Our research focuses on the analysis of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.

We explore how these molecules can inform us of an organism’s life, death, history and environment, and the degradation of organic archaeological materials in the burial environment.

We develop and apply analytical solutions and instrument design, principally centred on separations science and mass spectrometry and their application in archaeological, biomolecular and environmental research.

We have access to state-of-the-art facilities including the Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry (CoEMS) and the Natural Environment Research Council-recognised lab for amino acid analysis NEaar.


Large, interdisciplinary collaborations are central to our research, in particular with the Departments of Biology, Environment and Geography, and Archaeology. We work with complex datasets requiring the development of mathematical modelling and statistical methods for full interpretation.


Related links

Caroline Dessent
  • Physical chemistry of gas-phase biological ions
  • Gas-phase inorganic chemistry
  • Mass spectrometry
Brendan Keely
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Environmental organic chemistry
  • Geochemistry
Kirsty Penkman
  • Analytical and environmental geochemistry
  • Biomolecular archaeology
Jane Thomas-Oates
  • Analytical science
  • Biological mass spectrometry

Related links