Annette was born in southern Germany and grew up in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. At an early age she accompanied her father on geological survey and mapping projects that took her to the remotest places of West Africa. This shaped not only her profound interest in different cultures and their heritage but also her fascination for travels off the beaten track. She did her Ph.D. research in the Bolivian Amazon and received her doctorate degree from the University of Bonn, Germany. The focus of her research was and is the interface between archaeology and anthropology, taking into account living oral traditions and ethnohistoric sources to better understand the past. While living in Santiago de Chile, Annette started working for the German Archaeological Institute on Easter Island. As deputy director of the project, she spends several months on the island every year investigating prehistoric human adaptation to difficult environmental circumstances and limited resources. Her research has taken her across Oceania with projects in the Society Islands, the Marquesas, and the Solomon Islands. She was fortunate to be able to live and work closely with the local island communities and to gain insights into many aspects of culture and daily life beyond the scope of her research.
<p>Since 2019 Annette is the research archaeologist for the Institute of Ecosystem-Research of the Kiel University in Germany. She directs the excavations on the monumental earthworks of Babeldaob (Palau, Micronesia) as part of an interdisciplinary and international team investigating the archaeological aspects of ecosystem changes and landscape transformation.