What was your job in Black Sea MAP?
Maritime archaeologist- prehistorian.
What did your role involve?
I had many roles within the project and did whatever was needed at various stages as the project evolved; this involved everything from background research to helping with the writing of proposals and papers. My main role was as a consultant for any questions surrounding the prehistoric archaeology and prehistoric submerged landscape but we all took turns on watch and helped with the science on-board ship.
I’m also really interested in science communication so I helped set-up the educational programme.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Being at sea.
What skills do you use in your job?
I use a broad range of skills – that is the beauty of maritime archaeology – it combines science, technology, engineering and maths with arts subjects. I’d say the main skill is to be able to think logically and analytically to solve problems. I’m also a commercial diver, so I can study the archaeology underwater first hand.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to go sailing, or just mess about on boats.
What was a highlight for you of Black Sea MAP?
Piloting the ROV.
What subjects did you study in sixth form?
Geology, Theology and English Literature.
What was your career route after school?
After A-levels, I worked as a water sports instructor. This really helped me decide that I wanted to work within the marine industry and it gave me many practical skills and qualifications: diving qualifications and boat driving licences, but also teaching experience. I also learnt a lot about working in the marine environment from navigation to logistics and it was during this time that I gained a passion for protecting the marine environment and the coastal and underwater cultural heritage.
I went on to study for a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University, this was followed by an MA in Maritime Archaeology at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology at Southampton University, followed by a PhD at Cambridge University. My first academic job was as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Cambridge University, then as a Post-doctoral Researcher at the University of Southampton, followed by a Lectureship within Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute and a Lectureship within Archaeology at the University of Southampton where I am currently based.
Were there any specific influences or motivations that led your particular career path?
I knew I wanted to combine the things I liked to do- independent and investigative reading and research, an interest in people and the past, and a passion for the sea and activities upon or within it. Maritime Archaeology was the perfect fit.
What advice would you give your younger self?
There are so many different jobs and paths, not just the usual ones from the career’s office, do what you enjoy and you will find your own niche.