UMaine Alum Kurt Rademaker Wins International Award for Ice-Age Research

Posted April 14, 2014

Dr. Kurt Rademaker, 2012 doctoral graduate from the University of Maine and faculty associate of both the Department of Anthropology and the Climate Change Institute, recently received the 16th Tubingen Research Prize in Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology. The award is offered by the Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen, Germany and was created to foster innovative research among young scholars studying Ice Age archaeology, Quaternary ecology and human evolution. As the 2014 recipient, Rademaker delivered the prize lecture February 6th in Germany, received 5,000 Euros, and is expected to contribute a research paper summarizing his research for the journal Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte.

Rademaker’s research is focused on highest known ice-age archaeological site in the world; a 12,000 to 12,500 year old settlement at 14,700 feet above sea level in the Peruvian Andes. He said of his research, “The fact that hunter-gatherers were physiologically capable of living in high-altitude mountains at the end of an ice age is an example of how amazingly adaptable our species is. My team and I are trying to learn more about how people managed this initial settlement and how Andean environments, ecology and culture have changed since then.” Through a variety of archaeological and geological techniques Rademaker and his team of interdisciplinary scientists have learned about possible seasonal migrations, diet, and other elements of our incredible capacity for survival at such high elevations. For more information, check out the piece in the Graduate School Newsletter; The Higher Degree here and the Bangor Daily News article here.