Research Projects

The work in our lab involves the use of insect remains for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Current research is taking place in Arctic, subarctic and Mediterranean environments, as well as in the British Isles.

Research on fossil insects from Akrotiri, Santorini in the Aegean provides information on environmental conditions, biogeography, economy, health and hygiene, and trade during the Aegean Bronze Age(funding from the Greek Archaeological Society).

Research on desiccated insect faunas from Tell el Amarna (the Workmen’s VillageRa-Nefer’s House in the main city, and the Byzantine monastic site of Kom el Nana) has revealed new information on environmental change during the Pharaonic and later periods in Middle Egypt and also new data on the  history of pests of stored products, history of Plague, social stratification and manipulation of the landscape (funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Egypt Exploration Society, the Carnegie Trust and the Amarna Trust).

Research on dipterous and beetle faunas from Viking, Inuit and Sami sites in the North Atlantic (Greenland, Iceland and the Faroes) and northern Scandinavia is providing new details about the end of medieval Greenland and aspects of Norse and later settlement in Iceland and the Faroes. This work has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust and a new grant "Footsteps on the Edge of Thule" jointly with K. J. Edwards (University of Aberdeen), I. A. Simpson (University of Stirling) and A. J. Dugmore(University of Edinburgh) has been obtained to expand this research to include the study of the interaction between Norse and indigenous people (Inuit, Sami) as witnessed by associated insect faunas.




Research on examining the problems in obtaining 14C dates from insect chitin, jointly with Dr Tom Higham and Dr Jennifer Tripp of ORADS, by using closely constrained samples from archaeological sites, is being funded by NERC.

Research on Lateglacial faunas from the Humberhead levels in Yorkshire is also in progress and is funded by Scottish Power PLC through Doncaster MBC.

•As part of an international project to provide a database of ecology, distribution and the Quaternary fossil insect record, the Lab has been contributing to BugsCEP 

•Our lab is also involved in SEAD  an international database for environmental archaeology which will form part of an international network of research infrastructure for environmental archaeology and Quaternary palaeoecology.