My research

My research is centred around human connections with the ocean. In 2020 I completed a multidisciplinary PhD combining humanities (archaeology) with STEM (physical oceanography), funded by the Leverhulme Trust as part of Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute’s “Understanding Maritime Futures” programme.


In my research, I used computer models of open ocean and coastal tidal circulation to explore the migration to Sahul (Australasia) by the world’s earliest seafarers, ca 65,000 years ago. As Senior Research Assistant for the ACROSS project I expanded on this work by studying the effects of monsoonal winds on this maritime migration.

Before coming to Southampton, I studied at Leiden University in the Netherlands. For more details on my education and skills, please scroll down or download my CV.

Kiki Kuijjer, Menai Bridge

Avenue Campus, University of Southampton

My interests

I have a background in archaeology, and am fascinated by early human migrations and seafaring. I am especially interested in human adaptation and innovation in the light of environmental changes - in the past, present, and future.


I am also fascinated by the dynamic nature of the oceans, and by changes that occur in the maritime environment due to sea level fluctuations. I like how my research allowed me to explore ocean dynamics using different computational methods.


I enjoy communicating my research. I have presented at a number of international conferences, and have been involved in several outreach projects with Soco, Southampton’s coastal group.

Visiting Menai Bridge in 2018.



Human connections

Human evolution and maritime migration

Past and present human-environment interactions

Australia, Southeast Asia

2015 - 2020

University of Southampton, UK

SMMI Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship

Multidisciplinary PhD in archaeology and oceanography

Physical oceanography

Open ocean currents (the Indonesian Throughflow)

Coastal oceanography

(Deep time) tidal dynamics

Computational modelling

Lagrangian particle tracking

Coastal hydrodynamic modelling

2010 - 2014

Leiden University, NL

Research MA in archaeology (human origins, ecology)

2007 - 2010

Leiden University, NL

BA in archaeology (science based methods, Palaeolithic)



Dutch (native)

English (fluent, IELTS 8.5)

German (level B1)

Academic skills

Multidisciplinary research

Academic writing

Critical thinking

Data analysis

Teaching (BA, MA, workshops)

Science communication

Public speaking (conferences)

Computer skills


NEMO, Ariane


Microsoft Office

Adobe Photoshop, InDesign


Personal skills



Strong work ethic

Good communication


Kuijjer, E.K., Haigh, I.D., Marsh, R., Farr, H., Haigh, I.D. Changing tidal dynamics and the role of the maritime environment in the colonisation of Australasia. Manuscript accepted for publication. It will be published in a special issue of the open-access journal PaleoAnthropology with the title “The impact of Upper Pleistocene climatic and environmental change on hominin occupations and landscape use”.

Kuijjer, E.K. The role of open ocean and coastal tidal currents in the maritime migration to Sahul, ca. 65,000–50,000 years ago. University of Southampton, PhD thesis.

Kuijjer, E. K., Mbye, H., Power, C., Veluplay, G., Westbury, S., 2017. Social Sustainability and Unplanned Urban Growth in the Coastal Megacity. Southampton, UK: University of Southampton.


Van Dijk, M.C., Berkholst, B.E., Brozius, B., Kuijjer, E.K., van Meel, E.B., Møller, N.H., Nielsen, T.K., Soffers, P.J.J.F., Sterner, L.J., de Veth, L., Mickleburgh, H.L., 2014. Pijpgebruik door jong en oud: sporen van pijproken bij individuen van het Sint Janskerkhof, ’s-Hertogenbosch. Westerheem 63, 12–23.

In prep.