Skip to content

Home > About > Our People > Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

The following people currently serve as the Board of Trustees for The British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. You can find their email addresses, short biography, and job description within BABAO.

Jelena graduated with a BA (Hons) in Ancient History and Archaeology from St David’s University College, Lampeter, Wales (1987-1990) and went on to study further for the MSc in Osteology, Palaeopathology and Funerary Archaeology (1991-1992) which at the time was taught between Sheffield and Bradford University. Before starting work as a research osteologist at the Museum of London in 2003 as part of the Wellcome funded team, Jelena worked on a variety of archaeological excavations in England and was lucky to have had the opportunity to work on excavations and projects with skeletal remains in Jordan, Russia and the Czech Republic as well as the extraordinary Spitalfields Market excavation in London. In 2008 Jelena became a Curator of Human Osteology, Museum of London, in 2010 she was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London and in 2016 was admitted to the Freedom of the City of London. Working at the Museum of London over the past twenty years has been a great experience and a privilege to be able to work with such a unique osteological collection. It has also provided many exciting opportunities for working on exhibitions, taking part in a wide variety of outreach events, participating in conferences in the UK and overseas, supporting student research projects and carrying out research. Jelena was fortunate to work alongside Gaynor Western on the Impact of Industrialisation on London Health project generously funded by the Rosemary Green Grant awarded through the City of London Archaeological Trust (CoLAT). Jelena has a particular interest in the Post Medieval period and greatly enjoys engaging through outreach events. With the Museum of London in full swing with preparations to go to its new site location at Smithfield the focus for the next few years will be working towards the move.  

Job Description

The President's role broadly involves:
  • Chairing 3 committee meetings each year (November, February and June), and the AGM at the Annual September conference - checking agendas and minutes, addressing actions.
  • Leading e-mail discussions amongst the committee about problems that arise between meetings.
  • Making sure actions highlighted from committee meetings are progressed
  • Helping to identify and approaching suitable people for committee posts
  • Identifying future conference venues and approaching hosts
  • Writing the BABAO responses to national level items of relevance
  • Coordinating the writing of letters of various kinds from the Committee
  • Writing a piece for the Annual BABAO Review
  • Defining a vision for where the association should be by the end of the 3 year post, and working with the committee to achieve key goals.

Hannah is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University. Her PhD research investigates the lived experience of the Athenian population of lower socio-economic status during the Archaic period with a focus on palaeopathological analysis. Her PhD research is funded by a Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (AHRC) studentship. Hannah has received a BA and MA degree in Classical Archaeology from the University of Vienna before obtaining her MSc in Palaeopathology from Durham University. Hannah worked on research excavations in the Mediterranean as well as for commercial archaeology unit in Vienna, Austria. Her research focuses on palaeopathology, interpersonal and structural violence, and the impact of social, political, and ideological changes on population health.

Job Description

The General Secretary prepares and sends out the meetings’ agenda for the three annual committee meetings and the AGM to all committee members, takes the minutes during these meetings, collates and makes editorial changes and sends the finalised minutes to the Publicity and Outreach Officer, who places the minutes on the BABAO website. The General Secretary manages the election of new committee members by sending out calls for nominations for new committee posts and announcing the results of the elections at the AGM and to the membership via the BABAO emailing list. The post-holder is one of the signatories for cheques and holds a debit card in the Association’s name.

Charlotte is a biological anthropologist based in Canterbury, England. She holds a BSc in Biological Anthropology and an MSc in Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods from the University of Kent. Her MSc dissertation research focused on the spatial dispersal of skeletal remains by wild vertebrate scavengers, with a view to maximise evidentiary recovery in local forensic cases. Passionate about all things osteological, her research interests are centred in forensic anthropology, with a particular focus on taphonomy and the fate of human remains in marine environments.

Outside of her academic research, Charlotte works as a commercial osteoarchaeologist, excavating and analysing skeletal remains for small- and large-scale local projects. She is passionate about public engagement, and enjoys presenting her research and promoting the field of anthropology in her role as a lead outreach facilitator. Keen to apply her skills in a DVI capacity, she is also a registered forensic anthropologist with Cranfield Recovery and Identification of Conflict Casualties, and is ready to deploy with disaster response company Kenyon International Emergency Services.

