Now I’ve done a fair bit of media work in the past (Shock! Academic known for being a bit of a show-off has history of being a bit of a show-off…) but nothing to the intensity of this past week. Our paper reinterpreting the context of death for victims of Vesuvius at Herculaneum has finally come out in the journal Antiquity. To be honest, this paper should have been out a year ago but it’s been a bit of a battle to get it finished….Continue Reading “BREAKING NEWS: Only I could make a 2000 year old volcanic eruption all about me…”

Well, it’s official. Tim Thompson has left the building. And entered another one. 100 metres away. On the same campus. This seemed more dramatic when I started… As some of you may know, the School of Science, Engineering and Design is no more. We’ve had a bit of a restructure here at Teesside, and the School that was once my home has been split into its three component parts and spread across the rest of the Institution. Engineering heads over to the new School of…Continue Reading “Parting is such sweet sorrow…”

So, I almost knocked over both Emily Thornberry and Floella Benjamin in one day… Forensic science is in a challenging place at the moment. The well-publicised closure of the national Forensic Science Service and the rapid marketisation of forensic provision has left the sector a little winded. Combined with the complexity of contracting out forensic services, the increasing demands associated with ISO accreditation, the budgetary cuts, the fragmentation of research and so on, it is little wonder that the criminal justice system and the public…Continue Reading “House of Lords Science & Technology Committee – Inquiry into Forensic Science”

The biggest event this week is not the start of Season 7 of Game of Thrones, it’s not the discussion of the new Avengers Infinity War teaser, it’s not even the announcement of a female Doctor Who (which, by the way, has generated a staggering amount of whining). No, the biggest, most hotly anticipated event this week is graduation! As I’ve said before, graduation is my favourite part of the academic cycle. It’s a moment of celebration and pride and a chance to reflect upon…Continue Reading ““I can and I will” – Graduation 2017!”

Well, it’s been four months since I made the move to, what I’ve since been told, is the dark side… I call it senior management, but apparently this is the same thing. Mind you, if it means I get access to a giant space-based laser weapon of unimaginable power, then I’m all for it… If you hadn’t heard, I applied for and was offered the post of Associated Dean (Learning & Teaching) in the School – and it’s something that I’m very excited about. I…Continue Reading “Associate Dean”

I was delighted to be asked to be a Keynote speaker on the opening day of Teesside University’s 2016 Festival of Learning – a week long event exploring different aspects to teaching and learning. My talk was on the interplay between teaching and research, and I decided to use my group’s excellent work in both areas to highlight the benefits of using research as a hook for teaching. I’ll get the full text up online soon, but it was wonderful to get such positive feedback…Continue Reading “Festival of Learning”

I’m very excited to say that The Analysis of Burned Human Remains, 2nd Edition, edited by Christopher W. Schmidt and Steven A. Symes, received an Honorable Mention in the Biomedicine and Neuroscience category at the recent PROSE awards. The PROSE Awards are an annual competition which seeks to recognise and award the very best in professional and scholarly publishing in books and journals. Not only is the book a fantastic addition to the growing publications in the field of cremation and burned bone studies, but chapter 18…Continue Reading “The Analysis of Burned Human Remains Wins PROSE Award”

It’s finally here! I’ve been wanting to pull together a book on cremations since I was in the midst of my PhD. Back then, I got pipped to the post by a couple of new books so decided to leave it for a while. But it was probably for the best, because in the intervening years I’ve learned a lot more about burned bone and publishing in general, and gained so many more colleagues. This has meant that the book is something that I’m very…Continue Reading “The Archaeology of Cremation”

There’s much excitement here at the moment because of our involvement with the Pint of Science festival. Those of you familiar with me and my team will know how much we value outreach and wider access projects. We do all sorts! Pint of Science is an international event which aims to get experts talking about their work with whoever is interested in the local pub! Teesside is the only post-92 university in the country to take part, and our organising team (largely students) is doing…Continue Reading “Pint of Science”

Well this week has been a good week. On Monday I found out that the University, in all its wisdom, has conferred the title of ‘Professor’ on me. It’s such exciting and delightful news, and marks the high-point of my career so far. To be honest, I can hardly believe it since it’s all happened relatively fast. I started my PhD in 2000 and polished it off in 2003. After working for Kenyon International for 9 months while they were still based in London, I…Continue Reading “Professor of Applied Biological Anthropology”