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Genevieve von Petzinger

Cave art researcher

Genevieve von Petzinger

Professional Role

Current Titles:

PhD student (Anthropology), Cave art researcher

Current Organizations:

University of Victoria, TED, Bradshaw Foundation, Templeton Foundation



Genevieve von Petzinger is a third year PhD student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Victoria. Her main area of interest is European Ice Age rock art, in particular the geometric imagery, and how we can use this type of behaviour to identify cognitive and symbolic evolution in modern humans, as well as look for patterns of migration and cultural borrowing. Her work was featured as the cover of New Scientist in 2010, Science Illustrated in 2011 and she has also appeared on the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet show, along with doing quite a few radio and print interviews about her research. Genevieve does a lot of outreach work in Canada, and regularly gives public talks for adult community groups as well as going into schools to talk about archaeology and encourage kids to pursue their academic dreams.

Fun facts

Favorite meal:
This is a tough one as I love so many different foods! My current top 3 favorite meals (in no particular order) would have to include tortiere (a French Canadian meat pie dish), barbequed salmon with potatos, onions and carrots (also all barbequed with olive oil and seasoning in tin foil) and any type of quiche.

A funny story about me:
I found out I was pregnant the night before I left for the 2011 TED Global conference in Scotland! Normally I am a huge fan of food, but was suffering from morning sickness the whole time I was there, so I didn't get to eat all of the fabulous food that TED provided. As well, it made doing my Fellows and Main Stage talks extra interesting experiences, though I didn't have any issues with feeling nervous - I was too worried about feeling sick up there on stage!

Vital Stats

Fellows Class
TEDGlobal 2011
2013 TED Senior Fellow
French (bilingual)
Living in
Victoria, Canada
Working in
Victoria, Canada
Born in
Calgary, Canada



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