The FoodCult project is led by Principal Investigator Dr Susan Flavin, who is supported by expert collaborators and postdoctoral researchers in specialist fields ranging from environmental archaeology and digital humanities, to organic residue analysis and zooarchaeology.
Dr Susan Flavin
Susan is an Associate Professor of History in the School of Histories and Humanities at Trinity College Dublin. She completed her PhD at the University of Bristol, where she was also engaged on the ESRC project Ireland-Bristol Trade in the Sixteenth Century (2006-09). Following a curatorial role at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, she held posts at Trinity College Dublin (2012-15) and Anglia Ruskin University (2016-18). She is the author of Consumption and Culture in Sixteenth-Century Ireland: Saffron, Stockings and Silk. Susan’s research focusses broadly on consumption and material culture in Early Modern Britain and Ireland, particularly in relation diet and food culture. Her work is grounded in interdisciplinary approaches
Dr Meriel McClatchie
Meriel is an Assistant Professor in Archaeology and Director of the Ancient Foods Research Group in the School of Archaeology at University College Dublin. Her research focuses on prehistoric and historic agriculture and food in Europe. She brings a wealth of ‘big data’ expertise to the FoodCult team, having worked on numerous archaeological database projects. She is also an experienced licence-eligible excavator in Ireland. Meriel will collaborate on The Mapping Diet work package (Link to this page under research) consulting on collation and analysis of excavation data and co-supervising the postdoctoral researcher who will be hosted by UCD.
Organic Residue Analysis
Dr Julie Dunne
Julie is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Organic Geochemistry Unit at the School of Chemistry, University of Bristol. Her doctoral research focused on investigating diet and subsistence practices of prehistoric groups in the ‘Green’ Sahara of Holocene north Africa, using a combined archaeological, molecular and isotopic approach. She is currently working on a three-year Leverhulme funded project called ‘Peopling the Green Sahara’. Julie, with the support of a technician, will undertake sampling and organic residue analysis of 200 pottery sherds, to aid in the reconstruction of early modern Irish diet (link to ORA workpackage).
Professor Janet Montgomery
Janet is based in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University. She is an expert in isotope analysis with regards to understanding issues of diet and mobility in the past and carried out the first strontium, lead and oxygen isotope investigations of humans from Britain and Ireland. She is currently working on a number of high-profile collaborative case studies of humans and animals dating from the Mesolithic to the 19th century as well as fundamental research underpinning the archaeological projects. Janet and her colleague Julia Beaumont were the first scientists to use isotope analysis of incremental dentine in an Irish context, in a study that analysed teeth to identify dietary change and starvation in victims of The Great Famine (see Beaumont and Montgomery 2016 and references therein). With the support of a postdoctoral researcher, she will oversee the stable isotope work package (link), to aid in the reconstruction of early modern Irish diets.
Dr Fiona Beglane
Fiona is a lecturer at IT Sligo and one of just a handful of zooarchaeologists working on Ireland. She specialises in the analysis of animal bones from excavations, an in interdisciplinary approaches to medieval landscapes. She has worked on numerous Irish archaeological case studies including the Bective Abbey Project. Fiona is collaborating on the zooarchaeological component of FoodCult, which analyses animal bone to understand the meat and dairy components of diet. (link to 3.7).
Dr Séamus Lawless
Séamus is an Assistant Professor in Artificial Intelligence in Trinity College Dublin’s School of Computer Science and Statistics. He is the Director of the Knowledge and Data Engineering Group and is an Associate Director in the SFI ADAPT Centre. Séamus brings extensive Digital Humanities expertise to FoodCult. For the past 10 years he has worked on numerous projects relating to early modern Ireland including The 1641 Depositions, CULTURA and The Down Survey. Currently, Séamus is Co-PI on Beyond 2022, an IRC project which aims to digitally recreate the Public Record Office of Ireland, destroyed in 1922.
Dr Shreepali Patel
Shreepali is a film maker and Director of the StoryLab Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Her industry experience as a filmmaker includes the BBC, C4, C5 and HBO, drama, promos and commercials, and working on numerous UK based and international feature films. She will collaborate with the project team to create a short film that brings the core research findings to life, making them relevant and accessible to the general public.
Dr Ellen O’Carroll
Ellen works on developing and populating the FoodCult Mapping Diet database. She is an environmental archaeologist, a licensed archaeology director, and has worked both in the commercial and research sector for over 20 years. She specialises in vegetation reconstructions and landscape dynamics through the identification and analysis of charcoal, wood, pollen and microfossil studies. She has collaborated on numerous other multi-disciplinary projects including the INSTAR projects Seeing Beyond the Site and WODAN.
Watch this space…
As the FoodCult project progresses, we will be creating a number of additional Postdoctoral Research posts. For details, please keep an eye on our News pages.