What was your job in Black Sea MAP?
What did your role involve?
My role had three parts: coordination of the analysis and dating for the cores and wreck sites; supporting the STEM Scholars and their projects; and scientific liaison with the documentary team.
What is your favourite part of your job?
The variety of projects worked on keeps me interested and means there are constantly new challenges. There is also the likelihood that new discoveries will routinely be made as I work in areas that few people have previously investigated.
What skills do you use in your job?
Daily work includes extensive use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS – a data analysis software). There is also a lot of laboratory-based time where I get to work with sediment samples, and in particular microscope work focused on the identification of pollen and other microfossil preserved within sediments.
What was a highlight for you of Black Sea MAP?
Working with the STEM Scholars along with the excitement that we didn’t know what results we’d get from the outset of the project; this meant that there really was a mystery to try and solve. The discovery of the pristine wreck sites and submerged site at Ropotamo (Bronze age settlement) were highlights. The project has a very diverse and active team who were great to work with.
What subjects did you study in sixth form?
Geography, Biology, Chemistry and Maths.
What was your career route?
After school, I undertook a degree in Oceanography with Physical Geography at the University of Southampton. This was followed by a Masters in Geoarchaeology at the University of Reading and a PhD in Palaeoecology back at the University of Southampton.
Were there any specific influences or motivations that led to your current career?
During my degree in Oceanography I developed a keen interest in the Quaternary science and how the world has evolved over the past 2.5 million years. This led me down the archaeological science pathway but with always a keen interest in the marine environment.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Develop a range of skills that are widely applicable so you can have a lot of flexibility in the type of career you wish to follow.