2021 – Wil Roebroeks

Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands

Wil Roebroeks is Professor of Palaeolithic Archaeology at Leiden University. His research focus is on Neanderthals and other (earlier) Eurasian hominins. Among other things, he investigates how these primeval humans used fire, managed to subsist, produced stone tools, and even changed the environment around them. For this he employs data that he has collected during extensive excavations in countries such as the Netherlands, France, Russia, Germany, and the UK.

Wil Roebroeks is one of the world's leading researchers in his field. Through his work, he has been able to provide fundamental insights into the earliest human settlement of Europe and Asia. Moreover, he is actively involved in promoting the research community in any number of ways. From 2011 to 2021, Roebroeks was Vice-President of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution (ESHE) and a member of the advisory boards of various specialist journals and research institutions, including the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM) in Mainz and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). He holds a number of honors, including the Spinoza Prize – the most distinguished academic award of the Netherlands – and the Humboldt Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation that is given to outstanding international researchers.

Wil Roebroeks (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)