Eleanor Green

Research project

Unlocking the genetic potential of museum stores

Supervisors: Dr Camilla Speller, Professor Ian Barnes

Funding: CDA between the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Natural History Museum

My PhD thesis looks to explore the missed opportunities for genetic research hidden within museum collections. The aim of the project is to maximise the data gathered from specimens often treated and conserved in very different ways to recently excavated material, whilst attempting to understand the impact of these preservation methods on DNA decay. I am particularly interested in examining and characterising ancient microbiomes using calcified material such as coprolites and calculus.



I began studying at the University of York back in 2012. Since then I have gained a BSc (first class with hons) and a MSc (distinction) in Bioarchaeology. During my Masters year I was given the opportunity to conduct a research project on ancient DNA which I recovered from ~1000 year old dog coprolites. This first spurred my interest in ancient DNA and I have been lucky enough to continue in this field for my PhD project.


Green, E.J. and Speller, C.F. (2017). Novel Substrates as Sources of Ancient DNA: Prospects and Hurdles. Genes, 8(7). [Online]. DOI: 10.3390/genes8070180.



Contact details

Eleanor Green
University of York
Department of Archaeology
King's Manor
Exhibition Square