Our people

Portrait of Alison De Turberville
Alison de Turberville
Project Officer
Built Heritage Team

Alison holds a BA in Archaeology from the University of York and an MA in Research in Archaeology from the University of Reading. She has been with the buildings department at our Oxford office since 2006. In this time she has carried out many archaeological surveys along with heritage statements and impact assessments on a wide variety of structures. These include royal palaces, barracks, castles and bridges as well as smaller structures like cottages and outbuildings. She has an interest in bricks and brick structures. Alison also undertakes some post-excavation work on building materials, particularly bricks and architectural stonework. 

Portrait of Deirdre Forde
Deirdre Forde
Senior Project Manager
Built Heritage Team

Deirdre has a BA in Archaeology from University College, Cork, and an MA in Buildings Archaeology from the University of York. She has worked for the Buildings Department since 2008 and has been a Project Manager since 2021. Since joining Oxford Archaeology, she has carried out detailed archaeological surveys of a variety of buildings from many phases.

Deirdre specialises in institutional architecture with a specific focus on prisons. She is also involved in the research and recording of 20th-century buildings and has a keen interest in their increasing relevance as part of the historic environment. A key part of Deirdre’s role is assessing the significance of heritage assets, and the impact of potential development on them for the purposes of informing the planning process. She has contributed to two of Oxford Archaeology's publications; Oxford Castle and Torre Abbey, as well as a study in prison and penology, The Carceral Network in Ireland, published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Portrait of Jon Gill
Jon Gill
Senior Project Manager
Built Heritage Team

Jon has worked in Oxford Archaeology’s Oxford office since 1998 and he leads the Historic Buildings Department. Jon is a very experienced buildings archaeologist having investigated a wide range of structures but his particular specialism lies in post-medieval and modern buildings. He holds a BA in Architecture, as well as a Masters Degree in Industrial Archaeology from the Ironbridge Institute. He is also a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA).

Jon coordinates the overall department’s workload while also managing individual projects and undertaking on-site investigations. He undertakes a wide range of projects, including conservation management plans, impact assessments, environmental statements, large-scale building recording prior to developments, and small-scale assessments to assist in planning applications. While with Oxford Archaeology, Jon has worked on scheduled Cold War sites, Royal Palaces, airfields, industrial complexes, gunpowder factories, grand country houses, and much more humble dwellings.

Portrait of Peter Dearlove
Peter Dearlove
Contracts Officer
Business Development Team

Peter’s interest in archaeology began in his teenage years, but he mistakenly chose not to follow it up, instead earning a BSc (Hons) in Psychology at university. It took until he was in his thirties for his first archaeological fieldwork experience in 2011. Eventually he realised that archaeology was something that he could do professionally, and in the summer of 2016, he joined Oxford Archaeology as a Graduate Trainee. In retrospect, Peter came into the profession later than he would have liked, following a number of jobs in finance, politics, and administration in the public and charity sectors. 

Working his way up through the levels in the field team, Peter’s skill set from previous employments put him in a good position when the role of Contracts Officer became vacant.  He is now a main point of contact for people needing quotes for archaeological work in the eastern region. 

Portrait of Rosie Fletcher
Rosie Fletcher
Contracts Officer
Business Development Team

Rosie holds a BA Hons in Archaeology from the University of Bristol and an MSc and PhD in Palaeoanthropology from the University of Liverpool. She joined OA in 2020 after spending several years in account management and sales and marketing roles within the travel industry. Rosie spent a year in OA’s fieldwork team excavating prehistoric and Roman sites in Somerset before joining the Contracts Department. She also has considerable experience overseeing excavations of prehistoric sites in central Africa and is a competent archaeological surveyor. During her time at OA, Rosie has undertaken placements with the Post-Excavation and Lithics Departments and has written numerous WSIs and evaluation and excavation reports.

Portrait of Mario Bellissimo
Maria Bellissimo
Communications Manager
Communications Team

Maria is a communications and advocacy professional with 10 years of experience working across sectors and issues. She has worked in politics before moving to the private sector where she provided advice to clients in different industries and on a range of projects, from infrastructure to manufacturing, from single-issue campaigns to international and human rights issues. For the last few years, she focused mostly on net zero and sustainability, regularly engaging with policy-makers and environmental organisation. 

Maria has always had a strong interest in archaeology and for the past five years has been studying the subject part-time at the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford. 

Portrait of Ayesha Purcell
Ayesha Purcell
Community Engagement and Social Value Manager
Community Engagement and Social Value Team

Ayesha leads Oxford Archaeology’s Community Engagement and Social Value team, developing and overseeing public impact and social value projects across offices in Lancaster, Cambridge, and Oxford. She is passionate about finding ways to draw on archaeology to deliver meaningful benefits for local communities and underserved audiences. 

Ayesha began her career in archaeology as a fieldwork archaeologist working on urban and rural sites in the north of England, before moving into community archaeology. Prior to joining Oxford Archaeology in 2024, Ayesha managed, developed, and delivered diverse commercial and grant funded archaeological public impact programmes, from schools visits, to social prescribing projects, exhibitions, and digital citizen science initiatives.

Ayesha has a MA (Hons.) in Mediaeval History and Archaeology from the University of St Andrews, and an MPhil in Classical Archaeology from the University of Oxford. Her research focused on the effect of cross cultural contacts on religion and ritual in complex, multicultural, communities.

Portrait of Jess Elleray
Jess Elleray
Community Engagement and Social Value Officer
Community Engagement and Social Value Team

As a member of the Community Engagement and Social Value team, Jessica works to deliver our public engagement initiatives and to help maximise the social value of our excavations. She works on a range of projects, from large scale research studies such as Archaeology Legacy, to local community excavations and school visits. 

Jessica has worked for Oxford Archaeology since 2020, and her engagement work is supported by field and post-excavation experience ranging from prehistoric landscapes to post-medieval cemetery sites.

Jess achieved her BA Hons in Fine Art and Creative Writing from Lancaster University in 2017, and an MSc in Collecting and Provenance from the University of Glasgow in 2020. She is also a member of the CIfA Early Careers Committee. 

Prior to working for Oxford Archaeology, Jess worked at the intersection of art/archaeological practice, producing creative projects that were research-led, socially engaged, and encouraged community ownership.