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 MCIfA FRSA
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 and The Archaeologist. In 2011, Lisa was appointed the first-ever Clore Leadership Fellow in Heritage and Conservation, and focuses a lot of her energy harnessing the most innovative techniques in the creative sector for archaeology. She is responsible for the absurdly strong site coffee and early morning DV dance parties.
Brendon Wilkins MA MCIfA MIAI
Brendon is an award winning field archaeologist with over 15 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 directed 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 was a regular face on the show until its final episode. She recently presented the BBC Learning Zone Ancient Voices programme on Prehistory, and is a trustee for the Council of British Archaeology (London) and the Young Archaeologists Club. She likes dinosaurs.
Maiya Pina-Dacier, BSc, MSc
Maiya graduated from UCL with an MSc in Skeletal and Dental Bioarchaeology. She’s worked on excavations as far afield as Rwanda, Spain, the Caribbean and Coventry. After a year working in commercial archaeology, Maiya leapt into the City, carving out a niche as a marketing and communications consultant. Having axed her way through a a jungle of small print, and complex policy conditions to build a culture of customer-friendly communication, Maiya’s back to the field with a trowel in one hand and a twitter feed in the other.
Nigel Steel BSc
After spending many years of his working life in health care, Nigel dove into a career in archaeology by pursuing a degree in the Dept of Archaeological Science at the University of Bradford. He subsequently worked as a professional archaeologist in many commercial archaeology units around the north of England. His love of caves began when he was 14 whilst on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, and he joined the Yorkshire Subterranean Society in the early 1990s. A fully-fledged Direct Individual Member of the British Cave Research Association, Nige’s mission is to bring cave archaeology back into the limelight and generate a longstanding relationship between archaeologists, the caving community, local communities and all of the ‘Indiana Joneses’ out there!
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 and 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. She is an insanely good cook.
Fergus Westcott Wilkins
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. He has been known to accept bribes for access to the team.