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NEXUS 1492 consists of the unique synergy of four interlocking projects, each comprising multiple subprojects and studies carried out by a multi-disciplinary international team of excellent principal investigators (PI), senior researchers, post doctoral researchers, and PhD students.

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 The team is composed of 38 talented scholars and researchers, from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, bioarchaeology, human genetics, physical geography, computer sciences, biogeochemistry, geochemistry, and heritage and museum studies. The trans-disciplinary synergy of the four PIs builds on previous collaborations in the context of Caribbean research. The cohesion between the four projects is based on the fact that the projects use inter-dependent methodologies, datasets and case-studies, in which interpretation, model-development and results are mutually contingent in terms of producing robust and new insights.

In case of any questions please send an e-mail to Maribel Adame.


Full Professor

Corinne L. Hofman is the CPI (Corresponding Principal Investigator) of NEXUS 1492. She also directs the archaeological project at Leiden and is head of a large international research group. Hofman has carried out archaeological research in the Caribbean since the 1980s. Her primary interests are the communication systems and interaction networks of the indigenous Amerindian population in the period before and after the colonisation of the New World in 1492. This interaction can be measured on the basis of people’s mobility and the exchange of goods and ideas. One of her focusses has been working on Caribbean ceramics.

Hofman’s main aim with NEXUS 1492 is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the social relationships and transformations in the region prior and after the European encounters through the adoption of a multidisciplinary approach that combines traditional archaeological research in the Greater and Lesser Antilles with the most up-to-date research methods from the humanities and the social and natural sciences. In addition, she has always been committed to protecting the cultural heritage and endangered archaeological record of the islands. Hofman has an extensive international network and collaboration agreements with local partners. She has been awarded several prestigious subsidies and in 2013 she won the KNAW MERIAN prize for excellent women scientists. She was appointed Dean of the Leiden Faculty of Archaeology in September 2013. She is member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences since 2015. In 2016  Corinne was appointed elected member of Academia Europaea.

Contact information:
Mail: Corinne Hofman
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 2449
External Profile: Corinne Hofman

Senior Researcher

Hannes Schroeder is a senior researcher in the NEXUS project. He holds a DPhil in Archaeology from the University of Oxford (2009) and his research interests focus primarily on the application of isotope and ancient DNA analysis in archaeology. In addition, he has had a long-standing interest in Caribbean archaeology and the archaeology of the African diaspora. He is also a visiting researcher at the University of Copenhagen and co-ordinator of EUROTAST, a Marie Curie ITN on the history and contemporary legacies of the transatlantic slave trade.

Within NEXUS, his role is to co-ordinate the various ancient DNA projects and to supervise the students involved. His own research will focus primarily on the development and application of new analytical techniques to obtain genome-wide data from poorly preserved biological samples from the Caribbean and to investigate the region’s changing population dynamics following the arrival of Europeans in 1492.

Contact information:
Mail: Hannes Schroeder
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 1626
External Profile: Hannes Schroeder

Affiliated Researcher

Till F. Sonnemann is junior professor for digital geoarchaelogy at the University of Bamberg, Germany.

Previously he was a postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University (2013-16). He holds a diploma in Geophysics (Dipl. Geophys.) from the University of Münster (2005), and a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Sydney (2012).

His main research interests are the combination of GIS, remote sensing and geophysics in landscape archaeology and heritage. Within NEXUS, he focuses on developing a methodological approach to analyse Caribbean Indigenous landscapes, by applying a variety of remote and close range sensing techniques at different scales in the Greater and Lesser Antilles. From 2014-16 he was responsible for the development of the Nexus1492 website.

Contact information:
Mail: Till Sonnemann
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 6431
External Profile: Universiteit LeidenUniversität Bamberg


PhD student

Jana Pesoutova is a PhD candidate at Leiden University. She obtained a Bachelor degree in linguistics (2010) and a Master degree in Management of Cultural Diversity combined with Intercultural Communication (2012).

Cuba and Dominican Republic have a rich mosaic of healing practices related to broader landscapes including sacred places, trees, plants and other natural entities. These landscapes contain religious, historical and botanical knowledge which is insufficiently reflected in the local historiography. Within NEXUS 1492, Jana investigates transformations of healing landscapes in the Dominican Republic and Cuba by combining data from ethnographic fieldwork and critical historical analysis. In her study, the current conceptualization of the relation between health, well-being and physical environment is situated within the broader landscape transformations in which an emphasis is made on the contested cultural memories of the subaltern.

