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 I work 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.
Which 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.
Which subjects did you study at school?
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 Master’s 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.