Professor Ian Ralston

Former Research Students

Ian Ralston

Former research students (first or second supervisor) with whom I am still in touch include:

Kenneth AITCHISON was awarded his PhD (2011) for his in-depth review of archaeological employment in the UK in the period since c. 1990, a component of the wider studies of archaeological employment at UK and European levels for which he has become well-known. Having worked for the Institute for Field Archaeology and the Institute of Conservation, he currently directs his own consultancy firm, Landward Research Ltd. His doctorate was published as Breaking new ground: how archaeology works in a Kindle edition in 2012. Kenneth Aitchison was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (FAME) in 2019. He was elected as Treasurer of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2020.

Derek ALEXANDER Aspects of the later prehistoric and protohistoric settlement of west central Scotland. M Phil 2003. Derek Alexander, well-known for his publications on Renfrewshire archaeology in particular, was employed by the Centre for Field Archaeology in Edinburgh University (1991-2000) and is now principal archaeologist with the National Trust for Scotland. His recent projects have included research in Glencoe:

Gordon J. BARCLAY Ph D 2002. Dr Gordon Barclay, well-known as an excavator of significant Neolithic sites, submitted a portfolio of his publications on the Scottish Neolithic for his doctorate. Having been an Inspector of Ancient Monuments, he held a senior managerial position within Historic Scotland until his retirement. He now focuses on his research interests in the archaeology of the Second World War in Scotland. If Hitler comes was published by Birlinn in 2013; in 2019 the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland produced his study (written with Ron Morris) The Fortification of the Firth of Forth 1880-1977. His recent studies are accessible at:

Craig BROWN has recently been awarded his doctorate. His PhD thesis examined critical applications of KOCOA to a range of battle sites of diverse dates from Roman Northern Spain to Prestonpans.

Emma R. CARVER The visibility of imported wine and its associated accoutrements in later Iron Age Britain. M Phil 2000. Emma’s thesis was published as BAR Brit Ser 325 in 2001. She was Head of Interpretation at English Heritage and thereafter was Assistant Director of the National Army Museum, before becoming Public Engagement Director of the Royal Armouries in Leeds in 2014. She was seconded as Director of Masterplanning for a major project with the Royal Armouries, returning to her substantive role for Public Engagement in 2020.

Ruby CERON-CARRASCO ‘De iasg agus dhaione’. A study of the utlilization of marine resources as recovered from selected Hebridean archaeological sites. PhD 2002. Ruby has continued to work at postdoctoral level on fish remains and her thesis was published as BAR Brit Ser 400 in 2005. She is now employed by Historic Environment Scotland as Documentation Officer in the Collections Unit, Understanding and Access, Properties in Care.

Ciara CLARKE Fungal spores as palaeoenvironmental indicators of anthropogenic activity. Ph D 1995. Dr Clarke worked for the Centre for Field Archaeology at Edinburgh University until 2000 and now is Deputy Managing Director of the applied company, AOC Archaeology Group, in Loanhead, Midlothian.

Murray COOK completed his PhD by publication in 2015 under the title A contribution to the later prehistoric and early medieval settlement record of Scotland south of the Great Glen, with a specific focus on Strathdon, Aberdeenshire. Well-known for his fieldwork and publications on Scottish hillforts in Aberdeenshire and East Lothian under the aegis of Rampart Scotland, and other community fieldwork on later prehistoric settlements in the Forth catchment, he is currently the Archaeologist at Stirling Council (covering also Clackmannanshire and North Lanarkshire). He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Stirling. A regular columnist with the Stirling Observer, his most recent book (2021) is Bannockburn and Stirling Bridge: exploring Scotland's two greatest battles.

Malcolm COOPER's 2016 Ph D considered Gerard Baldwin Brown: Edinburgh and the Preservation Movement (1880-1930) in regard to both his preservation-related campaigns, more particularly within Edinburgh, and his evolving preservation philosophy. Since completing his thesis, and after a career spent as a field archaeologist in the Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit and thereafter Hereford and Worcester Council, he joined English Heritage as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments, rising to become Territory Director for the North. Thereafter he was Chief Inspector in Historic Scotland until 2011. Malcolm joined SLR Consulting as Technical Director, Archaeology & Heritage in 2016, and continued to run his consultancy business until 2020.

