The combination of archaeological research and journalism has enabled me to find an approach that focuses on public outreach and the communication of scientific research through accessible platforms. I believe that academic researchers should ensure that their results are not restricted to those publications that can only be accessed by other academics. This is for several reasons, although for me the two most important are:
1. Squashing Stereotypes
Members of the general public are often unaware of what exactly archaeologists do. "Oh so you study dinosaurs?" "Do you like digging holes then?" "Indiana Jones!" Of course, these misconceptions are natural if the reality of archaeological research is not widely communicated and understood. And, consequently, why research in "the soft sciences" is not perhaps as well-funded as other subjects. By making our research more accessible and approachable to non-specialists, we as archaeologists can both share our knowledge and improve the future prospects of the discipline as a whole.
2. Validating our Value
Part of this communication involves highlighting the relevance of archaeological research in modern society. We all have to contribute to the present, even if our research is focused in the past. Encouraging academic researchers to share their studies with the public also encourages them to focus their research aims on themes that the public feels are important. This will then ensure that research remains relevant to current issues in society, and provides a communication platform with stakeholder groups - such as indigenous communities - to ensure that they have control of their heritage research.
My background is one of constant change; born in Scotland and raised all over the world. My childhood was spent in the UAE, New Zealand, and Australia, before returning to Scotland to complete an undergraduate degree in archaeology of Northern cultures at the University of Aberdeen. After graduation I moved to Germany where I worked as an archaeologist and English teacher before moving to the Netherlands in 2015 to complete a masters degree in archaeological science at Leiden University, specialising in material culture studies and microwear analysis. After my masters degree, I worked as an English teacher and temporary school director at a private English academy, and also ran my own company selling prehistory-inspired jewellery and accessories. In 2020 I graduated with an online postgraduate degree in journalism from the London School of Journalism. Between 2018 - 2023 I worked as a PhD research candidate at Groningen University in the Netherlands, where my research focused on the microwear analysis of organic artefacts from Dorset Paleo-Inuit material culture assemblages in the central Canadian Arctic.
Since the end of the 2023, I have been working for several different companies and organisations. Predominantly I work at Streichardt & Wedekind Archäologie - an excavation company based in Göttingen, Germany - as the manager of their online outreach and related activities. I am also managing the social media content of the Archaeology Podcast Network.