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Sophy is a biomolecular archaeologist who specialises in utilising techniques such as ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis and stable isotope analysis to investigate past human and animal lifeways.
Her research is primarily focused on European early prehistory, particularly considering human and dog populations, as well as human-animal interactions in the archaeological past.
Sophy holds a BSc (Hons) in Archaeology and an MSc in Biomolecular Archaeology from the University of York.
Her NERC funded PhD research was focused on biomolecular approaches to the British Mesolithic and Neolithic, and incorporated the use of ancient DNA,ZooMS, stable isotope analysis, and ancient proteomics.
Following her PhD,Sophy worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Natural History Museum in London, and at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London (UCL), working on an ERC funded project focused on Late Glacial human and animal populations in NW Europe. From 2019, she worked at the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford in the PalaeoBARN lab as a Postdoctoral Researcher in evolutionary genomics, focusing primarily on prehistoric dog populations and dog domestication.
Sophy joined the Archaeology Department at York as a Lecturer in Bioarchaeology in 2022.
Undergraduate Admissions Tutor
Sophy’s main research interests centre around the use of biomolecular archaeology - and particularly in combining different analytical methods - to infer past human and animal lifeways, as well as human activities. She is particularly interested in determining how subsistence strategies, population movement, and health and disease states may have changed through time and with socio-cultural, climatic or environmental transitions. As such, Sophy is interested in how we can utilise biomolecular archaeology to address large-scale questions within the archaeological past, particularly those related to human and animal subsistence strategies and movement.
Her research aims to integrate scientific techniques with archaeological data to understand more about past human and animal populations. Sophy’s research primarily utilises ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis and stable isotope analysis, and she has particular interests in European early prehistory and temporaltransitions, in palaeodietary variability, and in death and burial.
Sophy also has research interests in early dog populations and dog domestication, as well as in exploring the evolutionary history of domestic animal species more broadly. She is also interested in human-animal interactions in the archaeological past.
Key Research Interests:
- Application of biomolecular techniques to prehistoric archaeology
- Mesolithic-Neolithic transition
- European early prehistory
- Dog domestication
Sophy works in BioArCh within the aDNA and Isotope groups.
Prehistory to the Present
Introduction to Archaeological Science
Practical Skills: Biomolecular Archaeology
Assessed Seminar: Palaeodiet
MSc in Bioarchaeology
Co-Investigator, Palaeogenomics & Bio-Archaeology Research Network
(PalaeoBARN), University of Oxford (2022- present) (https://www.palaeobarn.com/)
Research Associate, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford (2022- present)
Assistant Editor and Communications Officer of the online journal Mesolithic
Miscellany (2014- present)