Gemma CRUICKSHANKS' Ph D thesis (2017), funded by AHRC, was on the subject of Iron in Iron Age Scotland: a long-term case study of production and use c.800 BC to AD 800. It was supervised in conjunction with Dr Fraser Hunter, National Museums Scotland. Gemma currently manages the post-excavation service of the Scottish History and Archaeology Department of National Museums Scotland.

Samantha DENNIS Having been awarded (2008) her doctorate for her thesis on The use of experimental archaeology to examine and interpret Pre-Pottery Neolithic architecture: a case study of Beidha in southern Jordan. At one time the St Kilda Archaeologist, Sam now lives and works as a freelance archaeologist and illustrator in Shetland, where she has curated and archived the artifacts from the Old Scatness excavations for Shetland Museum and Archives. Since 2019, she has been employed as a Research Assistant at the University of the Highlands and Islands working on the Regional Research Framework for archaeology in the Scottish islands.

Rachel FAULKNER-JONES, who was initially supervised by the late Professor Magdalena Midgley, recently completed her PhD thesis entitled Hate or glory: a categorical and experimental consideration of Bronze Age halberds in Scotland in relation to MBA weaponry.

Dawn GOONEY completed her thesis on a remarkable Orcadian Iron Age funery site under the primary supervision of Dr Kath MacSweeney. She was awarded her PhD for her thesis on Life and Death in Iron Age Orkney: An osteoarchaeological examination of the human skeletal remains from the burial ground at Knowe of Skea, Westray in 2015. More recently she has been working as an osteoarchaeologist with Rubicon Heritage in Ireland abd the UK.

Andrew W. HOAEN The use of palynofacies analysis in archaeopalynology. Ph D 2000. Andy, who graduated from Bradford in 1993, has worked for Glasgow University and the Open University notably in SW Scotland and has also undertaken fieldwork, more particularly in the Matterdale area of Cumbria. He is now Lecturer in Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Worcester and has been researching diverse aspects of the heritage of Worcestershire and environs, including a five-year project on veteran trees within the Forest of Dean.

Mark W. HOLLEY The artificial islets of the central inner Hebrides. Ph D 1998. Mark’s PhD was published as BAR British Series 303 in 2000; he continues to be involved in underwater archaeology in both Scotland and his native Michigan, notably in the Great Lakes, where he also teaches the subject at Northwestern Michigan College. His interests extend from general underwater survey to the recording of historic shipwrecks.

Jonathan HORN worked on A Chronology of Hillforts in Britain and Ireland: Critical Reassessment of the Key Dating Evidence (M Phil: 2019), co-supervised by Prof Gary Lock (Oxford). Johnny's other major archaeological interest was in brewing; and he is now a successful brewer for Vault City in Edinburgh.

Jane KENNEY The beginnings of agriculture in Britain: a critical assessment. Ph D 1993. After a period as a surveyor with RCHME, Jane Kenney worked as a freelance excavator in Britain and overseas before joining Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, for whom she has been excavating important remains at Parc Cybi, Holyhead, Anglesey and elsewhere.

Sara KHORASANI completed her PhD in the Institute of Geography in 2013. It is entitled: Footsteps on the Edge of Thule: An Archaeoentomological Approach and was undertaken with Dr Eva Panagiotakopolou as primary supervisor. Sara now works in environmental education with Earthcalling in Edinburgh.

Caroline (Caz) MAMWELL called her 2018 PhD thesis It rained a lot and nothing much happened: settlement and society in Bronze Age Orkney. Her initial supervisor was the late Professor Magdalena Midgley. A Bradford graduate and long-term Orkney resident, Caz has long run (with Dr Dave Lawrence) very well-received (see Trip Advisor!) Orkney Archaeology Tours and is heavily involved with Orcadian archaeological research, notably through the Swandro-Orkney Archaeological Trust.

Orlene MCILFATRICK was awarded her PhD in 2013 for a thesis on northern Scottish later prehistoric ceramics entitled The Transitory vessel: aspects of the ceramic record of the Iron Age in North and West Scotland. Since that time she has developed a specialism in Iron Age pottery in Anatolia, including employing pXRF and has held post-doctoral Fellowships, for example at the British Institute in Ankara. She currently divides her time between SE Europe and Scotland, working as a Field School Supervisor for the Balkan Heritage Foundation and as is its representative for the UK and Ireland.

