University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Gaia Mortier

Areas of interest

  • Science Communication
  • Museums
  • Arthropods (insects)
  • Ectoparasites
  • Stable Isotope Analysis (SIA)

Research projects

Research projects

A Day in the Lice: Recreating Past Human and Animal Life Histories Using Arthropod Ectoparasites in Museum and Archaeological Collections.

Ectoparasites (such as fleas, lice, and ticks) in museum and archaeological collections are often overlooked despite their abundance and potential. This project aims to use ectoparasites in order to explore alternatives to commonly used stable isotope analysis (SIA) and DNA sampling techniques requiring the destruction of hair, bone or teeth. This is especially critical in contexts where the specimens being prepared for analysis have great cultural value, or are particularly fragile and susceptible to damage, such as ancient mummified remains of humans or animals.


Dr Stuart Black (University of Reading)

Dr Alejandra Perotti (University of Reading)

Dr Andrew Kitchener (National Museums Scotland)


Last year I had the honour of receiving my first-class BSc in Zoology from the one and only University of Reading, after focusing my dissertation project on the fascinating diversity of carabid beetles across Dutch coastal dune systems. My first degree was also within the STEM field - although it represented a different letter - I obtained my BSc in Communication and Multimedia Design from The Hague University in 2016, after which I worked as an online marketer for several years. I love combining my two degrees in order to communicate science to the wider public and hope to improve my skills in research engagement. I’m always happy to chat about anything invertebrate related and have a long list of fun insect facts at the ready – please feel free to give me a shout if you spot me!



Loading your publications ...