Job Description

The treasurer oversees the full range of financial affairs of the Association. This comprises a range of general and specific tasks:

  • Ensure the finances of the organisation are managed within the law and by the requirements of a UK charity
  • Ensure the organisation manages its finances in the best interest of members, feeding income back into charitable activities for their benefit and the pursuance of our charitable purposes (e.g., to promote biological anthropology)
  • Ensure proper records are kept of all transactions
  • Monitor and report on the financial health of the organisation at meetings and when required
  • Oversee the production of necessary financial reports. This comprises periodic ‘state of finances reports’ presented at committee meetings, an annual report presented at the AGM, and a yearly account report submitted to the Charities Commission.
  • Manage the two bank accounts (current and reserve) with NatWest. Act as signatory for cheques, manage access to online banking, hold a debit card in their own and the charities name, provide an address for the delivery of paper statements
  • Keep all paper financial records of the organisation, including receipts for payments, organised to be audited
  • Keep all digital financial records of the organisation
  • Manage the PayPal account
  • Manage the email account
  • Make fellow committee members aware of their financial obligations and take a lead in interpreting financial data to them
  • Regularly report the financial position at committee meetings (balance sheet, cash flow, fundraising performance etc.)
  • Ensure proper records are kept and that effective financial procedures and controls are in place, i.e.:
  • Cheque signatories
  • Purchasing limits
  • Purchasing systems
  • Appraising the financial viability of plans, proposals, and feasibility studies
  • Others as appropriate or

Bennjamin is a recent doctoral graduate from the Department of Archaeology at Durham University. He is currently a freelance (bio)archaeologist. During his BSc he developed an interest in palaeopathology in which he pursued an MSc degree in at Durham University in 2011. After graduating in 2012, he worked as an archaeologist and archivist in the commercial sector and spending the following four years working for Oxford Archaeology. During that time, he worked on a number of large-scale cemetery sites and undertook various osteological assignments. After leaving Oxford Archaeology in September 2015, he began his PhD at Durham University in bioarchaeology, funded by a Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (AHRC) studentship, which was completed in 2020. Upon completion, he undertook fixed-term roles working for Cranfield Recovery and Identification of Conflict Casualties and Historic England.

Job Description

The membership secretary is responsible for:
  • Managing the BABAO membership records through registering new members, keeping members’ details up to date, verifying the student status of student members, and deleting records of cancelled/lapsed memberships
  • Managing the BABAO mailing list and members’ area of the BABAO website and ensuring members have access to them, as well as providing necessary information for the Student Representative to manage the BABAO Facebook pages
  • Helping members with any enquiries or problems relating to their membership
  • Ensuring all members pay the appropriate annual subscription through regularly checking bank and PayPal transaction records, keeping a record of cheques received, and following up on late payment of fees
  • Verifying membership status of members when required, e.g. for BABAO Small Grant applicants, or conference registration
  • Preparing membership reports for BABAO Trustees meetings, the AGM, and the Annual Review, and providing information on the membership to other Trustees when reasonably requested

Pronouns: she/her/hers/ella

Ofelia is a bioarchaologist currently working as Anatomy Demonstrator at the University of Birmingham. She is a recent doctoral graduate from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, and previously read for a MSc in Anatomy and Advanced Forensic Anthropology (University of Dundee) and a BSc in Physical Anthropology (University of Chile). Her research interests include human anatomy, palaeopathology, historical bioarchaeology, and the bioarchaeology of childhood and old age.

Job Description

The Communications Officer takes particular responsibility for the development and implementation of community engagement both within the membership and beyond. The communications officer works to increase the participation of the association, by maximising the use of the website, identifying community interests, and interacting with the association’s membership through the appropriate and available communication channels, particularly via social media. With its launch in 2023, Ofelia took a leading role in the design, development and maintenance of the new website.

