Jean Frederic Terral

University of Montpellier, Biology-Ecology department

Head of the team « Dynamique de la biodiversité, anthropo-écologie »
ISEM - Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier | UMR 5554
Place Eugène Bataillon - CC065
34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


JF Terral

My research activities mainly focus on palaeo(anthropo)ecology, archaeobiology, historical biogeography, evolution and history of emblematic species from climatic, ecological, cultural and economic points of view by the use of quantitative anatomical and morphometric approaches. Model organisms are Olea europaea (olive), Vitis vinifera (grape), Phoenix dactylifera (date palm) and Argania spinosa (Argan tree).

My research is structured around 3 axes:

1. Origins and historical biogeography of plant domestication at various geographic and chronological scales – Evolution, domestication – agrobiodiversity.

2. Understanding current and ancient exploitation and management practices of biological resources.

3. Current and ancient plant phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental factors.



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List of publications:



Project Partners

Hans-Peter Stika

Hans-Peter Stika

Assistant Lecturer of Archaeobotany, University of Hohenheim Read More
Stefi Jacomet

Stefi Jacomet

Professor of Archaeobotany, Basel University Read More
Andreas Heiss

Andreas Heiss

Scientific collaborator, Austrian Archaeological Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Read More
Antolin Ferran

Antolin Ferran

SNSF Professor (University of Basel) Read More
  • 1
  • PlantFoods


    The project will examine an impressive body of actual food remains and will generate a solid methodological tool for ancient
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  • Grinding Tools & Cooking Facilities

    Grinding Tools & Cooking Facilities

    The project will address variability and change of food preparation technologies, by assembling information on grinding stone tools, cooking facilities
    Read More
  • Ethnography & Ancient texts

    Ethnography & Ancient texts

    Ethnographic fieldwork will offer insights into traditional ways of transforming plants into food, daily meals as well as food for
    Read More
  • Experimentation


    The Project will experiment with processing and cooking different plant species, generating different kinds of recipes and end-products.
    Read More



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