Dawn McLAREN's doctoral thesis (2011), co-supervised by Dr David Clarke (NMS), was entitled Funerary rites afforded to children in the Earlier Bronze Age of Britain: case studies from Scotland, Yorkshire and Wessex. After some years working for National Museums Scotland she is now employed as Assistant Director (post-Excavation) by the applied company, AOC Archaeology Group, in Loanhead, Midlothian.

Erin OSBORNE-MARTIN completed her M Phil thesis in 2014 with the title Some aspects of regional variation among larger enclosed sites in the later La Tène of France: an archaeological and proto-historical approach and was employed as Managing Editor of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland until she moved south to Oxford in 2017. She is currently Executive Society Partnership Manager and Analytics Manager for Wiley.

R. Celeste RAY Defining and managing a historic landscape: an interpretative approach to Scotland’s battlefields. MSc CRM 1991. Dr Ray completed her PhD at UNC Chapel Hill and is now employed in the Department of Anthropology at Sewanee, the University of the South, Tennessee, where she is Professor of Environmental Arts and Humanities and Anthropology. She has published widely on the Scottish diaspora in the southern United States amongst other topics. The Origins of Ireland’s Holy Wells (2014) heralded her developing interests in water and hydrolany; and in 2020 this focus was consolidated in the wide-ranging edited survey, Sacred Waters: a cross-cultural compendium of hallowed springs and wells. The previous year she had co-edited Historical Ecologies, Heterarchies and Transtemporal Landscapes also for Routledge.

Douglas ROCKS-MACQUEEN has acted as Coordinator for Scottish Archaeology Month for Archaeology Scotland's membership; he has also, in a varied career, worked with Kenneth Aitchison's Landward Research on surveys of archaeological employment in Britain and beyond. He is Director of Analysis, Research and Technology at Landward Archaeology Ltd. He is also Deputy CEO of FAME and blogs as Doug's Archaeology. His 2014 PhD, supervised with Professor Jim Crow, was entitled: Agent Based Predictive Models in Archaeology.

Tanja ROMANKIEWICZ is, by initial training, a conservation architect who obtained her doctorate on the domestic architecture of the Scottish Iron Age (for which I acted as external supervisor) from the Technical University in Berlin in late 2010. It has been published by British Archaeological Reports as The Complex Roundhouses of the Scottish Iron Age: An architectural analysis of complex Atlantic roundhouses (brochs and galleried duns), with reference to wheelhouses and timber roundhouses (British Archaeol Rep 550 2011). After working in Leith for Addyman Archaeology, a division of Simpson and Brown, conservation architects, she joined the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Edinburgh initially as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow on the Building (Ancient) Lives project, followed this with a research fellowship in Classics within the School, and is now a Chancellor's Fellow

Kirsty A. SABINE (Aberdeen M Litt) Kirsty Sabine’s MLitt thesis was on the hut-circle groups of Highland Scotland. Before her untimely death, she ran a small archaeological contracting business in Aberdeenshire.

Emily STAMMITTI-CAMPBELL gained her PhD in 2015 for a thesis entitled ‘A cross-cultural analysis of the policy, application and effect of legislation concerning archaeological sites in reservoirs, and implications for future reservoir works and site monitoring’.  She worked for Trent & Peak Archaeology as a Project Officer before becoming Partnerships Manager at DigVentures and then a Lecturer at North Kent College. In 2022 she became a Program Director and Professor at Harlaxton College, University of Evansville.

Scott STETKIEWICZ completed his PhD in 2016. The subject of his analytical research was Iron Age Iron Production in Britain and the Near Continent: Compositional Analyses and 'Smelting Systems'. After finishing his project, he conducted post-excavation analyses notably for Green Castle, Portknockie, worked on applied excavations with Kirkdale Archaeology at Holyrood in Edinburgh, and acted as a Research Assistant to Dr Xavier Rubio-Campillo on a project collating environmental evidence from Shetland. Having returned to the US, he now holds a research position in the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California.

