Dr. Christian Sommer

organizational unit


The Role of Culture in Early Expansions of Humans
University of Tuebingen
Hölderlinstrasse 12
72074 Tuebingen
+49 7071 29-77505

Curriculum Vitae


Main research interests

  • Geoinformatics and remote sensing
  • Landscape evolution and geomorphology
  • Use of data mining and machine learning techniques on cultural and scientific databases
  • The Late Pleistocene of Eastern South Africa


Since 09/2016 research assistant in maintaining and completing the ROAD-Database (Roceeh Out of Africa Database). Analisys of paleo landscapes and geomorphology using GIS and remote sensing.
02/2016 – 08/2016 student research assistant for GIS analysis and cartography. Implementation and maintenance of a geographical database for web services and metadata.


2021 Dr. rer. nat. in Geography, University of Tübingen.
2016 M.Sc. in Physical Geography: geoinformatics and remote sensing, University of Tübingen.
2012 B.Sc. in Physical Geography, University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt.

Selected publications and lectures


  • Dapschauskas, R., Göden, M. B., Sommer, C., & Kandel, A. W. (2022). The Emergence of Habitual Ochre Use in Africa and its Significance for The Development of Ritual Behavior During The Middle Stone Age. Journal of World Prehistory. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10963-022-09170-2
  • Omran, A., Schröder, D., Sommer, C., Hochschild, V., & Märker, M. (2022): A GIS-based simulation and visualization tool for the assessment of gully erosion processes. Journal of Spatial Science, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/14498596.2022.2133020
  • Kandel, A. W., Haidle, M. N., & Sommer, C. (Eds.)(2022): Human Origins – Digital Future: An International Conference about the Future of Archaeological and Paleoanthropological Databases. Propylaeum. https://doi.org/10.11588/PROPYLAEUM.882
  • Sommer, C., Kandel, A. W., & Hochschild, V. (2022). The use of prehistoric ‘big data’ for mapping early human cultural networks. Journal of Maps, 18(4), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2022.2118628
  • Will M, Bader GD, Sommer C, Cooper A and Green A (2022): Coastal adaptations on the eastern seaboard of South Africa during the Pleistocene and Holocene? Current evidence and future perspectives from archaeology and marine geology. Front. Earth Sci. 10:964423. doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2022.964423
  • Rodríguez, J., Willmes, C., Sommer, C. & Mateos, A. (2022):  Sustainable human population density in Western Europe between 560.000 and 360.000 years ago. Scientific Reports 12, 6907. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-10642-w
  • Bader, G. D., Sommer, C., Conard, N. J., & Wadley, L. (2022). The final MSA of eastern South Africa: A comparative study between Umbeli Belli and Sibhudu. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, 0(0), 1–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/0067270X.2022.2078553
  • Zakerinejad, R., Sommer, C., Hochschild, V., & Maerker, M. (2021). Spatial Distribution of Water Erosion Using Stochastic Modeling in the Southern Isfahan Province, Iran. Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria, 44(2), 183–196. https://doi.org/10.4461/GFDQ.2021.44.14
  • Bosino, A., Bernini, A., Botha, G.A., Bonacina, G., Pellegrini, L., Omran, A., Hochschild, V., Sommer, C. & Maerker, M. (2021): Geomorphology of the upper Mkhomazi River basin, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with emphasis on late Pleistocene colluvial deposits. Journal of Maps 17(3), 5-16. DOI: 10.1080/17445647.2020.1790435.
  • Hochschild V., Braun A., Sommer C., Warth G., Omran A. (2021): Visualizing Landscapes by Geospatial Techniques. In: Edler D., Jenal C., Kühne O. (Eds.): Modern Approaches to the Visualization of Landscapes. RaumFragen: Stadt – Region – Landschaft. Springer VS, Wiesbaden. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-30956-5_4
  • Sommer, C. (2021): Reconstruction of the Pleistocene Landscape of Southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa by means of GIS, Remote Sensing and Geomorphological Techniques. Dissertation, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. DOI: 10.15496/publikation-63042.
  • Haidle, M. N., Bolus, M., Bruch, A. A., Hertler, C., Hochschild, V., Kanaeva, Z., Sommer, C. & Kandel, A. W. (2020): Human Origins—Digital Future, an international conference about the future of archeological and paleoanthropological databases. Evolutionary Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21870
  • Märker, M., Schillaci, C., Melis, R.T., Kropáček, Bosino, A., Vilímek, V., Hochschild, V., Sommer, C., Altamura, F. & M. Mussi (2019): Geomorphological processes, forms and features in the surroundings of the Melka Kunture Palaeolithic site. Ethiopia Journal of Maps 15 (2) 797-806. Informa UK Limited. DOI: 10.1080/17445647.2019.1669497
  • Kanaeva, Z. & Hochschild, V. & Maerker, M. & Sommer, C. (2018): Digital Data and Tools in Archaeology: The ROCEEH Out of Africa Database (ROAD). 1. 3-12. 10.1553/giscience2018_02_s3



  • 04/2023 50th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Amsterdam, NL.
  • 08/2022 49th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Oxford, UK.
  • 06/2022 Joint conference by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte (DGUF) and NFDI4Objects, Franfurt/Main, DE.
  • 05/2022 ESA Living Planet Symposium, Bonn
  • 11/2021 Mid European Geomorphology Meeting (MGM 2021), Munich
  • 07/2021 48th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), virtual
  • 05/2020 EGU Generaly Assembly 2020, online
  • 04/2019 47th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Kraków, PL.
  • 01/2019 The 22nd conference of the Southern African Society of Quaternary Research (SASQUA), Mossel Bay (ZA).
  • 06/2018 Special Session on Digital Humanities at the Symposium for Geographic Information Science (GI_FORUM), Salzburg (AT)
  • 03/2018 46th Annual Conference of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), Tübingen, DE.
  • 09/2016 Modelling Environmental Dynamics and Hominin Dispersals Around the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution (METHOD), Sassari (IT).
  • 09/2016 Jahrestagung der Arbeitskreise „Fernerkundung“ (DGfG) und „Auswertung von Fernerkundungsdaten“ (DGPF), Halle/Saale (DE).
  • 2013-2019 AGIT Symposium & GI_Forum for applied geoinformatics, Salzburg (AT).

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