Gaynor graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1998 with an MSc in Osteoarchaeology and has been working within the archaeological commercial sector as a human remains specialist for the past 25 years. As well as carrying out academic research and publications as part of research projects based at universities, commercial units and the Museum of London, she also works on a day to day basis analysing and reporting on human remains. Latterly she has been involved in outreach work, developing teaching resources based on human osteology. She is passionate about promoting human osteoarchaeology at the grass roots level and will be developing an educational platform via BABAO to deliver multi-level outreach resources that are openly accessible to all in the museum and education sectors.

Job Description

The post holder is responsible for the development and implementation of public engagement. Main duties include:
  • Searching for, organising and advertising outreach events association members can take part in
  • Liaising with local and international BABAO members who wish to partake in outreach events
  • Purchasing and maintaining a collection of outreach materials, including animal bones, plastic casts of human skeletons, dental casts and printed guides on skeletal anatomy and osteological methods
  • Posting updates on outreach activities on traditional and social media
  • Promoting awareness of good practice and ethics within our disciplines when presenting at public communication events ·

Job Description

The Editor in Chief is in charge of the new Trends in Biological Anthropology journal, as well as coordinating the Annual Review. The Annual Review Editor collates the news from the BABAO trustees and membership into an annual publication that is provided to all BABAO members. It also includes valuable information about upcoming conferences and grants and funding initiatives available to members.

Rachel is an Assistant Professor in Human Osteoarchaeology at Leiden University, The Netherlands. She studied Archaeology (BA and MA) at Leiden University and studied under Prof. Hillson and Prof. Waldron at University College London during her masters. She started with a PhD at Leiden after graduating which aimed at gaining a better understanding of the physical consequences of medieval developments, such as urbanisation and commercialisation, by comparing rural and urban skeletal populations. During this time, Rachel was involved in several large-scale cemetery excavations. Following the completion of her doctorate in 2016, she remained in Leiden as a lecturer in Osteoarchaeology and was appointed as Assistant Professor in 2018. Her current research project, funded by the Dutch Research Council, investigates the distribution and impact of malaria in the medieval Netherlands.

Job Description

The Grants secretary is responsible for announcing the annual round of academic and commercial grants through the BABAO email list and setting the deadline for submissions. The post-holder ensures that all grant applications adhere to the regulations set out in the grants document and if necessary updates this document. The Grants secretary manages the judging process and collates the results, informing the winners by email and disseminating the results via the BABAO email list and at the AGM. She/he also ensure that the grant holders submit their report and present their research at the annual meeting.

Tereza is a PhD candidate in the Department of Archaeology and History at the University of Exeter. Her project is focused on creating a modern baseline for ageing adults from dental wear based on a large reference sample of living British population of known age. Tereza received her BA in Archaeology and MSc in Bioarchaeology at the University of Exeter. After her Masters degree, she has worked as a commercial archaeologist in the UK and later as a laboratory technician. Tereza has also participated in research investigating human and animal mobility in the European palaeolithic through isotopic and dental cementum analyses. Outside of academia, Tereza is a road cycling and mountain walking enthusiast.

Job Description

The student representative is responsible for ensuring the interests of BABAO’s student community are represented in our organisation and making their opinions and suggestions known during the committee meetings. The student rep is a port of call for students with questions about our community. Furthermore, the representative administers the Facebook group, which provides a platform of communication between the student members.

Vicky is a Project Manager with York Archaeology, where she spends her time wrangling fieldwork projects into shape, developing digital systems, and coordinating (and delivering) post-excavation specialist outputs for human osteology from grey literature to publication. Her research interests include dental anthropology, pathology and mortuary archaeology. Vicky graduated from CCCU in 2015 with a B.A in History and Archaeology, and subsequently from UCL in 2016 with a MSc in Bioarchaeological and Forensic Anthropology - with a dissertation focusing on applications of GMM techniques for skeletal identification. She is a big fan of laser scanners. Since graduating, she has operated across large infrastructure projects, small infrastructure projects, and at a dusty desk surrounded by an ever-growing mountain of site archives. One day, in the circular fashion of life, she may well become one with the site archives. Vicky is also a big fan of teeth.

