Dr Richard Thomas [2013-2017]
School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
I am Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester, where I have been based since 2003. I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Fellow of the Linnaean Society, ICAZ liaison officer for the Animal Palaeopathology Working Group (which I co-founded in 1999) and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Paleopathology.
My research interests are wide-ranging but can be distilled into two strands: (1) understanding the complicated relationships that existed between animals and people in medieval and early modern England; and (2) palaeopathology – the study of animal health and disease in the past. Much of my research is concerned with the connections that exist between the environment and human-animal interactions at different spatial and temporal scales. To offer up just two examples: I have explored the impact of landscape change in the wake of the 14th-century livestock and human plagues on husbandry practices; and I have examined the entangled relationships that exist between people, animals, and micro-environments on animal health. As a consequence, throughout my research I have been a strong advocate and practitioner of inter-disciplinary approaches, combining zooarchaeology with documentary evidence, biomolecular analyses, and veterinary pathology.
My teaching to undergraduate and postgraduate students at university (both campus based and distance learning) is underpinned by my research and thus emphasises the integration of multiple strands of evidence. I teach dedicated modules in zooarchaeology and environmental archaeology, but also deliver sessions highlighting the value of environmental evidence in a range of period-specific courses.
I have been a member of the AEA for over 15 years and I was privileged to serve on the committee as Publicity Officer between 2004 and 2008.
Dr Fay Worley [2010-2014]
Historic England, Fort Cumberland, Fort Cumberland Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, PO4 9LD, UK.
I was elected to the AEA Managing Committee in 2008, and have served as Secretary for the last four years. I enjoy the role and have developed strong working relationships and a broad knowledge of the Association.
When not undertaking secretarial duties for the AEA I am a zooarchaeologist for English Heritage, based in Portsmouth (UK), a role I have held since 2006. My work involves some practical zooarchaeological analyses and some fieldwork, but also tasks designed to promote best practice and sup-port environmental archaeology in England, such as admin-stration of the Professional Zooarchaeology Group (PZG). A recent achievement is co-authoring Animal Bones and Archaeology: Guidelines for Best Practice.
Prior to my current role, I worked as an animal bone specialist for Oxford Archaeology and undertook a PhD in Zooarchaeology at the University of Bradford. As an undergraduate I also completed 6 month work placements at Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit and Kent County Council, Heritage Conservation Group. I therefore have an appreciation for the nature of commercial, research and curatorial archaeology in the UK, which I hope allows me to better appreciate the needs of the AEA’s diverse membership.
Dr Mark McKerracher [2016-2020]
I am an archaeobotanist, and blogger at Farming Unearthed. My research interests centre on the archaeology of farming, and in particular the agricultural practices of Anglo-Saxon England.
I completed a BA, MSt and DPhil at the University of Oxford between 2005 and 2014, and a short course in accounting at the Open University in 2014.
Dr Ruth Pelling [Co-opted]
Historic England, Fort Cumberland, Fort Cumberland Road, Eastney, Portsmouth, PO4 9LD, UK.
EDITOR OF JOURNAL, ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY
Dr Tim Mighall [Co-opted]
Department of Geography and Environment, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UF, UK
School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
After gaining a BA archaeology from Bristol back in 2006, I was lucky enough to spend a series of seasons working as a Finds and Environmental Archaeologist for English Heritage, this confirmed my interest in all things enviro, encouraging me to go on to study the subject further leading to the MSc in Palaeoeconomy at Sheffield. Now having successfully completed doctoral study in aspects of British Archaeobotany and Anthracology for the South Cadbury Environs Project, while also keeping up freelance projects outside of the UK and even a fundraising job at the National Railway Museum, I am finding that many and most of the post and jobs I am looking towards are not strictly environmental archaeology. This makes the Association through the journal, conferences and email lists essential for me to keep up with my interests in Environmental Archaeology. I am increasingly aware how important AEA is, giving access to up-to-date research and information, to others in a similar position. I would very much like to try and represent this and other views on the committee especially the need to increase and share awareness beyond the specialisms into wider archaeological forums, whatever the other roles my future might bring.
Quaternary Scientific (Quest), School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science, Whiteknights, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK
I obtained both my undergraduate degree in Geography and Geology (2003), and PhD – ‘Middle Holocene environmental changes and the history of yew woodland (Taxus baccata L.) in the Lower Thames Valley’ (2009) from Royal Holloway, University of London. I have over eight years experience working in the commercial enterprise sector and university environment; between 2006 and 2008 I worked as an envi-ronmental archaeologist (particularly palynology) at Archae-oScape, Royal Holloway, and since then as environmental archaeologist and projects manager at Quaternary Scientific, University of Reading.
