News Letter

Louise Barker

Senior Investigator - Archaeology (RCAHMW)

Louise works as part of the CHERISH team two days a week and is primarily involved in the ground survey and investigation of heritage sites along the coasts of Wales and Ireland as part of the cross-border CHERISH team.


She has worked as an archaeologist since graduating from Newcastle University with a BA in Archaeology in 1996. She started her career working in contract archaeology for the Archaeological Practice Ltd in North England. She then moved to Cambridge in 1999 to work for English Heritage as an archaeological investigator, before joining the Royal Commission in Wales in 2004.


Louise specialises in landscape survey and interpretation, and has worked on a wide range of sites and landscapes spanning prehistory to the present day. Recent work pertinent to CHERISH has been with Royal Commission colleague Toby Driver on promontory forts in Pembrokeshire, and with Toby, Dr Bob Johnston (University of Sheffield) and Dr Oliver Davis (Cardiff University) on Skomer Island.


Anthony Corns

Technology Manager (Discovery Programme)

Anthony Graduated in Geology & Physical Geography BSc (Hons.) and MSc in GIS from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1997 and 1999 respectively. Has been the Technology Manager for the Discovery Programme for the past 15 years and is responsible for the management of the applied technology research, including: project management, 3D data capture at a range of levels (aerial lidar, terrestrial scanning, close range scanning), GIS for cultural heritage, dataset management and archiving, metadata, promotion and dissemination of the use of technology within cultural heritage. Anthony has participated in several EU funded projects including: 3DICONS (CIP), ARIADNE (FP7), LoCloud (CIP), and ArchaeoLandscapes Europe (Culture 2007-2013) and is currently the project manager of the E-RIHS project (H2020) in Ireland and the dierctor of the European CARARE Network and member of the Europeana task force for 3D data.


Sean Cullen

Principal Geologist & Project Manager for Seabed Section (GSI)

Born in South Africa, Sean came to these shores in 1990 and was involved with sail training until heading to Plymouth University to study Hydrography. With many years as a professional yachtsman and commercial tuna fisherman, he continued his maritime development with Fugro Survey in the Middle East. He joined the GSI to work on the Irish National Seabed Survey in 2001. In 2006 Sean was promoted to Senior Geologist just as the INFOMAR programme was kicking off. His experience has led to the GSI now owning a dedicated fleet of survey vessels mapping the coastal waters of Ireland and managing a diverse group of scientists.


Sarah Davies

Head of Department (Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University)

Sarah’s research focuses on reconstructing past climatic and environmental change using evidence from lake sediments and peat deposits. She is Co-Director of the Itrax XRF core scanner facility. She has worked in a diverse range of environments, including the sub-Antarctic islands, Mexico and Ethiopia along with sites closer to home. Sarah also uses documentary records to investigate historical weather extremes.


Sarah is co-ordinating the Aberystwyth University CHERISH survey team and will be developing records of past storm activity and climate change from coastal lagoon, peat deposits and sand dunes. She will also be working with colleagues to investigate historical storms and associated impacts in the CHERISH project areas.

Lesley Davidson

Lesley Davidson

Research Archaeologist (The Discovery Programme)

Lesley Davidson is a research archaeologist for the Discovery Programme. Lesley’s main roles are to prepare and archive the data generated by CHERISH for the Irish coastal sites with the Digital Repository of Ireland, to update the Sites and Monuments Record, and to undertake a variety of field surveys.
Lesley is a professional archaeologist specialising in geospatial science and natural hazard impact assessment. She has extensive experience in digitally mapping archaeological sites using survey grade equipment, remote sensing technology, and GIS. Lesley recently completed a PhD in Geospatial Engineering and Archaeology from Newcastle University. Her research developed a methodology for assessing impacts from natural hazards on cultural World Heritage. The methodology uses advanced geospatial methods for quantify past and forecasting future geomorphic change, the results of which are integrated with the known archaeological record.


Toby Driver

Senior Investigator - Aerial Survey (RCAHMW)

Toby works as part of the CHERISH team two days a week and is primarily responsible for leading aerial survey and monitoring of heritage sites along the coast of Wales and Ireland as part of the cross-border CHERISH team, as well as assisting with other archaeological aspects of the project.


He graduated with a degree in archaeology from the University of Southampton. He worked first in local authority archaeology units before joining the Welsh Royal Commission in 1995, where he has managed the aerial reconnaissance programme since 1997. He was awarded his doctorate from the University of Wales, Lampeter, in 2006 for a study of the Iron Age hillforts of north Ceredigion. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Trustee of the Cambrian Archaeological Association.


Geoff Duller

Professor of Quaternary Science (Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University)

Geoff Duller is professor of Quaternary Science in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University. He has worked at institutions in the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Denmark, and since 1995 he has been based in Aberystwyth. He has been co-Director of the Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory for more than 10 years. His research encompasses the development of novel methods in luminescence dating and their use to address questions in archaeology and Quaternary Science. In 2012 he was awarded the Bigsby Medal by the Geological Society of London for his work in luminescence dating. Geoff will be developing the chronological framework for CHERISH, applying novel luminescence methods to improve our understanding of past storm activity and to tackle archaeological questions.


