Sharon Holt obtained her BA degree, majoring in Archaeology and Anthropology, and completed an Honours degree at the University of Pretoria’s Archaeology Department. She obtained her MSc degree in Archaeology from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her MA thesis dealt with faunal remains from five Iron Age sites on the Makgabeng Plateau, Limpopo Province, and focused on researching whether there where sheep remains in this area. Her PhD was awarded by the University of the Free State for a dissertation on different aspects of modern and archaeological remains of the leopard tortoise; mortality patterns, taphonomy and bone mineral density.
Currently she is collections manager of the three modern and fossil osteological collections housed at the Florisbad Quaternary Research Department; mammals-reptiles-birds, human osteology and fossil fauna. The collection houses some 4000 modern faunal specimens, primarily from the central interior region of South Africa. The fossil collections include core sites from the region, such as Florisbad, but also includes material from sites excavated in other parts of South Africa.
In the near future, Sharon aims is to expand the modern comparative faunal collection, by strengthening taxa currently under under-represented such as reptiles, birds and fish. The goal is to create a well documented and useful resource for professionals and students working in the fields of palaeontology, archaeozoology, nature conservation and, ecology. Sharon is also planning to continue her research on South African tortoises.