Australian Association Of Consulting Archaeologists Inc

Member Profiles: Sean Ulm

ULM, Sean

ULM, Sean

James Cook University
P: 07 4232 1194
M: 0417 792 191
Send Sean an email

* BA (Hons), The University of Queensland
* PhD, The University of Queensland

Professional Associations and Positions

Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities
Fellow, Society of Antiquaries of London
Honorary Research Fellow, Queensland Museum
Honorary Fellow, School of Social Sciences, The University of Western Australia
Fellow, Cairns Institute
Deputy Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage
Editorial Board, Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology
Editorial Board, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Editor, Queensland Archaeological Research
Member, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
Member, Australian Archaeological Association Inc.
Full Member, Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists Inc.
Member, Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology
Member, World Archaeological Congress
Member, Society for American Archaeology
Member, Australasian Quaternary Association
Member, Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria
Member, Royal Society of Queensland
Member, International Council for Archaeozoology
Member, Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association
Member, Australian National Committee for Archaeology Teaching and Learning


  • Site Survey
  • Site Recording
  • Excavation

Special Fields

  • Shell midden analysis
  • Coastal archaeology
  • Southeast Queensland archaeology
  • Central Queensland archaeology

Consulting Experience

Over 25 years of experience working as an archaeologist and cultural heritage consultant in Queensland and Western Australia.

Extensive experience in EIS-related cultural heritage assessments, specialising in coastal Indigenous archaeology in Queensland.

Extensive experience in undertaking archaeological surveys, site recording and significance assessments (especially coastal environments).

Research interests in:

Coastal and island archaeology

Marine carbon reservoirs

Impacts of people on new environments

Cultural heritage management and climate change

Refining archaeological chronologies

Improving archaeology teaching and learning

Selected Publications

Kreij, A., J. Scriffignano, D. Rosendahl, T. Nagel and S. Ulm 2018 Aboriginal stone-walled intertidal fishtrap morphology, function and chronology investigated with high-resolution close-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle photogrammetry. Journal of Archaeological Science 96:148-161.

Bird, M.I. R.J. Beaman, S.A. Condie, A. Cooper, S. Ulm and P. Veth 2018 Palaeogeography and voyage modeling indicates early human colonization of Australia was likely from Timor-Roti. Quaternary Science Reviews 191:431-439.

Williams, A.N., S. Ulm, T. Sapienza, S. Lewis and C.S.M. Turney 2018 Sea-level change and demography during the last glacial termination and early Holocene across the Australian continent. Quaternary Science Reviews 182:144-154.

Kenady, S.L., K.M. Lowe and S. Ulm 2018 Determining the boundaries, structure and volume of buried shell matrix deposits using ground-penetrating radar: A case study from northern Australia. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 17:538-549.

Asmussen, B., L.M. Hill, S. Ulm and C. Knowles 2016 Obligations to objects: Tangled histories and changing contexts of the Burnett River Rock Engravings. Museum Worlds: Advances in Research 4:78-94.

Bird, M.I., D. O’Grady and S. Ulm 2016 Humans, water, and the colonization of Australia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(41):11477-11482. doi:10.1073/pnas.1608470113

Mate, G. and S. Ulm 2016 Another snapshot for the album: A decade of Australian Archaeology in Profile survey data. Australian Archaeology 82(2):168-183.

Wright, D., B. Stephenson, P.S.C. Taçon, R.N. Williams, A. Fogel, S. Sutton and S. Ulm 2016 Exploring ceremony: The archaeology of a men’s meeting house (‘kod’) on Mabuyag, western Torres Strait. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 26(4):721-740.

Williams, A.N., P. Veth. W. Steffen, S. Ulm, C.S.M. Turney, J.M. Reeves, S.J. Phipps and M. Smith 2015 A continental narrative: Human settlement patterns and Australian climate change over the last 35,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews 123:91-112.

Williams, A.N., S. Ulm, C.S.M. Turney, D. Rohde and G. White 2015 Holocene demographic changes and the emergence of complex societies in prehistoric Australia. PLoS ONE 10(6):e0128661.

Rowland, M., S. Ulm and M. Roe 2014 Approaches to monitoring and managing Indigenous Australian coastal cultural heritage places. Queensland Archaeological Research 17:37-48.