Hannah Genders Boyd

Project Investigator - Archaeology (RCAHMW)

Hannah joined the CHERISH team in 2022 to work with the datasets collected over the first 5 years of the project. Her role focuses on archiving and processing data for use in public engagement and outreach.

Hannah is an archaeologist and climate heritage professional with a background in palaeoenvironmental research. In 2021 she completed her Research Masters at Orkney College (University of Highlands and Islands) focusing on communities’ responses to prehistoric climatic changes in northwest Scotland. Hannah has previously worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Edinburgh and in Historic Environment Scotland’s Climate Change team.


Hywel Griffiths

Geographer (Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University)

Hywel Griffiths is a geographer with over a decade of experience of working in the Welsh landscape. His background is in quantifying the rates, processes and controls of geomorphological processes and reconstructing historical changes in the landscape (particularly river channel changes). He has developed wide-ranging research interests, including flood reconstruction from historical archival and geomorphological sources, human-environment interactions recorded in literature and historical ephemera and creative representations of landscape and geomorphology. Hywel has also worked in Ireland, Patagonia and South Africa and is a published poet. As part of CHERISH, Hywel will contribute to evaluating historical and contemporary geomorphological changes at remote coastal heritage sites, to exploring the documentary and sedimentary archives of environmental change, and to engaging coastal communities.


David Hardy

Marine Geologist (Geological Survey Ireland)

David Hardy is a geologist in the Geological Survey Ireland, specialising in marine science since 2003. His educational qualifications are both a BA and research MSc in Geology, from Trinity College Dublin. In recent years, he has primarily worked on inshore mapping projects, delivering high-resolution bathymetric and geophysical datasets. He provides technical expertise and oversight in the mobilisation of survey platforms, defining acquisition procedures & data processing requirements. He is responsible for ensuring the validity & maximising the quality of datasets collected from the GSI’s vessels.

Cerys Jones

Lecturer (Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University)

Cerys Jones is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University, funded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. Her previous research has explored the human-environment relationships between the communities of Wales and historical extreme weather events (circa eighteenth to twentieth centuries). The CHERISH project provides the opportunity to focus on coastal events, particularly storms and their impacts.

Henry Lamb

Professor (Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University)

Henry Lamb is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University. His principal research interests are in Quaternary environmental change, specializing in lake-sediment records of climatic and vegetation change. He is Co-Director of the Itrax XRF core scanner facility. Since 1992, his primary focus has been on East Africa, especially Ethiopia, working with colleagues from Addis Ababa, St Andrews, Bangor, and Cologne. Henry has undertaken research projects at various locations in Wales and Ireland and will be contributing to CHERISH palaeoecological investigations.


Clare Lancaster

CHERISH Project Manager (RCAHMW)

Clare was appointed as the CHERISH Project Manager with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales in May 2017. She has operational responsibility for the whole project.


Clare graduated from Aberystwyth University in 1995 with a BSc in Environmental Science, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Countryside Management from Bangor University.


Clare started her working career in 1997 as an Agri-Environment Adviser for what is now Defra in England, before returning to Wales in 2002 to work for the Welsh Development Agency on the European Funded LEADER+ project. She then returned to the nature conservation field as Policy Manager with the Welsh Government. Clare’s most recent post until summer 2016 was as Personal Assistant to the UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, Dame Shan Morgan.


Grace O’Donnell

Communications and Outreach Officer (The Discovery Programme)

Grace is the Communications and Outreach Officer. She is responsible for communicating the work of the Discovery Programme as the centre of archaeological innovation in Ireland.

In 2018, she completed her undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology from Trinity College Dublin. She then went on to do a masters in Public Relations at Technological University Dublin, completing it in 2019. She has previously worked in the education, technology and local government sectors.

Having completed her dissertation in the ‘Political Implications of Stewardship’ for her undergraduate degree, Grace has a keen interest in conservation and the preservation of built heritage.

John O'Keeffe

John O'Keeffe

CEO (The Discovery Programme)

John O’Keeffe is the Chief Executive Officer of The Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland, a national research body supported by the Heritage Council. A graduate of Queen’s University Belfast (BA (Hons) Archaeology 1995) and the University of Ulster (PhD Archaeology 2008), John worked for over 22 years with the Department of the Environment and Department for Communities in Northern Ireland. 

From 2007-2020 John was a Principal Inspector of Historic Monuments and an Assistant Director with Historic Environment Division. In those roles John lead on all aspects of statutory functions with regards to archaeology and the historic environment, from strategic and operational spatial planning, the conduct of archaeological excavation, public engagement and the conservation of historic monuments. John led the conservation of historic monuments in State Care from 2007-2020, which included minor maintenance and major interventions to conserve and present these monuments to the public.

John has a keen interest in conservation standards, professional practice and public engagement. He has lectured widely, especially in adult education, about archaeology and local history, and served on many working groups and committees as an expert contributor on matters of policy, practice, academic development and public participation in the historic environment. From 2016-2020 he was a lead organiser and contributor to the Way Forward for Archaeology in Northern Ireland Working Group, and has been an active contributor to the work of the European Archaeology Council.