During my time at both ArchaeoScape and Quaternary Scientific I have been involved in a large number of projects for different clients (including government organisations, universities, developers, consultants and archaeological con-tractors), involving a wide range of analytical techniques and specialist collaborators across different cultural periods both in the UK and abroad. I am also involved in educational work at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
My research interests and that of our commercial enterprise activities, focus on the reconstruction of former landscapes and vegetation history, particularly in wetland environments. Much of this work has been concentrated in the Lower Thames Valley, London, where the long-term goal is to compile a high-resolution spatial and temporal model of evolving floodplain and dryland landscape considering the often complex relationships between topography, climate, vegetation change (with specific emphasis on yew, elm and lime woodland), hydrological change and human activity. This ongoing research and enterprise programme is being achieved by adopting a multi-proxy approach integrating sedimentary, geochronological, palaeobotanical, palaeozoo-logical and geochemical techniques on sequences taken from the floodplain, combined with archaeological evidence from both the wetland and dryland.
The AEA has an important role to play in raising the profile of environmental archaeology. I feel I could make a contribution, working at the interface between the commercial enterprise and research sectors and would value the opportunity to serve on the committee, helping to promote the AEA’s international reputation.
Department of Archaeology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Box 226, Reading, RG6 6AD, UK.
I have a BSc (Hons) in Archaeology from the University of York (2003), an MSc in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy from the University of Sheffield (2004) and a PhD (AHRC funded), from the University of York (awarded in 2010). I have always had an interest in the relationship between people and the environments they used and inhabited. I began to investigate this relationship through palynology as part of my Masters dissertation. My PhD thesis continued this theme by examining pollen sequences from off-site locations, but in close proximity to known archaeological sites in the southern French Alps. Whilst working towards my PhD I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant and managed and delivered a module on Mediterranean Landscape Archaeology and chaired seminars in Environmental Archaeology and Archaeological Theory.
I am currently a Senior Environmental Archaeologist for Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service, specialising in pollen analysis within the commercial sector. As such, I have gained a wide experience of working on lowland de-posits covering a range of periods, which complements my upland research. I am also part of the Himalayan Exploration and Archaeological Research Team, a multi-disciplinary team undertaking work in the Annapurna and Langtang regions of Nepal. My research lies in understanding environ-mental change and how people use/d this extreme landscape today and in the past, with a particular focus on the biography of juniper.
Environmental archaeology can often provide a corner-stone that links both the academic and commercial worlds of archaeology. In my opinion, the AEA is very much at the heart of this relationship, seen through the diversity of conferences (themes, speakers and participants), publications and journal articles. I welcome the opportunity to be part of the AEA committee and to help continue to raise the profile and integration of environmental archaeology.
zooarchaeology.co.uk, Leicester, UK.
I am a landscape zooarchaeologist and ethnoarchaeologist who is primarily interested in pastoralism, taphonomy, palaeoecology (including the interaction of environment and subsistence) and archaeological theory. I gained my undergraduate degree in Archaeology form the University of Exeter, before obtaining an MSc in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy (Sheffield) and an MA in Cornish Studies (Exon). Since 2008 I have been working as an independent zooarchaeological consultant and, since 2010, have been enrolled part-time as a PhD researcher at the University of York. My research interests include the economy and ecology of pastoralist societies, and physical and social taphonomic processes. As a zooarchaeologist or ethnoarchaeologist I have worked in a variety of countries in Africa and Asia as well as in the UK, often as a part of international teams.
The AEA has always been very supportive of early career researchers and those working outside of the university sector. As a committee member I’m keen to continue that tradition as well as see the association develop internationally.
JOHN EVANS PRIZE ADMINISTRATOR
Department of Archaeology, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK.
I am an archaeobotanist with particular research interests in the archaeology of food and the social geographies of plants. My research is an investigation of the dynamic interplay between humans and plants across time and space and its impact on cultural and socio-economic systems of the past. I also co-direct the new Bronze Age excavation project at Paliakastro, Crete (Greece) with Dr Carl Knappett (University of Toronto, Canada) and Dr Nicoletta Momigliano (University of Bristol, UK) under the auspices of the British School at Athens.
AEA GRANT ADMINISTRATOR
Archaeological Solutions, 6 Brunel Business Court, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 7AJ, UK.
I gained my undergraduate degree BSc Bioarchaeology in 2001 from the University of Bradford. Following this I undertook a part time PhD entitled ‘Changes in the Size and Shape of Domestic Mammals across the North Atlantic Region over Time’ also at the University of Bradford, which I completed in 2010. Throughout my PhD I worked part time as the Archaeozoologist for the North Atlantic Research Unit (NARU) in the Division of AGES, University of Bradford, where I was part of a research team investigating the site of Old Scatness Broch, Shetland. Whilst with NARU I also worked on the Viking Unst Project (Shetland) and the Heart of the Atlantic Project (Faroe Islands). During my PhD and following its completion on I also worked as the Archaeozoologist for the soon to be published Broxmouth Project (East Lothian) and as a part time lecturer in the Division of AGES, University of Bradford. Towards the end of my PhD I was commissioned by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland to write a review of the Iron Age economies of Scotland for the recently published Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF), my work specifically covering ‘Farming and Feeding’ and ‘Cooking and Consumption’.
