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Dr Nadia Khalaf

Dr Nadia Khalaf

Impact and Partnership Development Manager – Cultural Heritage


 Innovation Centre 


Innovation Centre,  University of Exeter,  Rennes Drive,  Exeter,  EX4 4RN, UK


I am the Impact and Partnership Development Manager for Cultural Heritage in Exeter Innovation. I support researchers working in all aspects of heritage to connect them with external partners.

Cultural heritage partnerships can span a wide-range of disciplines and I am keen to hear from academics in all departments wishing to engage with any external partners or share their ideas with me. 


BA (Hons), MSc, PhD


I joined the University of Exeter in 2016 as a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, prior to this I was a Post Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University. My multidisciplinary research focuses on heritage management and conservation in the 'Global South', specifically African heritage and archaeology, and the use of environmental science to better understand historic landscape dynamics past and present, and the impact of climate change on heritage sites.

Recently, I was a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Sixth Assessment Report (2022) in the African chapter, looking at heritage. I was also co-author on two papers featured in Nature Climate Change, one focusing on climate threats to heritage sites in Africa, and the other on decolonising climate heritage research.

I have been an archaeologist specialising in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Satellite Remote Sensing for over 15 years and have carried out mapping project, field surveys and excavations globally, notably in Ethiopia, Benin, and Libya, as well as Tunisia, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. I also have extensive experience in British commercial archaeology. During my career I have worked alongside many different types of partners and stakeholders across the globe and understand the importance of maintaining an open and collaborative relationship. 

I have a PhD from the Sainsbury Research Unit, University of East Anglia and an MSc in Geographical Information Science from the Department of Geography, University of Leicester. I studied a BA in Archaeology and History from the University of Reading.

I am a Clore Leadership Emerging Leader 2023. I am currently Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Frontiers in Environmental Archaeology in the speciality section on Landscape and Geological Processes.

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Journal articles

Vousdoukas MI, Clarke J, Ranasinghe R, Reimann L, Khalaf N, Duong TM, Ouweneel B, Sabour S, Iles CE, Trisos CH, et al (2022). African heritage sites threatened as sea-level rise accelerates. Nature Climate Change, 12(3), 256-262. Abstract.
Simpson NP, Clarke J, Orr SA, Cundill G, Orlove B, Fatorić S, Sabour S, Khalaf N, Rockman M, Pinho P, et al (2022). Decolonizing climate change–heritage research. Nature Climate Change, 12(3), 210-213.
Ochungo P, Khalaf N, Merlo S, Beldados A, M’Mbogori FN, Tiki W, Lane PJ (2022). Remote Sensing for Biocultural Heritage Preservation in an African Semi-Arid Region: a Case Study of Indigenous Wells in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. Remote Sensing, 14(2), 314-314. Abstract.
Insoll T, Khalaf N, MacLean R, Parsons-Morgan H, Tait N, Gaastra J, Beldados A, Pryor A, Evis L (2021). Material cosmopolitanism: the entrepot of Harlaa as an Islamic gateway to eastern Ethiopia. Antiquity, 380, 487-507.
Khalaf NR, Insoll T (2019). Monitoring Islamic Archaeological Landscapes in Ethiopia Using Open Source Satellite Imagery. Journal of Field Archaeology, 44
Bradley AV, McLaren SJ, Al-Dughairi A, Khalaf NR (2018). A multi-scale approach interpreting sediment processes and distribution from desert sand colour in central Saudi Arabia. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Khalaf N, Haour A, N'Dah D, Livingstone Smith A (2018). The Archaeological Landscape: Survey and Settlement. The Journal of African Archaeology Monograph Series, 13, 41-50.
Insoll T, Khalaf NR, MacLean R, Zerihun D (2017). Archaeological Survey and Excavations, Harlaa, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia January-February 2017. A Preliminary Fieldwork Report. Nyame Akuma, 87, 32-38.
Mattingly D, Abduli H, Aburgheba H, Ahmed M, Esmaia MAA, Baker S, Cole F, Fenwick C, Rodriguez MG, Hobson M, et al (2015). DMP IX: Summary Report on the Fourth Season of Excavations of the Burials and Identity team. Libyan Studies, 41, 89-104. Abstract.
Mattingly D, Abduli H, Ahmed M, Cole F, Fenwick C, Fothergill BT, Rodriguez MG, Hobson M, Khalaf N, Lahr M, et al (2014). DMP XII: Excavations and Survey of the so-called Garamantian Royal Cemetery (GSC030–031). Libyan Studies, 42, 89-102. Abstract.
Khalaf N, Haour A (2013). Excavations at Tin Tin Kanza (TTK), Northern Bénin. Nyame Akuma, 79, 101-111.


Trisos CH, Adelekan IO, Totin E, Ayanlade A, Efitre J, Gemeda A, Kalaba K, Lennard C, Masao C, Mgaya Y, et al (2022). Africa (Chapter 9). In  (Ed) Climate Change 2022 Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability : Working Group II Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 1285-1456. Abstract.
Khalaf NR, Haour A, N'Dah D, Livingstone Smith A (2018). The Archaeological Landscape: Survey and Settlement. In Haour A (Ed) Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin Archaeology, History and Memory, Brill.

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