Dr Shimona Kealy

Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Archaeology and Natural History
School of Culture, History & Language

Shimona is an archaeologist and palaeobiologist with a key interest in the early movements of people, cultures, and animals throughout the islands of the Asia-Pacific. In particular, the patterns of occupation & cultures in island communities over the last ~50,000 years in Wallacea, and the biological & ecological impacts of early human arrival on islands.

Shimona works with geographic information systems (GIS), palaeogeographic reconstruction, biogeographic modelling, and phylogenetic analysis to explore the palaeo-archipelagos north of Australia and the people and animals who lived there. Her research currently involves archaeological surveys and excavations in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, as well as multidisciplinary projects combining archaeology with molecular and morphological phylogenetics to investigate possible prehistoric translocations of animals to Asia-Pacific islands.

Research interests

  • The prehistoric movements of people through Southeast Asia and Australasia
  • The biological & ecological impacts of early human arrival on islands
  • Patterns of occupation & cultures in island communities over the last ~50,000 years in Wallacea
  • Building up the network of collaborative research & training between Indonesia and Australia with a particular focus on the disciplines of Archaeology, Palaeontology, and Biology.
  • Kealy, S, O'Connor, S, Mahirta, M et al. 2020, 'Forty-thousand years of maritime subsistence near a changing shoreline on Alor Island (Indonesia)', Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 249, p. 106599.
  • Roberts, P, Louys, J, Zech, J et al. 2020, 'Isotopic evidence for initial coastal colonization and subsequent diversification in the human occupation of Wallacea', Nature Communications, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 2068.
  • Kealy, S, Donnellan, S, Mitchell, K et al. 2020, 'Phylogenetic relationships of the cuscuses (Diprotodontia : Phalangeridae) of island Southeast Asia and Melanesia based on the mitochondrial ND2 gene', Australian Mammalogy, vol. 42, pp. 266–276.
  • Shipton, C, O'Connor, S, Kealy, S et al. 2020, 'Early ground axe technology in Wallacea: The first excavations on Obi Island', PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 15, no. 8, pp. e0236719.
  • Miszkiewicz, J, Rider, C, Kealy, S et al. 2020, 'Asymmetric midshaft femur remodelling in an adult male with left sided hip joint ankylosis, Metal Period Nagsabaran, Philippines', International Journal of Paleopathology, vol. 33, pp. 14-22.
  • O'Connor, S, Kealy, S, McWilliam, A et al. 2020, 'Surveys of fortified sites in Southern Wallacea', in Sue O'Connor, Andrew McWilliam, Sally Brockwell (ed.), Forts and Fortification in Wallacea: Archaeological and Ethnohistoric Investigations, Terra Australis 53, ANU Press, Canberra, pp. 249-281.
  • Yuwono, P, Mahirta, M, O'Connor, S et al. 2020, 'New Painted Rock Art Sites in Alor Island, Eastern Indonesia, Support a Diversity of Artistic Traditions in the Late Holocene', Rock Art Research, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 1-11.
  • Shipton, C, O'Connor, S, Jankowski, N et al. 2019, 'A new 44,000-year sequence from Asitau Kuru (Jerimalai), Timor-Leste, indicates long-term continuity in human behaviour', Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 5717-5741.
  • O'Connor, S, Mahirta, M, Kealy, S et al. 2019, 'Kisar and the Archaeology of small Islands in the Wallacean Archipelago', Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 198-225.
  • Reepmeyer, C, O'Connor, S, Mahirta, M et al. 2019, 'Kisar, a small island participant in an extensive maritime obsidian network in the Wallacean Archipelago', Archaeological Research in Asia, vol. 19, p. 100139.
  • Kaharudin, H, Mahirta, M, Kealy, S et al. 2019, 'Human foraging responses to climate change; Here Sorot Entapa rockshelter on Kisar Island', Wacana, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 525-559.
  • Kealy, S, Louys, J & O'Connor, S 2018, 'Least-cost pathway models indicate northern human dispersal from Sunda to Sahul', Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 125, pp. 59-70pp.
  • Kealy, S, Wattimena, L & O'Connor, S 2018, 'A geological and spatial approach to prehistoric archaeological surveys on small islands: case studies from Maluku Barat Daya, Indonesia', Kapata Arkeologi, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 1-14.
  • O'Connor, S, Mahirta, M, Louys, J et al. 2018, 'New engraving finds in Alor Island, Indonesia extend known distribution of engravings in Oceania', Archaeological Research in Asia, vol. 15, pp. 116-128pp.
  • O'Connor, S, Mahirta, M, Kealy, S et al. 2018, 'Unusual painted anthropomorph in Lembata island extends our understanding of rock art diversity in Indonesia', Rock Art Research, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 79-84.
  • Kealy, S, Louys, J & O'Connor, S 2017, 'Reconstructing Palaeogeography and Inter-island Visibility in the Wallacean Archipelago During the Likely Period of Sahul Colonization, 65-45000 Years Ago', Archaeological Prospection, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 259-272.
  • Kealy, S & Beck, R 2017, 'Total evidence phylogeny and evolutionary timescale for Australian faunivorous marsupials (Dasyuromorphia)', BMC Evolutionary Biology, vol. 17, no. 240, pp. 23pp.
  • Hawkins, S, O'Connor, S, Maloney, T et al. 2017, 'Oldest human occupation of Wallacea at Laili Cave, Timor-Leste, shows broad-spectrum foraging responses to late Pleistocene environments', Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 171, pp. 58-72pp.
  • O'Connor, S, Louys, J, Kealy, S et al. 2017, 'Hominin Dispersal and Settlement East of the Huxley's Line: The role of sea level changes, island size, and subsistence behaviour', Current Anthropology, vol. 58, no. 17, pp. S567-S582.
  • O'Connor, S, Mahirta, M, Samper Carro, S et al. 2017, 'Fishing in life and death: Pleistocene fish-hooks from a burial context on Alor Island, Indonesia', Antiquity, vol. 91, no. 360, pp. 1451-1468pp.
  • Louys, J, Kealy, S, O'Connor, S et al. 2017, 'Differential preservation of vertebrates in Southeast Asian caves', International Journal of Speleology, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 379-408.
  • O'Connor, S, Mahirta, M, Tanudirjo, D et al. 2017, 'Ideology, Ritual Performance and Its Manifestations in the Rock Art of Timor-Leste and Kisar Island, Island Southeast Asia', Cambridge Archaeological Journal, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 225-241pp.
  • Kealy, S, Louys, J & O'Connor, S 2016, 'Islands Under the Sea: A Review of Early Modern Human Dispersal Routes and Migration Hypotheses Through Wallacea', Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 364-384.
  • Archer, M, Hand, S, Black, K et al. 2016, 'A new family of bizarre durophagous carnivorous marsupials from Miocene deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland', Scientific Reports, vol. 6, pp. 1-12.
  • Hawkins, S, O'Connor, S & Kealy, S 2016, 'Late Quaternary hominin-bat (Chiroptera) interactions in the Asia-Pacific', Archaeology in Oceania, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 7-17.
  • Reepmeyer, C, O'Connor, S, Mahirta, M et al. 2016, 'Late Pleistocene/early Holocene maritime interaction in Southeastern Indonesia � Timor Leste', Journal of Archaeological Science, vol. 76, pp. 21-30.
  • O'Connor, S, Louys, J, Kealy, S et al. 2015, 'First record of painted rock art near Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia, and the origins and distribution of the Austronesian painting tradition', Rock Art Research, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 193-201.