Adrian TAMS Soil micromorphology of archaeological deposits with particular reference to floor surfaces on settlement sites in the Western Isles, Scotland. Ph D 2003. Adrian went on to a post-doctoral position in Soil Science at Nottingham University. He is now Workforce Transformation & Innovation Manager (Lincolnshire) in the NHS.

Nicolle THIEMANN-FREUDENSTEIN Ph D 2016 carried out a study leading to a forensic anthropology thesis entitled Facing the past - In vivo facial soft tissue depths of a modern adult population from Germany, supervised by Dr Elena Kranioti, with assistance on non-technical matters from me. She now lives in Germany and is a Forensic Anthropologist certified by the Royal Anthropological Institute (FA Cert-III). She is currently working for the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

Jennifer E THOMS Aspects of economy and environment of north west Lewis in the first millennium AD: the non-marine faunal evidence from Bostadh and Beirgh considered within the framework of north Atlantic Scotland. Ph D 2004. Jennifer has taught in the UHI Millennium Institute network, worked for the applied company, AOC Archaeology, and now carries out freelance zooarchaeological work, and authoring archaeological reports. She has been a part-time Research Assistant in Archaeology at Edinburgh University, bringing order to my projects. Currently she works for Archaeology Scotland for whom she edits Discovery and Excavation in Scotland.

Ronan TOOLIS has worked for a number of applied archaeological companies, largely in Scotland, since he graduated in Archaeology from Edinburgh in the 1990s and is currently Commercial Director of GUARD Archaeology Ltd. Since undertaking an early research project on the promontory forts of the Solway coast, he has maintained research interests there, especially in the later prehistory of south-west Scotland. He has published widely on this area, his most recent monograph, with Chris Bowles, is The lost Dark Age kingdom of Rheged (2017). In 2018 he was awarded a Ph D for his synthesis entitled A Contribution to the Later Prehistoric and Early Medieval (400 BC - AD 650) Settlement Record of Galloway.

Lucy VERRILL completed her PhD, initially supervised by Dr Geraint Coles, in 2006. Her thesis was entitled: Later prehistoric environmental marginality in western Ireland: multi-proxy investigations. She co-edited Scottish Odysseys: the archaeology of islands (Tempus 2008) and now works as a chartered accountant.

Graeme WARREN Towards a social archaeology of the Mesolithic in eastern Scotland; landscape, contexts and experience. Ph D 2001. Graeme is now Professor in Archaeology at University College Dublin, where he has been Head of School since 2016. Co-editor of the journal Hunter Gatherer Pasts, he has published volumes on the Mesolithic and the transition to farming, including (2017) co-editing The Diversity of Hunter-Gatherer Pasts, (Oxbow). Hunter-Gatherer Ireland: making connections in an island world was published in 2022. He is Vice-President of the international Society for Hunter-Gatherer Research, co-directs a major landscape project at Glendalough, Co Wicklow and also excavates upland Mesolithic sites in North-East Scotland.

Geoff WATERS completed his M Phil (2013) on 'The Drystone Chapels of Islay: aspects of chronology, context and distribution' after a career as an engineer and in management with Hewlett-Packard and Agilent. He is active in the archaeology of Argyll, and for many years has organized Archaeology Scotland’s Summer Field Schools. He is currently Vice-President of Archaeology Scotland.

Jane WEBSTER The identification of ritual in the later Iron Age, with specific reference to selected themes in protohistoric Gaul and Britain. Ph D 1991. Jane, who teaches at Newcastle University, is now Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology, where she is heavily involved in outreach activities. She has published widely on Celtic religion, slavery and historical archaeology topics.

Shelly WERNER followed her M Phil (2002) on Later Prehistoric Settlement in eastern Scotland north of the Tay; a GIS-based analysis, in 2008 with her Ph D, within the Institute of Geography, jointly supervised by Dr Willian Mackaness, entitled An assessment for the case of shared traditions in the North Channel Region. After working for the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland she joined CFA Archaeology Ltd, where she specializes in GIS and graphics services.

Simon WOOD completed his PhD in 2016 entitled How many hillforts are there in western Scotland? This work, supervised also by Strat Halliday, compared aspects of the size, morphology and landscape position of later prehistoric enclosed sites in Kintyre, Skye and the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. He is now employed as an Historic Environment Advisor at Hertfordshire County Council.