Liubov V. Golovanova's professional experience is related to the study of the Paleolithic in the Caucasus. She graduated from Leningrad State University, Russia, in Archaeology in 1981, then post-graduated and defended her Ph.D thesis in the Leningrad branch of the Institute of Archaeology (now the Institute for History of Material Culture RAS, St. Petersburg) in 1986. From 1986 to 1998, she worked as a Junior Researcher in the Institute for History of Material Culture RAS. Since 1999, she has worked as Deputy Director and Researcher in the Laboratory of Prehistory in St. Petersburg, an autonomous non-profit organization.
Since 1982, she has directed fieldwork at many Paleolithic sites in the Caucasus, including the Mezmaiskaya and Matuzka caves and Sredniy Khadjokh open-air site, and Paleolithic surveys in many areas of the Northwestern Caucasus. She was Principal Investigator in research projects supported by grants from the Russian Humanities Scientific Foundation (Russia), Soros Foundation (USA), Fulbright Program (USA), National Geographic Society (USA), Leakey Foundation (USA), and the Wenner-Gren Foundation (USA), as well as collaborator in many other research projects.
She reported results of her research in the USA at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, the University of California in Berkeley, as well as the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research and Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Israel), the Institute for Human Paleonthology in Paris (France), St. Petersburg State University, and in many other international meetings in Russia and abroad. The results of her research are reported in Russian, English, and French in three books published in Russian and over 200 published articles in journals, conference proceedings, and edited books, including top-ranked journals such as Science, Nature, the Journal of Human Evolution, Nature Communications, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, Current Anthropology, Quaternary Science Reviews, the Journal of World Prehistory, Quaternary International, Antiquity, L’Anthropologie, and others.