Contact information:
Mail: Jana Pesoutova
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 5260
External Profile: Jana Pesoutova

Liliane de Veth


Research Assistant

Liliane (Lou) de Veth is a research assistant and first field assistant in the Nexus1492 ERC-synergy project. Her tasks include, among others, managing/editing the project’s website, output of results/news on social media/website, editing references/manuscripts for various academic publications, coordinating data- and field- administration, supervising students on excavation campaings, maintaining various databases.

She holds a Bachelor and Research Master [MPhil] degree (2010, 2013) in Archaeology, and a minor in Osteoarchaeology from Leiden University.


Contact information:
Mail: Liliane de Veth
Phone: +31 71 527 2660
External Profile: Liliane de Veth

Jaime R. Pagán-Jiménez

Senior Researcher

Jaime R. Pagán-Jiménez holds a Doctorate in Anthropology (2005) with special emphasis on palaeoethnobotany from the Instituto de Investigaciones AntropológicasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). His doctoral dissertation has received the Medalla Alfonso Caso al Mérito Universitario 2005, an award for the best doctoral dissertation.

Dr. Pagán-Jiménez has more than 20 years of experience in Caribbean archaeology and has worked on numerous archaeological sites on the island of Puerto Rico. He has also undertaken fieldwork and analyzed microbotanical materials from sites on the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Martin, Cuba (among others), as well as on French Guiana and Venezuela. In this regard, Dr. Pagán-Jiménez has been involved in collaborations with University College London (United Kingdom), Universidad de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico), Universidad de la Habana (Cuba), Institut National de Recherches Archeologiques Préventives (French Guiana, France), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), and more recently with the Instituto Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural (INPC-Ecuador). In Ecuador he occupied the positions of Prometeo’s Junior Researcher and Prometeo’s Senior Researcher between 2012 and 2015. Dr. Pagán-Jiménez coordinated an extensive paleo-ethnobotanical research program of the INPC through the whole country for which more than 20 archaeological sites, from the coast to the Andean Range and Amazonia, were excavated. His analyses were partially focused in some late Pleistocene and early to middle Holocene sites excavated under his direction.

Contact information:
Mail: Jaime R. Pagán Jiménez
External Profile: Jaime R. Pagán Jiménez

Marlieke Ernst


Marlieke is a PhD researcher at Leiden University, where she also obtained her Bachelor (2012) and Research Master (2016) degree in archaeology. During her studies she has been interested in early colonial archaeology, ceramic studies, transculturation and intercultural interactions.

Within Nexus 1492 she will focus on the ceramic material transformations. She will investigate transcultural processes within intercultural communications at the island of Hispaniola. The material reflection of this multicultural society and the agency of the enslaved and colonized will be studied through the continuities and changes in the chaîne opératoire (operational sequence) between pre-colonial and colonial,  non-European ceramics present at colonial sites. Both Amerindian (local and non-local), Spanish, and African presence will be studied within the ceramic assemblage. She will conduct technological, morphological, as well as stylistically analysis. The study will assess the extent to which indigenous pottery traditions disappeared and the amount in which new techniques and forms appeared.

Contact information:
Mail: Marlieke Ernst
Phone: +31 71 527 2727
External Profile: Marlieke Ernst

Menno Hoogland

Senior Researcher

Menno Hoogland is associate professor in Caribbean archaeology. He was born in 1954 in Sliedrecht, studied cultural anthropology in Leiden with a focus on prehistory and physical anthropology. In 1980 he participated in the Spitsbergen expedition of the University of Groningen. He wrote his PhD thesis on settlement patterns of the Amerindian population of Saba, Netherlands Antilles. In 1992 he was appointed as lecturer at the Faculty of Archaeology and presently he gives courses in archaeological field techniques, Caribbean archaeology and Amazonian shamanism. The analysis of burial practices and settlement organisation are the focus of his research. Together with Prof. dr. Corinne Hofman he conducted fieldwork on Saba and St. Martin (1987-1993) and later also jointly with André Delpuech (Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles de Guadeloupe) on Guadeloupe. From 1993 to 2000 they worked in an international cooperation programme, and conducted excavations at the large settlement site of Anse a la Gourde in the north-eastern part of Grande Terre, and other sites on Guadeloupe. In 2001 and 2002 he carried out fieldwork with Prof. dr. Corinne Hofman at the archaic site of Plum Piece, Saba.

