Researcher biography

I research ancient agriculture, plant use and human environmental impact in Turkey, Italy (Pompeii) and Australasia via the analysis of archaeological plant remains (seeds, fruits leaves etc)

I started my archaeological career in 1988, working on the excavation of Blawearie Cairn in my native Northumberland (UK). I studies at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL (London) gaining BSc Archaeology (1991), MSc Bio and Geoarchaeology (1992) and PhD (2001), specialising in the study of plant macrofossil remains, such as seeds, fruits, leaves and wood, from archaeological sites to reconstruct past environments and economic practices. I also developed a large consulting portfolio, working as an environmental archaeologist for the Museum of London Archaeology Service (1993-1994) and UCL Geoarchaeology Unit (1992-1993) and as an independent contractor (1994-2001). From 1999-2001 I worked as a research assistant for the Catalhoyuk Research Project, based at Cambridge University and during that time moved to Australia. From 2001 - 2004 I worked at The Australian National University in Canberra as a research assistant to the Engendering Roman Spaces Project and then received a research fellowship at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. I moved to UQ in January 2006. My research interests are currently focused on the origins of agriculture in Central Anatolia (Turkey) and the later development of the region's state economies. I also work in Australasia where I have been developing plant macrofossil techniques to disentangle ancient tree-fruit use and the development of food production in Papua New Guinea.