests

Carly is the Project Officer and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the "Warhorse" project, which is a collaborative AHRC funded research project, lead by Professors Oliver Creighton and Alan Outram.


Carly’s work focuses on the zooarchaeological analysis of equid remains from key archaeological sites across Britian to provide a deeper-time perspective on the impact of this Medieval icon on both the broader cultural landscape of the Middle Ages, as well as on the biology of the horse itself. Her research combines traditional zooarchaeological methods with geometric morphometrics and stable isotope analysis to reconstruct changing human-equid relationships.


She is also involved in a series of long-running research colloborations, examining the relationships between humans some of our closest domestic animals, namely dogs and rabbits. More broadly, she is interested in the emergence of distinctive breeds of these, and other, domestic mammals, and in the continuation of morphological and biological divesity exhibited after their initial domestication. Her work on the long term relationship between humans and domestic animals naturally includes an examination of these animals' wild counterparts, and Carly's work is increasingly exploring the localised extinction of wild animals, such as the wolf and the wild boar, and contextualising these historical extinctions in the framework of modern rewilding policy.


Research collaborations

"From Feed the Birds to Do Not Feed the Animals" PI Prof. Naomi Sykes (Wellcome Trust)


"Warhorse: The Archaeology of a Military Revolution?", PI Prof. Oliver Creighton, University of Exeter (AHRC)


Exploring the Easter E.g.- Shifting Baselines and Changing Perceptions of Cultural and Biological ‘Aliens’”, PI Prof. Naomi Sykes, University of Exeter (AHRC).


Deciphering dog domestication through a combined ancient DNA and geometric morphometric approach”, PI: Prof. Greger Larson, Oxford University (NERC)


"Understanding Cultural Resilience and Climate Change on the Bering Sea through Yup’ik Ecological Knowledge, Lifeways, Learning and Archaeology" ELLA Project, PI: Dr. Rick Knecht, University of Aberdeen (AHRC)


Research supervision

I am open to discussing research proposals on any relevant subject within my research expertise. I am especially happy to consider working with candidates with interests in the following areas:

Zooarchaeology and Bioarchaeology

Geometric morphometics

3D modeling and digital humanities

Dog Domestication

Arctic North America

Research students

Current and Past Graduate Students

  • Felix Sedebeck - 'Cattle Conquest: Evaluating the Meaning, Impact and Legacy of Cattle Husbandry in the Roman World' - MSc Expected 2021, PhD expected 2025. 
  • Hannah Britton -  "No bark, all bite: A study of domestic dog morphology and diet in Britain" - MSc Awarded 2020
  • Laura Connor  - "A Geometric Morphometric Approach to Sex Estimation of the Greater Sciatic Notch" - MSc awarded 2020
  • Helene Benkhert - "Warhorse: The zooarchaeological view on the role of horses in European Medieval warfare and beyond" - PhD expected 2023
  • Margherita Zona - "Revealing the human exploitation of salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) on the Pacific coast of North America: A morphometric and biomolecular approach to reconstructing precontact subsistence strategies and human responses to climate change" - PhD expected 2022 (University of Liverpool)