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Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Medical Humanities, University of York

I am an archaeological scientist with over 15 years of experience in both plant micro- and macro-remains. I have extensive professional experience as I have participated in projects in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South-East Asia and North America, authoring over 130 professional reports and over 30 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and edited volumes, including papers in PNAS and Nature Genetics.

Whilst working in the sector of environmental archaeology I developed a strong interest in the complex interactions between ancient people, their living conditions and their health outcomes.

Since 2009, when I started my PhD at the University of York (2009-2016), my research has focused on dental calculus as a means of reconstructing the diet and living conditions of past humans, having examined and published dental calculus microdebris data from numerous assemblages with a worldwide distribution, spanning hominins to Late Medieval humans.

My current research now focuses on the inequality of human conditions generated by division of labour and its effect on health in past and modern societies. In 2018 I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in Medical Humanities (ref 209869/Z/17/Z) for the project 'A Taste of Hard Work: assessing the utility of ancient tartar to track exposure to respiratory irritants of occupational origin in ancient skeletal remains'. The project will elucidate the potential of ancient tartar to reveal exposure to a variety of respiratory irritants and their links to health in past societies by unlocking the signature of inhaled/ingested occupational debris and pollutants generated during crafting. I am applying state-of-the-art microscopic methods in Archaeology and Physics, and working both with experimental archaeology and ancient skeletal material

Follow the project on:

tweeter: A_Taste_of_Hard_Work@ancient_tartar

Instagram: a_taste_of_hard_work

Website coming soon here:


  • –present
    Research Fellow in Archaeology, University of York