Our people

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Carl Champness
Senior Project Manager
Field Team

Carl has over 24 years’ experience as an archaeologist and has worked at Oxford Archaeology since 2004. As a Senior Project Manager, he specialises in the management of complex wetland investigations, urban excavations and infrastructure projects like HS2.  

He is an experienced geoarchaeologist and has led several nationally important early prehistoric wetland sites in London, Carlisle, Bexhill and Newark. His interests lie in the prospection of buried early prehistoric wetland sites and the transition of hunter-gatherers to early farmers. He has also been involved in several long-term Historic England’s research projects on the impacts of modern farming techniques on buried archaeology (COSMIC, NHPP) and has contributed to national guidance papers on Geoarchaeology, Deposit Modelling and the Management of lithic Scatters. 

Carl holds a BA (Hons) from University of Wales, Lampeter, and a MSc in geoarchaeology from Reading. He actively promotes archaeological outreach through public talks, articles, open days, community digs, and through the media with books, TV and radio. Carl is an Associate of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (ACIfA). 

Portrait of Christopher Thatcher
Christopher Thatcher
Senior Project Manager
Field Team
Portrait of Dan Sykes
Dan Sykes
Project Officer
Field Team

Dan has worked in commercial archaeology since 1994 and first joined Oxford Archaeology in 1996 to work on the Swindon-Gloucester road scheme, the first of many infrastructure jobs he has been involved with for Oxford Archaeology, such as CTRL(HS1), HS2, The Bexhill-Hastings Bypass and the St Brieux road scheme in Brittany. Dan also site managed the recent Dorset VIP scheme and has been a mainly field-based Project Officer since the mid 2000s. 

Dan has been fortunate to work on several Historic Palace projects at both Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London as well as working along the Thames at Somerset House, Greenwich Naval Hospital and The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. 

He has also been involved in various urban excavations such as Stafford, Reading, Oxford and Bristol and has volunteered on research projects varying from prehistoric monuments on Tiree, Inner Hebrides to Colonial era Fortifications on St.Lucia in the Caribbean. 

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Emily Abrehart
Project Officer
Field Team

Emily graduated in 2014 from the University of Leicester with a BSc in Archaeology and came straight to work for Oxford Archaeology as a Graduate Trainee. Since then she has worked her way up through the ranks, becoming a Fieldwork Project Officer in March 2022. In the last few years she has overseen projects from multiple periods including a Romano-British site at Alconbury Airfield and a Bronze Age settlement on the outskirts of Cambridge.  

Emily was a site surveyor for many years and still likes to keep up to date with the geomatics processes. She is particularly interested in historic building recording and is currently receiving some training in this area.  

Portrait of Gerry Thacker
Gerry Thacker
Senior Project Manager
Field Team

Gerry joined Oxford Archaeology as an Archaeologist in 2000, after graduating from the University of Reading. Gerry spent the next decade or so excavating sites as an Assistant Supervisor, Supervisor and Project Officer before gaining promotion to Senior Project Manager in early 2013. Since then, he has managed a diverse range of projects from Palaeolithic flint sites to industrial complexes via work for the Oxford Colleges, but specialises in large scale rural sites of prehistoric and Roman date. Gerry’s main responsibilities include the management of field work projects and liaison with clients, consultants, field staff, contractors, and the media. He also undertakes the post-excavation analysis of sites and has worked extensively in the Contracts Department. Additionally, Gerry has responsibility for overseeing the fieldwork training programmes at the Oxford office, managing staff progression through the Graduate Trainee to Supervisor (GT2SUP) programmes. Gerry is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA) and holds a Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) qualification. 

Portrait of Granville Laws
Granville Laws
Assistant to the Head of Fieldwork
Field Team

Granville has been a full-time member of staff at Oxford Archaeology since 1989 and has a wealth of fieldwork experience gained from many years of working on and running sites of all periods from small watching briefs and evaluations to major excavations. Although at home with all types of archaeology Granville has a special interest in Neolithic and Bronze Age sites. In his current role as Assistant to the Head of Fieldwork his responsibilities include staff recruitment, organisation of training, maintaining the staff deployment programme and logistic tasks such as managing the company’s vehicle fleet.

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James Fairbairn
Project Officer
Field Team

James joined Oxford Archaeology in 2005, and has been a Project Officer since 2013.

James leads evaluations and excavations on site. He also specialises Historic Building recording.  Drawing on a former career as a professional photographer, James does a great deal of photographic work, including photogrammetry, finds and publication photographs.

James makes a major contribution to community archaeology projects at our Cambridge office. Some major projects have included a large Heritage Lottery funded community excavation of a Roman villa at Itter Cresent, Peterborough, and also excavation of a Spitfire from Holme Fen in conjunction with the MoD’s Operation Nightingale.

Portrait of John Boothroyd
John Boothroyd
Senior Project Manager
Field Team

After graduating from the University of Nottingham, John spent time working across East Anglia before joining Oxford Archaeology in 2009 as a Field Archaeologist. John became a Project Manager in 2017 and has worked on a wide variety of projects across the south of England.  

These projects range from small scale watching briefs through to large infrastructure schemes, including the undergrounding of overhead cables in the rich prehistoric landscape of the Dorset Ridgeway.  

John covers all periods having managed excavations in rich Neolithic landscapes right through to 19th century brickworks, however, his main interest is in prehistory.