Atomic Archaeology - Improving In-Situ Detection Methods for the Identification and Mapping of Sub-Surface Features.
The aim of this project is to determine whether gamma ray spectrometry, using a mobile GRS system such as Groundhog™, could offer a valuable addition to the toolkit of other non-intrusive geophysical surveying methods in both archaeological and palaeontological contexts. The proposed strategy relies on the propensity for certain naturally occurring radionuclides to accumulate in certain conditions; for the example, the formation of clays or during bone fossilisation. Only a very limited number of similar studies using static surveying systems have been previously undertaken. As a result, the efficacy of such a technique is poorly understood. This project hopes to address this knowledge gap by testing the Groundhog™ system in a variety of settings and configurations and comparing resultant data with the results from previous geophysical surveys and radiochemical analyses undertaken from site samples.
I am very privileged to be a part-time PhD student with the University of Reading. In addition to my work here, I work for the Nuclear Engineering firm Nuvia where I am a Senior Waste and Environmental Consultant. Much of my work involves working with clients to develop optimised radioactive waste management strategies and waste facilities that meet regulatory requirements and technical objectives. I have been lucky enough to travel with this job, working with clients in Canada, Russia, Bulgaria and France amongst others. I have always had a strong interest in natural history and environmental protection. This led me to complete a BSc in Environmental Science at Oxford Brookes University, and subsequently an MSc (Merit) in Environmental Management and Technology, again at Oxford Brookes. I have since worked to become a Chartered Environmentalist. My MSc thesis investigated the ecological impacts of using constructed wetlands for phytoremediation. This interest in phytoremediation carried over into my career in the nuclear industry, where I worked on an R&D project to establish whether phytoremediation could be deployed as a remedial technique for treating radioactive contamination. The final report was sent to Japan following the incident at Fukushima.