Lia Plankenhorn-Farrell

Program Entrance



Dan Adler

Research Interests

My research interests include the geographical, chronological, and cultural overlap of Neandertals and modern humans and impacts on genetics, biology, culture, and technology for both species.


What sparked your interest in Anthropology/Archaeology?

I have been grateful for the opportunity to travel Europe and the United States from a young age, which exposed me to different cultures, landmarks, and archaeological sites spanning human history. I became fascinated with learning how different peoples lived, the items they created, and how they treated their dead. As a citizen of Germany traveling throughout the landscape of my ancestors, I was introduced to the Celts and Neandertals, and wanted to learn more about what archaeology can teach us of the past.

Where are you/will you be conducting your research/fieldwork?

Potential areas of interest for me and my future research are southern Europe and the Levant.

What do you find most interesting about your field work/research location?

I really love learning the similarities between different hominin species and how they may not really have been all that different from us. However, it is amazing to learn their unique adaptations, both cultural and biological, that arose from their interaction with the natural world. I think those adaptations can inform us about our own future and how we interact with the earth will set the tone for our species’s survival.

What is your most memorable experience in the field so far, or most memorable lesson learned?

Last summer I accompanied my advisor and fellow students to a small town in northern Italy to analyze material from a cave site by. Alongside the wonderful experience and lab skills we acquired, I was moved by the deep connection, responsibility, and love felt by the local Italian community towards the archaeological work being done there. I learned that the human connection between the living and the ancestors is an important thread to maintain in science and archaeology.

What do you do in your downtime? Share something interesting about yourself!

I am a yoga teacher and student and love spending time outdoors with my husband and our Aussie Doodle Nellie! Hiking, camping, stand up paddle boarding, and back country skiing keep us moving and engaged with the world around us. I also love a good book and a cup of tea.

Lia Plankenhorn-Farrell
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