For the past two years I have worked as an archaeozoological specialist for Archaeological Solutions, Bury St Edmunds, where I have investigated numerous vertebrate and mollusc assemblages from Iron Age, Roman and medieval sites in the east of England. Alongside my work in the commercial sector I have continued my academic research, particularly into the Iron Age economies of Scotland and have several papers planned for the near future.
AEA BOOKCLUB ADMINISTRATOR
Wardell-Armstrong Archaeology, Cocklakes Yard, Cocklakes, Carlisle, CA4 0BQ, UK.
I am an environmental archaeologist based in Northern England. My main area of interest is in the field of urban medieval archaeobotany; in particular the problems of cesspit taphonomy, as well as the cultural study of sanitation and the urban environment.
I completed my BA and MA at University College Cork and am currently finishing a part-time MSc in Durham University
AEA STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES
School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU, UK.
I am currently doing my PhD at Cardiff University investigating the archaeological context of prehistoric sea level change in South Wales, supervised by Dr Jacqui Mulville and Dr Steve Mills. In particular I have been developing skills in palynology under the mentorship of Dr Suzi Richer. The main aim is to reconstruct prehistoric environmental change at a number of intertidal sites along the southern Welsh coastline in order to build up in-depth environmental sequences in relation to known coastal or intertidal prehistoric archaeology.
My interest in environmental archaeology stems from residue sorting during work experience at the age of 15 – I found it fascinating that so much extra information could be gained from what was essentially a pile of gravel. I went on to complete my BSc (2006-2009) and MA (2009-2010), both at Cardiff University, where I developed an interest in prehistoric sea level change. Both dissertations focussed on investigating possible reactions to prehistoric sea level change through the archaeological record, first within the Isles of Scilly and Orkney Islands and later in the Channel Islands and Outer Hebrides. During this time I was also a member of the Lyonesse Project team in the Isles of Scilly and assisted in the field to collect data in order to readdress the Holocene sea level curve for the islands.
After finishing my MA I worked for four years in the commercial sector, over three of which were spent with one of the larger companies. Here I was a member of the field team, but spent the majority of my time as assistant to the Environmental Archaeologist. My roles included sample management, processing, sorting and basic analysis. During this time I learnt how important the role of environmental archaeology could be in understanding archaeology and how it could change interpretations. I also learnt how it is often misunderstood or only included as an afterthought, sometimes leading to work being done on a shoe string. This misunderstanding is something I have also witnessed within the academic field and was a major reason behind my desire to stand for student representative.
As student representative for the AEA I will continue the work already undertaken by previous representatives promoting environmental archaeology to fellow students, in particular those that are about to embark into the world of commercial archaeology themselves. If the new generation of archaeologists are well informed about the importance of environmental archaeology, it may act as a stepping stone to greater appreciation in the long run. Better understanding also leads to better practice in the field, which could lead to more accurate or useful results.
Something that has struck me during my involvement in the environmental field is the unusually positive relationship between commercial and academic sectors. The AEA is testament to this, highlighting the work of both sides equally and encouraging dialogue. I relish the opportunity to become more involved in an association promoting integration of this kind.
Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford, 36 Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2PG, UK.
I am currently approaching the second year of my AHRC-funded PhD at the University of Oxford, specialising in archaeobotanical analysis, supervised by Dr Amy Bogaard and Dr Michael Charles. I aim to establish the nature and conditions of early cultivation practices in western Asia, by apply-ing a functional ecological approach to the ‘weed’ dataset, as part of the wider ERC funded ‘The Agricultural Origins of Urban Civilization’ Project (AGRICURB).
My undergraduate degree in archaeology was completed at the University of Sheffield (2007-2010). It was here that I first developed my passion for ‘the origins of agriculture’. During my master’s degree at UCL, in the ‘Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East’, I specialised in archaeobotany. My master’s dissertation, supervised by Prof Dorian Fuller, explored the exploitation of non-staple plant species in the Neolithic period. I have worked on many varied excavations across the UK, Europe and the Middle East, including over 14 months of experience in the UK commercial sector. During this time I have witnessed great discrepancies in the levels of attention given to environmental archaeology procedures. I believe that it is crucial to continue to promote awareness of environmental analyses and their important roles in establishing valid interpretations of archaeological sites. As student representative for the AEA, it would be my intention to undertake an active role in the promotion of environmental archaeology among other students and the general public, via methods such as social media and conference participation. I have found the correspondence from the AEA to be incredibly informative and I have felt a greater sense of community since joining earlier in the year. I would very much like the opportunity to share these experiences with others, as well as to forge new connections with like-minded people.
