Research on the contemporary context of our practice is critical to the department’s vision. A research-led approach to the curation of the historic environment has been at the heart of work by Grenville. The department is also actively involved in the development of innovative approaches to fieldwork (Carver & Roskams), in the design of regional research frameworks and the creation of new links with the commercial sector (Edmonds & Roskams). Theoretical ecology provides a valuable paradigm for developing new models in bioarchaeology (Kenward, O'Connor), and rethinking archaeological taphonomy takes the practice of zooarchaeology in new directions (O'Connor). York is also in the vanguard of institutions developing innovative technologies for the recording of the archaeological process, the preservation of data and the dissemination of knowledge (Richards, Morgan). Award winning work by Edmonds (Derbyshire), by Finch (Yorkshire Country House Partnership), Roskams (York Archaeological Forum) and Smith (Castleford) has actively involved members of different communities in the archaeological process, from field and archival research to oral history, analysis, publication and the creation of exhibitions. New directions for research in these areas have also been opened up by the recent creation of the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past, which is affiliated to the department.