His current fieldwork on St. Lucia is carried out in cooperation with the St. Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society and the Florida Museum of Natural History (Prof. dr. William Keegan). In 2004 he was awarded a grant by the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO) for the programme ‘Houses for the living and the dead’. The project focusses on the organisation of Taíno households in the Dominican Republic (AD 1000-1500) and is executed in cooperation with the Museo del Hombre Dominicano.

Contact information:
Mail: Menno Hoogland
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 2377
External Profile: Menno Hoogland

Andrzej Antczak

Senior Researcher

Ph.D. in Prehistoric Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 1999. He studied Ethnography at Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza in Poznan, Poland and Anthropology at Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas. Currently is professor at the Department of Design, Architecture and Arts at the Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB) in Caracas, Venezuela. Since 1982 he has been co-directing—together with Dr. M. M. Antczak—pioneering archaeological investigations on more than 60 off-shore islands of the Venezuelan Caribbean and since 2006 on the small islands off the eastern coast of Martinique. Also together with Dr. M. M. Antczak he founded and co-directs the Archaeology Research Unit at USB. His scholarly interests include the pre-colonial and historical archaeology of the Caribbean (especially the Southern Caribbean Region), theory and method in the study of the social past, materiality, sacred places, community archaeology, collection studies, archaeometry, shell middens and historical ecology.

Contact information:
Mail: Andrzej Antczak
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 6572
External Profile: Andrzej Antczak

Darlene Weston

Senior Researcher

Darlene Weston received a PhD in Physical Anthropology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, UK, after previously studying Archaeology at Simon Fraser University, Canada (BA) and Osteology, Palaeopathology, and Funerary Archaeology at the University of Bradford, UK (MSc). Formerly co-ordinator of the undergraduate Minor in Human Osteoarchaeology at Leiden University, she is currently Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. and a Senior Researcher on the NEXUS 1492 project.

As a human osteologist, paleopathologist and Senior Researcher on the NEXUS 1492 project, Darlene will investigate how European contact influenced the health, demography and diet of Caribbean Amerindian populations.

Contact information:
Mail: Darlene Weston
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 2727
External Profile: Darlene Weston

Jimmy Mans


Jimmy Mans is post doc researcher for the Archaeology Group within the Nexus 1492 ERC-Syngergy project. He is also part of the HERA-CARIB Project

Contact information:
Mail: Jimmy Mans
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 6472
External Profile: Jimmy mans

Hayley Mickleburgh


Hayley L. Mickleburgh is a postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University. She holds a BA and MA (hons.) in Archaeology (2005, 2007), and a PhD in Archaeology from Leiden University (2013).

Her main research interests are bioarchaeology and Caribbean archaeology. Within NEXUS, she focuses on transformations in mortuary practices across the historical divide (AD 1000-1800) in the circum-Caribbean. Together with Menno Hoogland she will use archaeothanatology to assess processes of mortuary activity within individual graves. She will furthermore focus on iconographic expressions of death and decay in material culture, and spatial and temporal variation in mortuary practices and grave goods.

Contact information:
Mail: Hayley Mickleburgh
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 6455
External Profile: Hayley Mickleburgh

Roberto Valcárcel


Roberto Valcarcel Rojas is a postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University. He has a Bachelor and a Master degree in History with specialization in Archaeological subjects (Universidad de Oriente, Cuba, 1991, 1999). He obtained his doctoral degree in Archaeology (Leiden University, 2012; Cum laude) with an investigation about indigenous Hispanic interaction in Cuba. Currently, he is one of the El Caribe Arqueologico journal coordinators.

His main research interests are cultural interaction, indigenous social organization in the Caribbean and Archaeology of the early colonial times in the America’s. Within NEXUS 1492, he focuses on the study of the ‘Indian’ as a colonial category and in the development and characteristics of this social component. Within this frame, his main work involves identity, agency, transculturation and syncretism, combining archaeological investigation and historical sources

Contact information:
Mail: Roberto Valcárcel
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 2449
External Profile: Roberto Valcárcel

Jorge Ulloa


Jorge Ulloa Hung is a PhD in Archaeology from Leiden University (2013) and a Master of Caribbean Studies (2009) of Universidad de Oriente, Cuba.

