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Charllotte Blacka


Supervisor/s: Dr Jessica Hendy and Professor Kirsty Penkman

Funding: Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment (ACCE) DTP

Amelogenin is a protein formed in the teeth that has shown great promise as the future of sex-determination of fossils, since its form varies between biological males and females. Unfortunately however, at the present time, the use of amelogenin for sex-determination can be time-consuming and costly, making it difficult to implement commercially and in large studies. My research aims to develop a new, cheaper and easier method to identify the forms of this protein present (and therefore the biological sex of the fossilised remains) so as to make amelogenin sex-determination more viable. Primarily the aim of the project will be to utilise high performance liquid-chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) due to its high-throughput capacity.


I completed my integrated Master’s in Chemistry at the University of York in 2022, with my Master’s research focusing on analysing the organic components (namely, chlorophyll pigments and lipids) of sediment samples from basal peats to probe the changes in environmental conditions that occurred in these paleoenvironments.

My research interests lay at the intersection of analytical chemistry and archaeology, using advanced analytical techniques implemented in chemistry, such as high performance liquid-chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry (MS), to study preserved biological and organic matter.


Winner of the 2022 MChem Communicator of the Year award (McCOY) for the best video submission, summarising an assigned examinable research paper in 2.5 minutes (link:

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Contact details

Charllotte Blacka
Department of Chemistry Bioarch/Dorothy Hodgkin
University of York
YO10 5DD