Professor Barker’s research focuses on ‘human landscapes’ the short and long-term relations between people and environment: How have past human societies and the environments they inhabited constructed and transformed each other? And can understanding these past relationships help inform the present and the future? He has pursued this interest in different ecologies (temperate, semi-arid, arid, rainforest) and with societies at different levels of complexity from the emergence of our species to Roman farmers. Transitions to farming (the `agricultural revolution in prehistory’) have been a particular focus for many years, but more recently his interests have moved backwards in time to the origins of modern human behaviour and the adaptations (from environmental to cognitive) made by our species in their migrations out of Africa. Current projects investigate the links between environmental changes and cultural transitions in North Africa, the Middle East and Borneo.