OTHER COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB, UK.
I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at Bournemouth University and have been a member of the AEA since 2009. I completed a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in 2004 which was focused on microfaunal analysis from two Neolithic sites in Turkey Catalhoyuk and Pinarbasi. I then moved to the Institute of Archaeology, UCL to take up a post‐ doctoral position with Prof Arlene Rosen on the Ecological Footprint of Early Agriculture in Southwest Asia project which involved the analysis of phytoliths from a range of Neolithic sites. From there I moved to the University of Reading to work on the Water, Life and Civilisation project with Prof Steve Mithen which entailed experimental crop growing in Jordan to determine the effect that irrigation has on phytolith production in wheat, barley and sorghum. This then led into a further post‐ doctoral position at the University of Reading, this time as Data Manager on the Excavation of WF16 project.
My research interest are focused on the origins of agriculture and sedentism in southwest Asia and I use two specialisms to address this topic namely microfaunal and phytolith studies. I am part of the research teams at Catalhoyuk and Boncuklu Hoyuk and recently I was fortunate enough to be awarded an Early Career Research Grant by the AHRC in collaboration with Dr Carol Palmer, Prof John Grattan and Dr Helen Smith to conduct phytolith and geochemical analyses on a range of ethnographic and Neolithic sites in Jordan. I have a great deal of respect for the AEA as an organisation and feel that the work you do as a committee is of great importance for the development of Environmental Archaeology.
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK
I am an environmental archaeologist and palaeoecologist who works on the application of environmental and climatic proxies (in particular, fossil beetles) and chronological methodologies to describe human-environment relationships. I am Associate Professor (Reader) in Physical Geography at the University of Plymouth and Honorary Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, where I was based until recently.
My research over the last 19 years has been focused on the complex relationships between humans, animals, climate and the environment/landscape. I have developed a deep understanding of these lines of evidence through working on these individually and as multi-disciplinary lines of enquiry, within strong chronological frameworks. Working at the interface between the humanities and science, I seek to not only describe the climate, environment, biodiversity of the past through scientific methods, but to integrate and compare these lines of evidence with the archaeological record in a meaningful, non-deterministic way. My research has covered diverse topics from high latitude glacial and interglacial rapid climate change in the northern and southern hemisphere; changes in landscape structure and biodiversity during the Holocene and Pleistocene as a consequence of human and animal activities; examining niche stability of species and their responses to climate over the Quaternary.
An important focus in recent years has been examining the development of the cultural landscape during the transition to agriculture in Ireland and how this compares with Britain and elsewhere across the North Atlantic seaboard. This latter work has focused on the relationships between humans and their environment through the application of targeted 14C dating, Bayesian modeling and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions and spatio-temporal understanding of the archaeological record and Neolithic economies.
I have been a member of the AEA since I was an MSc student at the University of Sheffield (1993) and have been a regular attender of meetings over the years. I have previously served on the AEA Committee as Ordinary member (2003-05), Conference Officer (2006-07), Membership Secretary (2006-07) and then Chair (2007-2009). I am President of the INQUA Humans & Biosphere Commission (2011-2015), which has clear synergies with the AEA. I serve as a reviewer for a variety of journals and funding bodies and sit on the editorial Board of Quaternary International.
Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford, West Yorkshire. BD7 1DP, UK
I am currently a freelance geoarchaeologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bradford. Alongside geoarchaeology and all things environmental, my focus is British prehistory. My last postdoctoral position was project managing and co-authoring the publication of the Broxmouth hillfort excavations, East Lothian, as a joint project between the University of Bradford and Historic Scotland. I’m currently co-authoring the publication of the excavations at the Iron Age site of High Pasture Cave, Skye, with the support of Historic Scotland, am involved in a range of projects (mainly geoarchaeological) with my colleagues at Bradford and beyond, and am lucky enough to spend some of the summers at the Ness of Brodgar excavations in Orkney, undertaking geoarchaeological sampling within this incredibly preserved complex of Neolithic structures.
I gained a BA Joint Honours in Archaeology and Classics at Nottingham (1994), after which I spent several years as a field archaeologist, mainly based in London. My interest in environmental archaeology was stimulated through my Archaeological Sciences MA at Bradford (2000), after which I travelled north to the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Stirling and a PhD in geoarchaeology, focusing on cultural soils in Scotland. After this, I worked from the University as a geoarchaeological specialist for a diverse range of projects, such as the Papar Project (Scotland), The Viking Unst Project (Shetland), the Landscapes Circum Landnam Project (Faeroe Islands), The Anuradhapura Hinterland Project (Sri Lanka) and the investigations at the First World War site of Fromelles (France). I’ve been a member of the AEA since 2005, and hope that my range of experience in both the commercial and academic sectors will make me a useful member of the Committee.