I like research; it’s as simple as that.
But that’s true for most academics – it’s part of our job requirement to create knowledge as well as to disseminate it. What I really like then, is having the opportunity to face up to problems and challenges that I or my colleagues meet in the course of our field work – and then sort them out.
I’ve attempted to do this to a number of issues over the years, but just now my main interests lie with:
- understanding bone degradation and diagenesis (mainly focusing on the effects of heating and burning on bone)
- devising new ways of approaching and resolving commingled contexts (usually from situations of mass violence)
- developing new ways to ‘see’ and visualise the body and forensic evidence
Within these three areas, I’m also interesting in testing and pushing at the theoretical framework in which forensic and biological anthropology functions (and thus helping to improve the interpretations that we make).
I also really enjoy helping others to create and foster their own research profiles – mentoring is extremely important to me, as it should be for anyone in my position. So on top of progressing my own crack research team and striving to create an environment for them to successfully work and develop in, I am Chair of the University Research Ethics and Integrity Committee, and I sit on the Postgraduate Research Degrees Assessment Board and the University’s Research and Innovation Committee. I have also been appointed as Associate Editor of the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, following on from three years as Editor-in-Chief of Science & Justice.
Of course, at a university, research needs to be embedded into the teaching provision. In this respect, I am the University’s lead on enhancing research-informed teaching across the institution.