Rowland, M.J., S. Ulm and J. Reid 2014 Compliance with Indigenous cultural heritage legislation in Queensland: Perceptions, realities and prospects. Environmental and Planning Law Journal 31(5):329-351.

Ulm, S. 2013 'Complexity' and the Australian continental narrative: Themes in the archaeology of Holocene Australia. Quaternary International 285:182-192.

Rowland, M.J. and S. Ulm 2012 Key issues in the conservation of the Australian coastal archaeological record: Natural and human impacts. Journal of Coastal Conservation 16(2):159-171.

Langley, M.C., C. Clarkson and S. Ulm 2011 From small holes to grand narratives: The impact of taphonomy and sample size on the modernity debate in Australia and New Guinea. Journal of Human Evolution 61:197-208.

McNiven, I.J., B. David, T. Richards, K. Aplin, B. Asmussen, J. Mialanes, M. Leavesley, P. Faulkner and S. Ulm 2011 New direction in human colonisation of the Pacific: Lapita settlement of south coast New Guinea. Australian Archaeology 72:1-6.

Rowland, M.J. and S. Ulm 2011 Indigenous fish traps and weirs of Queensland. Queensland Archaeological Research 14:1-58.

Ulm, S. 2011 Coastal foragers on southern shores: Marine resource use in northeast Australia since the late Pleistocene. In N.F. Bicho, J.A. Haws and L.G. Davis (eds), Trekking the Shore: Changing Coastlines and the Antiquity of Coastal Settlement, pp.441-461. Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology. New York: Springer.

Williams, A.N., S. Ulm, I.D. Goodwin and M.A. Smith 2010 Hunter-gatherer response to late Holocene climatic variability in northern and central Australia. Journal of Quaternary Science 25(6):831-838.

Ross, A. and S. Ulm 2010 Online heritage: Accommodating interpretation of a living Aboriginal heritage site. In Australia: Proceedings of the NAI International Conference Townsville, Queensland, Australia, April 13-17, 2010, pp.175-180. Fort Collins, CO: National Association for Interpretation. http://www.interpnet.com/ic/downloads.shtml/.

Ulm, S., N. Evans, D. Rosendahl, P. Memmott and F. Petchey 2010 Radiocarbon and linguistic dates for occupation of the South Wellesley Islands, northern Australia. Archaeology in Oceania 45(1):39-43.

Ulm, S., K. Vernon, G. Robertson and S. Nugent 2009 Historical continuities in Aboriginal land-use at Bustard Bay, Queensland: Results of use-wear and residue analysis of Aboriginal glass artefacts. Australasian Historical Archaeology 27:111-119.

Langley, M.C., C. Clarkson and S. Ulm 2008 Behavioural complexity in Eurasian Neanderthal populations: A chronological examination of the archaeological evidence. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 18(3):289-307.

Nunn, P.D., R. Hunter-Anderson, M.T. Carson, F. Thomas, S. Ulm and M.J. Rowland 2007 Times of plenty, times of less: Last-millennium societal disruption in the Pacific Basin. Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal 35(4):385-401.

Ulm, S. 2006 Coastal Themes: An Archaeology of the Southern Curtis Coast, Queensland. Terra Australis 24. Canberra: ANU E Press. 314pp.

Ulm, S. and D. Vale 2006 The antiquity of marine fishing in southeast Queensland: New evidence for pre-2000 BP fishing from three sites on the southern Curtis Coast. In S. Ulm and I. Lilley (eds), An Archaeological Life: Papers in Honour of Jay Hall, pp.161-176. Research Report Series 7. Brisbane: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, University of Queensland.

Ulm, S., S. Nichols and C. Dalley 2005 Mapping the shape of contemporary Australian archaeology: Implications for teaching and learning. Australian Archaeology 61:11-23.

Ulm, S. 2002 Reassessing marine fishery intensification in southeast Queensland. Queensland Archaeological Research 13:79-96.

Ulm, S. and J. Reid 2000 Index of dates from archaeological sites in Queensland. Queensland Archaeological Research 12:1-129.

A full curriculum vitae is available on request