Job Description

The representative from a commercial organisation ensures that members from the commercial sector have a dedicated contact person within the Managing Committee who will raise their concerns and comments on representing their views. The representative contacts commercial sector members prior to meetings of the Managing Committee to ask for comments and suggestions. The representative from a commercial organisation attends the three annual meetings of the Managing Committee and reports at the AGM during the Annual Meeting.

Kirsty is Deputy Head of Archaeology in the Archaeology and World Heritage Team at Historic Environment Scotland (HES), where she is responsible for the delivery of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy on behalf of HES, in partnership with The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, CIfA, ALGAO Scotland and Archaeology Scotland. Kirsty runs HES’s Human Remains and Emergency Archaeology call-off contract. This contract was set up to manage the investigation of chance discoveries of archaeological human remains in Scotland. Kirsty has oversight of best practice with regard to the treatment of human remains within HES and is working to update her organisation’s internal operational procedures Kirsty sits on the Scottish Heritage Crime Group, working closely with Police Scotland to ensure best practice is followed when human remains are found. Kirsty studied Archaeology and Prehistory (BA Hons) at The University of Sheffield, before completing an MA in European Historical Archaeology. Her research interests focused on the representation of death and dying in England between the 14th and 18th centuries. She completed her PhD at The University of Leicester in 2006, which focused on the medieval and early modern art of dying, before moving to Scotland.

Job Description

The post entails making BABAO aware of developments in the broader archaeological sector and helping to ensure that BABAO views are heard to maximum effect shaping those developments. The post-holder will be a member of a major professional organisation in archaeology or other relevant discipline, or owns their own business.

Currently, I am the Curatorial Manager of the Duckworth Laboratory in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. I curate a collection of 20,000 archaeological and anatomical human remains, primates, fossil casts, blood and hair samples, and the Duckworth Archives. The Duckworth collections are now part of the University of Cambridge Museums network and I regularly work with institutions to assess and advise about human remains in their collections. Previous positions I have held include Osteologist in the Repatriation Osteology Laboratory, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; Educator at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge; Associate Curator and Repatriation Coordinator at the San Diego Museum of Man in California. I have several international connections in the heritage sector that I can publicise BABAO news and events with and am open to collaborative and creative efforts that will emphasise the importance of our organisation. I will draw upon the collective knowledge of the members of BABAO and promote BABAO’s role in assisting institutions of all sizes to support museum staff, produce meaningful research while ensuring the integrity of collections.

Ariadne earned concurrent BA degrees (cum laude) in Anthropology and East Asian Languages and Literature from UC at Irvine (2006). She went on to study with the Group in Asian Studies at UC Berkeley earning an MA focusing on Classical Japanese and Japanese Archaeology (2010). During this time, she worked as a Graduate Student Instructor for two field seasons in Aomori Japan. She subsequently emigrated to the UK to pursue her MSc and PhD (2018) in Palaeopathology at Durham University. Ariadne worked as a Project Curator at the British Museum in the Japanese section and has since joined the commercial archaeology sector currently working as a field Archaeologist with Pre-Construct Archaeology. Her research interests include Geometric Morphometrics, infectious disease, and the impact of disease on human history.

Job Description

The non-executive member supports other committee members to help develop the Association, bringing in their academic and/or commercial experience in bioarchaeology. Further, they are the Data Protection Lead

Matt is a current PhD student in Archaeology at Durham University (started Sept 2022) where he is studying Early Medieval Northumbria using dental anthropology to examine human mobility and kinship. Prior to this Matt had completed a BSc in Archaeology (Cardiff University) and an MSc in Forensic Anthropology (Bournemouth University) before working in commercial archaeology for several years. During his time in commercial archaeology Matt worked as a field archaeologist (digging and post-excavation processing) across some of the largest recent archaeological projects. This has included the A14 improvement scheme as well as the HS2 development works including working on the Park Street and St James burial grounds in Birmingham and London. After several years in fieldwork Matt moved into post-excavation work in a supervisory role overseeing the processing of tons of soil samples and dirty finds from HS2 projects alongside other projects, before starting his PhD. Matt’s research interests include dental anthropology, the application of isotope data to archaeology, and the place of “ancestry” and ancestry estimation methods within anthropology.