Abi Pate: Palaeobiology, Archaeology, and Scientific Communication

School of Earth Sciences, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, UK.

Research   Fieldwork    Outreach    Illustration    Contact

email: ap15315@my.bristol.ac.uk


Welcome to my website.
I am currently studying for an MSc in Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol.
I have a background in Palaeolithic archaeology, and am passionate about communicating evolutionary concepts to a wider audience.


I am interested in mammal evolution, particularly those changes in faunal communities which accompanied the transition of hominins from obscure anthropoid to a dominant species on Earth.
I began an MSc in Palaeobiology to gain a deeper understanding of evolutionary processes, and am interested in its application to human evolution from a less anthropocentric perspective.
For my undergraduate dissertation, I analysed the faunal record of Marine Isotope Stage 3 Britain, and how the animal communities changed in response to a fluctuating climate. This was done by systematically removing unreliable radiocarbon dates (before the advent of 'ultrafiltration') from a large database of dated fossils, and plotting the outcome against the NGRIP ice core record. The patterns revealed showed that not only did faunal communities respond to climate changes, but human stone tool culture did too.

Outreach and Events

I am a STEM ambassador, and am passionate about communicating scientific knowledge to a wider audience in an accessible way. I will be helping out with the upcoming Bristol Dinosaur Week at Bristol Museum, teaching school-aged children about the work of a palaeontologist.
I have recently devised a schools workshop involving the use of 3D printed fossil teeth as a learning resource that no one needs be worried about handling! This will hopefully be underway in the new year.
Finally, I am currently designing an exhibition to be installed at Kents Cavern visitors centre. This is a site I worked at in June 2015, on a prospective dig led by Dr Rob Dinnis, which uncovered a new cave entrance.
The exhibition will introduce the public to the work we are doing, provide some archaeologically themed activities for children, and explain why Kents Cavern is so cool!


I love drawing, mainly bones...here's a small selection.

sketch sketch sketch

Archaeological Fieldwork

I have been lucky enough to attend some fantastic archaeological excavations, mostly at Palaeolithic sites, where we mainly find lots of stones and bones!(Or not, as the case may be...)

Breitenbach (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) August 2015 3 weeks An Upper Palaeolithic (Aurignacian) site
Les Cottes (Vienne, France) July 20154 weeksMid-Upper Palaeolithic cave site, with occupation by Neanderthals through to modern humans.
Kents Cavern (Torquay, UK)June 20154 weeksRenowned palaeontological/archaeological cave site with artefacts spanning over 500,000 years.
Ffynnon Beuno (Denbighshire, UK)June 20144 weeks Mid-Upper Palaeolithic cave site
Ais Yiorkis (Paphos, Cyprus)June 20133 weeksNeolithic open-air site evidenceing mining and flint manufacture