Feb 04 2020

Marta

Technicians are key in supporting our academic colleagues and students in the practical elements of teaching and research. Over the next few months we will be profiling a range of our technicians, finding out more about their roles and their journey to becoming a technician.

1. Where did your interest in archaeology come from?

I always knew that I wanted to be an archaeologist. When I was a child I was always collecting stones and looking for artefacts around my grandparents’ farm in Spain. When I started school I realised that I loved history and mythology but that I loved the sciences too. I couldn’t choose between the sciences and humanities so quite unusually I studied Chemistry, Physics, History and Art.

2. What did you study at university?

Whilst deciding what to study at university I discovered I could study environmental archaeology in the UK so I packed my suitcase with 20 kilos and I
came here to start my BSc in Archaeology. After my degree I worked as an Environmental Archaeologist with various commercial archaeological
companies, travelling all around the UK. Whilst working I started a part-time MSc in Geoarchaeology which offered a combination of field and lab work and I knew that I had found what I wanted.

3. What did you go on to do after your Masters?

I was then very fortunate to be offered a PhD that combined field archaeology and laboratory work at Plymouth University. It was my first experience in a Geography Department and where I first realised that a lab technician role provided everything I enjoyed: lab work, field work, research and working directly with students. During my summers I volunteered as an archaeologist around the world with field summer schools. I went to Ecuador, Crete and Spain, where I was teaching students and digging at the same time. When I finished my PhD I returned to environmental archaeology as a consultant but when the opportunity to work in the Geography Department at Royal Holloway as a Palaeoecology Technician appeared there was no doubt that I was going to apply.

4. What do you enjoy most about your role as a Palaeoecology Technician in our Department of Geography?

I have been at Royal Holloway for four years now. I really like the Department of Geography and my role as Lab Technician. I am able to contribute to some of the research projects being led by the academic and research staff, and get involved in a variety of field trips. My favourite thing about being a technician however is working with the students and helping them develop their own laboratory skills.