Rebecca Nicholson graduated with a BA (Hons) in Archaeology and History from the University of York, followed by an MA in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy (University of Sheffield) and a D.Phil (University of York). Her professional career started in the 1980s as a technician in the Environmental Archaeology Unit at the University of York, followed by employment as environmental archaeologist for a commercial archaeological unit in Newcastle and academic research posts at the Universities of York and Bradford. She joined Oxford Archaeology as Environmental Manager in 2005.
Rebecca is responsible for designing and co-ordinating the sampling programmes for OAS excavations and liaises with other specialists within and outside OA to ensure high academic standards and to provide an effective outcome for our clients. Her specialism is archaeozoology, particularly the study of fish remains and fishing through the ages, and she has worked on many assemblages mostly from England and Scotland. Rebecca also has an editorial role in other post-excavation projects.
She is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA), a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (FSA Scot), and member of the Association for Environmental Archaeology.
Finds and Environmental Manager
Natasha graduated with a BA (Hons) in Archaeology and Prehistory from the University of Sheffield, followed by an MSc in Osteology, Palaeopathology and Funerary Archaeology (University of Bradford). Natasha started her archaeological career at the Museum of London and now has almost 30 years of experience working in commercial archaeology. She has worked for various archaeological organisations in England, Italy and Norway as a digger, supervisor, project manager and osteologist, and has also been involved in research projects in Egypt and Abu Dhabi.
Natasha was the senior osteoarchaeologist at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit for 20 years before starting work with Oxford Archaeology in 2016 as Finds and Environmental Manager. She has an extensive knowledge of the archaeology of Eastern England, particularly of burial archaeology, and has studied and contributed to numerous publications on assemblages both small and large from all periods.
Natasha is responsible for co-ordinating the work programmes in both the finds and environmental departments at OA East and liaising with specialists within the organisation and externally. With her specialism in osteology she also contributes to the grey literature and publications programmes at OA and has a particular interest in Bronze Age and Iron age funerary practices. She teaches at the University of Cambridge and is a member of the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO).
Denise has worked for Oxford Archaeology since 2003 as an environmental Project Officer specialising in charred plant remains, wood and charcoal. She graduated from the University of Wales, Lampeter with a first class degree in environment and archaeology in 1996, and then went on to gain a PhD from the University of Bristol geography department. Denise then returned to Lampeter to work for CADW (Welsh Government Historic Environment Service) and the Palaeoenvironmental Research Centre where she carried out the analyses of pollen and waterlogged plant remains for both developer-funded and research-led projects.
Denise has worked on a diverse range of projects covering a wide range of periods and has a particular interest in British prehistoric subsistence and resource use. She is also keen on exploring regional variations in later prehistoric and Roman plant assemblages. Denise has considerable experience in the assessment of a wide range of palaeoenvironmental material, and produces publication-standard analysis reports. She is also an ordinary member of the Association of Environmental Archaeology and European Association of Archaeologists, and enjoys attending conferences and participating in outreach activities.
Rachel has worked for Oxford Archaeology since 2000 following a career change from pharmaceutical research. As an archaeobotanist, Rachel specialises in the identification and interpretation of charred, mineralised and waterlogged plant remains and she has worked on assemblages of all periods from numerous sites in the East of England, resulting in extensive regional knowledge. Rachel has a particular interest in cereal cultivation, processing and brewing and related experimental archaeology.
Rachel is a member of the Association of Environmental Archaeologists and an Associate of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (ACIfA).
Hayley (Hayley) Foster
Hayley joined OA East in 2017 as our Zooarchaeologist. Hayley graduated with a BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (USA), an MA in Osteoarchaeology from University of Southampton and a PhD from the University of Exeter. Her PhD research involved studying butchery practices and dining habits from medieval castle faunal assemblages. Hayley has worked as a Zooarchaeologist since 2007 in Ireland, Turkey and the UK.
Julia has worked within the Environmental Department at OA since 2007, after completing a BSc in Archaeology at the University of Reading and an MA in Landscape Archaeology at Bristol University.
During her 10 years at OA she has supervised the recovery of environmental material from a diverse range of sites. In particular, she oversaw the environmental aspects of the major infrastructure projects at St Brieuc, Brittany and at the Bexhill to Hastings Road Scheme in East Sussex. As an archaeobotanist, Julia now spends much of her time in the environmental laboratory at OA’s Oxford office, analysing charred and waterlogged plant macrofossils and charcoal.
Mairead has worked as a palynologist for 30 years, with experience in both industry and research. She joined BP Exploration and Research in 1989, taking part in scientific expeditions to the Yemeni desert and the Pontide Mountains in Turkey. After relocating to the north of England, Mairead joined a research team at Durham University in 1994, investigating sea level changes and landscape evolution along the west coast of the USA, NW Scotland, the Humber estuary and Swale-Ure washlands. Since joining OAN in 2010, Mairead has worked on diverse projects for all three offices, and is particularly pleased to add identification and interpretation of fungal spores as a routine part of palynological assessments and analysis, as well as assessment and analysis of water-logged plant remains, to these projects.
Mairead obtained her degree in Natural Sciences from Trinity College, Dublin (1982), followed by an MSc in palynology from the University of Sheffield (1983).
Ian was first involved in archaeology at Beeston Castle, in Cheshire in 1985 and further work in the north west of England included excavations in Lancaster, twelve years as Environmental Archaeologist at the former Chester City Council, and more recently, research into cave faunas of Cumbria based at Liverpool John Moores University. He has also been involved in excavations in other parts of Britain, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He holds a BA (Hons) in Archaeology and Prehistory and a Masters (MSc) in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy, both from Sheffield University. His specialism is the sampling, recovery, assessment and analysis of animal bone assemblages.
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