His main research interest is the change of material culture, in special the ceramics in the relations with the social and cultural landscape. Within NEXUS 1492, he focuses in social consequences generated by the early colonial encounters and interaction, especially in ceramics and social landscape in the north of the Dominican Republic. This will be addressed such as syncretism and transculturation also studying aspects of cultural landscape, aspect of daily life in rural areas of the Dominican Republic and stylistic and technological analysis of pottery in sites located in the so-called Ruta de Colon(from La Isabela to Janico) and other early colonial enclaves of La Hispaniola.

Contact information:
Mail: Jorge Ulloa
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 1966
External Profile: Jorge Ulloa

Michelle Lefebvre


Eduardo Herrera Malatesta

PhD Student

Eduardo Herrera Malatesta obtained his bachelor degree in Anthropology in 2004 at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. In 2009 he obtained his MSc. in Anthropology at the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas and in 2011 an MSc. in GIS and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology at the University College London.

He has done research in archaeology and anthropology in western, central and eastern Venezuela, mainly in coastal and island environments. He has taught at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 2012 and 2013 courses related to GIS, cartography and archaeology.

Currently he is a PhD student in the ERC Synergy-NEXUS 1492 Project where he will develop a research focus in understanding how the encounters with the Europeans transformed the Amerindian social landscape in the northern Dominican Republic.

Contact information:
Mail: Eduardo Herrera
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 5259
External Profile: Eduardo Herrera
Personal website: Academia.edu

Katarina Jacobson

PhD student

Katarina Jacobson did her Licence in Archeologie Precolombienne at the Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (2001). She obtained a Master at the Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, in association with the Faculty of Archeology of Leiden University in 2002. She wrote a thesis on the ceramics analysis from the site l’Embouchure de Baillif on the island of Guadeloupe. During 5 years she worked in the Edgar Clerc’s archaeological Museum in Guadeloupe as a collection curator where she was in charge of the audit of the museum collection.

She is interested in ceramic studies. Within the NEXUS 1492, she will aim to disentangle the different pottery styles and to get a better understanding of the ceramic styles from the southern Lesser Antilles Windward Islands from the late phase of the Late Ceramic Age and the early colonial period. She will use the ‘chaine operatoire’ approach as to trace all the technological processes and social practices by conducting a morphological, technological and stylistic analysis.

Contact information:
Mail: Katarina Jacobson
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 1776
External Profile: Katarina Jacobson

Pauline Kulstad

PhD student

Pauline Kulstad is a PhD researcher at Leiden University. She holds a dual Bachelor degree in Anthropology/Latin American Studies from Macalester College, MN, USA (1993) and a Master degree in Latin American Studies with a concentration in Anthropology/Archaeology from the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, FL, USA (2008).

Her main research interests are early colonial archaeology, Spanish Caribbean history, and Spanish ceramics from the 15th and 16th centuries. Within NEXUS 1492, she focuses on the intercultural interactions at the Concepcion de la Vega site, Dominican Republic (1495-1564) as expressed through the historical and archaeological records. She will be undertaking historical archival research and artifact studies.

Contact information:
Mail: Pauline Kulstad
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 1775
External Profile: Pauline Kulstad

Kirsten Ziesemer

PhD student

Kirsten Ziesemer holds a Bachelor degree in bio-medical sciences from the University of Amsterdam (2012) and a Master degree in human osteology and funerary archaeology from Leiden University (2013).

Her main research interests are molecular archaeology, diseases, genetics, epigenetics and osteoarchaeology. Within NEXUS 1492, she focuses on the transformation in diseases to investigate their role in the population dynamics of the circum-Caribbean region. She will use the innovative method of Next Generation Sequencing to study the research questions.

Contact information:
Mail: Kirsten Ziesemer
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 1774
External Profile: Kirsten Ziesemer

Julijan Vermeer

Research Assistant

Julijan Vermeer is a research assistant at Leiden University. He was trained as an archaeologist at Leiden University (BA, 2010), and later as a geoarchaeologist at Ghent University (MA, 2012) where he specialized in geomorphology and palaeotopography. His master thesis was published in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (ESPL).

He contributes to the ERC Synergy-NEXUS 1492 project by carrying out his own research which targets a comprehensive understanding of environmental dynamics for a selection of key archaeological sites in the Caribbean. His main interests lie in the reconstruction of site environment evolutionary histories and the interpretation of archaeological sequences as integral parts.

Contact information:
Mail: Julijan Vermeer
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 6507
External Profile: Julijan Vermeer



NEXUS1492 is an ERC-Synergy Project from the European Research Council under the EU's 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement n° 319209. For any questions regarding copyright please contact web master.

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