So, this is us! The DigVentures core team. But we are incredibly lucky to work with many top-notch specialists and experts on each of our sites, and you can find out more about them on our project pages.
Lisa Westcott Wilkins MA FRSA, Managing Director
After nearly a decade in New York City working in communications and finance, in 2001 Lisa decided to pursue her passion for archaeology by completing a Masters (with Distinction!) at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Since leaving UCL, Lisa has applied her professional background to archaeological endeavours, including as Director of Museum Operations for the launch of the Museum of the Earth, and Editor of Current Archaeology. In 2011, Lisa was appointed the first-ever Clore Leadership Fellow in Heritage and Conservation, leading to an appointment as the Cultural Olympiad Legacy Project Manager for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. She continues to do consultancy projects in heritage and archaeology, and is always up for a challenge!
Brendon Wilkins MA MIfA MIAI, Project Director
Brendon is an award winning field archaeologist with over 10 years experience directing, and managing large, complex sites – usually in advance of major construction projects, such as motorways, pipelines, and railways. With a consistent research and publication record, he has lectured internationally on wetland archaeology, Irish archaeology, and new advances in excavation methodology. His has direct sites as varied as an historic cock-fighting pit in; a large Roman building; and a complicated wetland site at Newrath, Co. Kilkenny, a site dug in such wet and windy winter conditions, he swears it was the moment he started to lose his hair!
Raksha Dave BA, Field School Manager
In 1999, Raksha graduated from the UCL Institute of Archaeology, having already excavated on research projects in Puerto Rico and Texas. In 2000, she secured her first position as a commercial field archaeologist, working for the Museum of London Archaeology Service (now MoLA). After finely tuning her craft over several years, in 2003 Raksha was recruited by Channel Four’s popular archaeology programme Time Team – and she’s been a regular face on the show ever since. She is currently an advocate and a trustee for the Council of British Archaeology (London) and the Young Archaeologists club.
Tom Goskar BA MSc, Digital Heritage Specialist
Tom has been fascinated by archaeology from a very young age. Growing up in rural Cornwall, the remains of the past were never far away, from the tin and copper mines of Fowey Consols to the stone circles on Bodmin Moor. Seeing the Egyptian mummy at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro sealed the then 9-year-old Tom’s ambition to become an archaeologist. In 1999, he graduated with a BA in archaeology from the University of Southampton, and began working in the archives at Surrey History Centre, and by the autumn of 2000 he returned to Southampton to complete a Master of Science degree in Archaeological Computing. For the next ten years Tom worked in commercial archaeology, where he pointed lasers at Stonehenge, created virtual prehistoric landscapes, and built one of the largest interpretative archaeological websites in the UK. Tom now works as a freelance digital heritage specialist, and may even dust off his trowel this year!
Emily Woodburn, Operations
Emily is not an archaeologist….although, after having spent six years working with Channel 4’s Time Team, she’s definitely picked up a thing or two! She studied Graphic Design & Advertising at Hounslow Borough College before moving into the television industry; starting in post production, then pre-production at Saatchi & Saatchi and finally into commercial production. If you get the chance, ask about her time producing music videos, she’s bound to drop a few extremely interesting names into the conversation. On return from a sabbatical as a Ski Chalet Chef, she finally found her dream job of organising people in and out of muddy holes and is happy to wallow there for as long as possible.
Polly Heffer BA MSc, Social Media and Communities Intern
Polly grew up in Bath on a heavy dose of Georgian architecture and Roman springs. She moved to Exeter in 2007 to study archaeology at University, where she worked on digs in England and the USA, learnt how to flint knap, and came up with the now famous list ‘62 things to do with a trowel’ (whilst digging in 40 degree heat). She then decided to move to London to complete a two-year Masters degree in Forensic Archaeological Sciences at University College London, where she specialised in trauma analysis. When she’s not chatting away on social media, find her going for walks on Hampstead Heath, drinking tea in Yumchaa or singing in her local choir.
Fergus Westcott Wilkins, Site Dog
Fergus is the world’s finest archaeological dog. A natural risk-taker and entrepreneurial spirit, Fergus has displayed a keen interest in digging, and a fine nose for interesting buried things, since birth. A key member of the DigVentures team, Fergus is responsible for on site security, activities, and finding chips on a Friday night.