CV Kathryn E. Fitzsimmons


2016 Habilitation, Faculty for Physics and Geosciences, University of Leipzig, Dissertation title: Addressing the challenge of reconstructing palaeoenvironments in studies of human-environmental interactions

2003 - 2007 PhD, Quaternary Geology, Australian National University (ANU), Thesis title: The late Quaternary history of aridity in the Strzelecki and Tirari Desert dunefields, South Australia

1998 - 2002 Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Melbourne

1998 - 2001 Diploma of Modern Languages (German), University of Melbourne

Professional Experience

Dec 2016 - Max Planck Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany

2010 – 2016 Junior Researcher, Luminescence dating group leader, Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

2007 – 2010 Postdoctoral Fellow, Luminescence Dating Laboratory Manager, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

2007 Research Assistant, Australian Research Council Network “OZPACS: Recent human impact on Australian ecosystems”, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

2006 – 2007 Research Assistant, Luminescence Dating Laboratory, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

2004 Full time volunteer, Sunseed Desert Technology, Almería, Spain


2018 Hans-Bobek-Prize für Geographie, Österreichisch Geographische Gesellschaft (ÖGG), EUR 2000

2014 Albert Maucher-Preis für Geowissenschaften, DFG. EUR 10 000.

2007 Director’s Prize for Scientific Communication, Australian National University

2007 Student Travel Prize, Australasian Quaternary Association

2006 Student Award, Cooperative Research Centre for Landscape Environments & Mineral Exploration

Professional Service

Elected Ombuswoman: Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (2017-)
: Journal of Palaeolithic Archaeology (2017-), Quaternary Australasia (2007-2015)
Executive Committee: Australasian Quaternary Association (2007-2015) <
Steering Committees: INTIMATE (Integrating Ice Core, Marine and Terrestrial Records; 2014-); Palaeolakes of the arid southern hemisphere INQUA Focus Group (2016-); Aeolian deposits in Earth History Conference Beijing (2015)
Minerva FemmeNet (Max Planck Society; 2017-)
Professional Societies
: European Geosciences Union, Verband der Geographen an Deutschen Hochschulen, DEUQUA, Arbeitskreis Geoachäologie, Arbeitskreis Geomorphologie, European Society for Human Evolution, Australasian Quaternay Association

Graduate student supervision

Current students
2019- BSc Felix Hettwer (MPI/University of Mainz): Palaeoclimate reconstruction in loess using stable isotopes in sedimentary carbonates

2019- MSc Maike Nowatzki (MPI/University of Tübingen): Automated GIS mapping of aeolian landforms in the Central Asian piedmont

2018- PhD Alexandra Engström Johansson (MPI/University of Mainz): Quantitative palaeoclimate reconstruction in Central Asian loess archives using organic geochemistry

2017- PhD Aditi Dave (MPI/University of Mainz): Geochronology and age model generation of loess archives along the Central Asian piedmont

Completed students

2018  PhD Nina Doerschner (MPI/University of Leiden): Chronology and environmental context of archaeological sites, Morocco

2012   PhD Anja Guhl (MPI/University of Leipzig): Addressing the challenges of dating archaeological sites, Jonzac, France

2010    PhD Tegan Smith (ANU/co-supervised): Palaeoenvironment and landscape evolution at Lake Mulurulu, NSW

Practicum supervision

2018   Maike Nowatzki, MSc (University of Tübingen), 3 months
2018   Kristina Reetz, MSc (University of Mainz), 3 months
2018   Christian Laag, MSc (University of Bayreuth), 6 weeks
2017   Yue Li, PhD (Chinese Academy of Sciences Xi’an), 5 months
2017   Johannes Albert, PhD (University of Mainz), 5 months

Teaching (overview)

•    13 years’ teaching experience at all levels (undergraduate, MSc and PhD)
•    Privatdozentin, Institut für Geographie, Universität Leipzig
•    Teaching at 6 universities and graduate schools in Australia and Germany

  • Institut für Geographie/Institut für Geowissenschaften, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz
  • Institut für Geographie, Universität Leipzig
  • Leipzig School of Human Origins
  • Geographisches Institut, Universität zu Köln
  • School of Geology (later Earth and Marine Sciences), Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University

•    Teaching in both English and German