Edward Pollard

Edward Pollard

Research Archaeologist (The Discovery Programme)

Edward is a maritime archaeologist and geoarchaeologist who has worked in coastal and underwater environments around the Mediterranean, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Recently, I extended my coastal and inter-tidal research in eastern Africa to the underwater environment using marine geophysics and diving around medieval settlements in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.


Edward is a researcher at the Discovery Programme on the maritime environment of eastern and southern Ireland linking with Aberystwyth University: Department of Geography and Earth Sciences; Geological Survey, Ireland; and Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales for the CHERISH project to improve our knowledge of the impact of climate and sea-level change on cultural heritage using marine and terrestrial geophysics, drones and laser scanning. This project has urgency due to erosion of the coastline by tidal currents, river flooding and wave action, perhaps exacerbated by climate change, eroding cairns, shipwrecks, promontory forts and port infrastructure in cliffs and beaches.


Current Research Areas: My interests are in ports examining what they had to offer as harbours, as sources of desirable raw materials, as places of welcome and respite from the rigours of sea travel, and what they now provide as sites of cultural heritage and identity construction.


Helen Roberts

Professor (Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University)

Helen Roberts is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, and co-Director of the Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory. She holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool where she studied the impact of uranium-series disequilibrium on luminescence dating. Her current research focuses on the development and the application of luminescence methods for dating Quaternary sediments, with particular interest in the study of long terrestrial sedimentary records, including lake sediments, and deposits of wind-blown dust (‘loess’) and links to dust records. Helen has worked on a number of projects involving the application of luminescence dating in coastal environments. She will be developing luminescence chronologies to investigate the dynamics of past environmental change in CHERISH study areas.

Patrick Robson

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant (Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University)

Patrick Robson is the CHERISH Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, working full-time on the project. He holds a PhD from Aberystwyth University which focused on the late-glacial history of the Rhinogydd in North Wales and has worked on various palaeoecological research projects in Wales and further afield in eastern Africa. Patrick is experienced in a range of palaeoenvironmental techniques, including pollen, diatom and geochemical analysis of sediment cores and geomorphological mapping. He will be developing high-resolution palaoeenvironmental records, with a particular emphasis on past storm activity and how these events link into the broader picture of environmental and societal change over the last few thousand years.

Robert Shaw

Senior Geo-surveyor (The Discovery Programme)

Robert graduated in Topographic Science BSc (Hons.) from The University of Glasgow, Scotland in 1988. After graduating, he worked for a number of survey and digital mapping organisations, including the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, training as an archaeological surveyor.


Rob, who recently qualified as a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI), has worked for the Discovery Programme for over 15 years and is currently the Senior Geo-surveyor in the Technology Section. This role has seen the development and implementation of 3D data capture technology at a range of scales (aerial lidar, terrestrial scanning, close range scanning, SfM, UAV), supporting the research projects of the Discovery Programme. International collaborative research is an important activity and he is currently working on CHERISH: Climate Change and Coastal Heritage (Interreg), having previously participated in a number of EU projects including; 3D-ICONS (CIP), ArchaeoLandscapes Europe (Culture 2007-2013), COST Action TD1201 (COSCH), and COST A27 (Landmarks). Recognising the increasing importance of photo based mapping and surveying techniques Rob completed a Diploma of Photography in 2016.


Koen Verbruggen

Director (Geological Survey Ireland)

Koen is the Director of the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI), which is the Irish Geoscience Agency and part of the Government Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. He has been with GSI since 2000 and from 2006-13 he managed INFOMAR (Integrated Mapping for Sustainable Development of Irelands Marine Resource), the Irish national marine mapping programme run in conjunction with the Marine Institute. In 2013 he became Director of GSI and for 2015 & 2016 he was elected President of EuroGeoSurveys, the organisation of European Geological Surveys. Prior to GSI, Koen worked for 15 years in the international exploration industry, principally in the minerals sector. He holds a BSc Geology and MSc Petroleum Geology from University College Dublin.

Hollie Wynne

Research Technician (Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory)

Having completed an MRes in Quaternary Science at Aberystwyth in 2008, Hollie joined the Aberystwyth Luminescence Research Laboratory (ALRL) as a laboratory assistant in January 2009. As research technician, she is working on the preparation and analysis of samples from a range of projects in ALRL and in the DGES palaeoenvironmental laboratories. Hollie’s own research has focused on luminescence dating of sand dunes in North Wales. She is contributing to CHERISH palaeoenvironmental fieldwork and laboratory processing and analysis of luminescence and palaeoecological

Previous Team Members

James Barry

Project Geologist (GSI)

Kieran Craven

CHERISH Project Co-ordinator (GSI/TechWorks Marine)

Gary Devlin

GEOSURVEYOR (Discovery Programme)

Rachel Garside

PR & Marketing Manager (RCAHMW)

Daniel Hunt

Project Investigator (RCAHMW)

Sandra Henry

Lead Research Archaeologist (Discovery Programme)

Linda Shine

Public Engagement and Outreach Officer (The Discovery Programme)