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 2021 Post-Doc
2017-2021 Doctoral student


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


  • Will, M., Blessing, M., Möller, G. H. D., Msimanga, L., Pehnert, H., Riedesel, S., Botha, G. A., & Sommer, C. (2024). The Jojosi Dongas: An interdisciplinary project to study the evolution of human behaviour and landscapes in open-air contexts. Southern African Field Archaeology, 19. https://doi.org/10.36615/safa.19.3010.2024
  • Kandel, A. W., Kanaeva, Z., Sommer, C., Hochschild, V., & Haidle, M. N. (2023). The Aggregation of ROAD Data in the ARIADNE Pipeline: Pitfalls and Successes. Internet Archaeology, 64. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.64.9
  • Kandel, A. W., Sommer, C., Kanaeva, Z., Bolus, M., Bruch, A. A., Groth, C., Haidle, M. N., Hertler, C., Heß, J., Malina, M., Märker, M., Hochschild, V., Mosbrugger, V., Schrenk, F., & Conard, N. J. (2023). The ROCEEH Out of Africa Database (ROAD): A large-scale research database serves as an indispensable tool for human evolutionary studies. PLOS ONE, 18(8), e0289513. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0289513
  • Fischer, L. M., Sommer, C., & Fitzsimmons, K. E. (2023). An open-source GIS approach to understanding dunefield morphologic variability at Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre), Central Australia. Frontiers in Earth Science, 11(1196244). https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2023.1196244
  • Khan, S., Omran, A., Schröder, D., Sommer, C., Hochschild, V., & Märker, M. (2023). A QGIS-plugin for gully erosion modeling. Earth Science Informatics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12145-023-01092-7
  • 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, 35(3), 233–319. 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, 0(0), 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), 674–685. https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2022.2118628
  • Will, M., Bader, G. D., Sommer, C., Cooper, A., & 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. Frontiers in Earth Science, 10(964423). https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2022.964423
  • 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, 57(2), 197–238. https://doi.org/10.1080/0067270X.2022.2078553
  • 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(1), Article 1. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-10642-w
  • 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
  • Hochschild, V., Braun, A., Sommer, C., Warth, G., & Omran, A. (2021). Visualizing Landscapes by Geospatial Techniques. In D. Edler, C. Jenal, & O. Kühne (Eds.), Modern Approaches to the Visualization of Landscapes (pp. 47–78). Springer Fachmedien. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-30956-5_4
  • Sommer, C., Braun, A., Hanold, M., Rosner, H.-J., & Hochschild, V. (2020). A Mobile Application to Visualize Historic Land Use along Hiking Trails in Southern Germany. GI_Forum 2020, 8(2), 45–54. https://doi.org/10.1553/giscience2020_02_s45
  • 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: Issues, News, and Reviews, 29(6), 289–292. https://doi.org/10.1002/evan.21870
  • Bosino, A., Bernini, A., Botha, G. A., Bonacina, G., Pellegrini, L., Omran, A., Hochschild, V., Sommer, C., & Maerker, M. (2020). Geomorphology of the upper Mkhomazi River basin, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with emphasis on late Pleistocene colluvial deposits. Journal of Maps, 0(0), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2020.1790435
  • Maerker, M., Schillaci, C., Melis, R. T., Kropáček, J., Bosino, A., Vilímek, V., Hochschild, V., Sommer, C., Altamura, F., & Mussi, M. (2019). Geomorphological processes, forms and features in the surroundings of the Melka Kunture Palaeolithic site, Ethiopia. Journal of Maps, 15(2), 797–806. https://doi.org/10.1080/17445647.2019.1669497
  • Kanaeva, Z., Hochschild, V., Märker, M., & Sommer, C. (2018). Digital Data and Tools in Archaeology: The ROCEEH Out of Africa Database (ROAD). GI_Forum 2018, 6(2), 3–12. https://doi.org/10.1553/giscience2018_02_s3


Other resources