Dr John McCarthy

Research Fellow

College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

place Bedford Park (3115)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Dr John McCarthy is a DECRA Fellow and Lecturer in maritime archaeology at Flinders University. His research focuses on digital innovation in archaeological methodology, submerged archaeological landscapes, and in European merchant vessels of the Early Modern period. Dr McCarthy is a Scientific Diver and has led surveys of numerous shipwrecks dating from the 17th century onwards, and has been heavily involved in submerged landscape archaeology, working on submerged ancient sites in the North Sea, the Baltic, the Levant and Australia. Dr McCarthy was part of the team that located and surveyed Australia's first sub-tidal Aboriginal archaeological site in 2020.

Dr McCarthy is currently undertaking a 3-year DECRA Fellowship to investigate the potential for use of machine learning in prospecting for submerged archaeological landscapes around Australia. Much of Dr. McCarthy's research involves synthesis of passive and active remote sensing data to create digital archaeological reconstructions for animations and virtual reality. Dr McCarthy also has an extensive background in archaeological excavation and survey, pre-development cultural heritage mitigation, strategic heritage studies, and has participated in Native Title proceedings.

Honours, awards and grants
  • Vice-Chancellor's Innovation in Teaching Award, 2022
  • Vice-Chancellor's Award for Early Career Researchers, 2021;
  • Vice Chancellor’s Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence; 2021,
  • Best paper (audience vote) MAPX maritime archaeology conference, 2020;
  • The Ruth and Vincent Megaw Award for Outstanding Collaboration in Archaeological Research and Practice, 2019;
  • Best Paper Overall at the 2019 Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology Annual Conference Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology, 2019;
  • Europa Nostra/EU Cultural Heritage award in the category of Education Training and Awareness-Raising, for SAMPHIRE (Scottish Atlantic Maritime Past: Heritage, Investigation, Research & Education), 2017.
Supervisory interests
Digital storytelling
Maritime archaeology
Post-medieval seafaring
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Maritime Archaeology (1)
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Media expertise
  • Archaeology