Lisa Westcott Wilkins MA MCIfA FRSA
Co-founder and 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 and The Archaeologist. In 2011, Lisa was appointed the first-ever Clore Leadership Fellow in Heritage and Conservation, and now focuses her energy harnessing brilliant creative sector techniques and innovations for archaeology. She is part of the Heritage 2020 working group for Public Engagement, and is responsible for the absurdly strong site coffee and early morning DV dance parties.
Brendon Wilkins MA MCIfA MIAI
Co-founder and Projects Director
Brendon is an award-winning field archaeologist with over 15 years experience directing and managing large, complex sites 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, a large Roman building, and a complicated multiphase 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! Brendon is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Leicester, entitled: ‘Digging the Crowd: the future of archaeology in the digital and collaborative economies’.
Manda Forster PhD MCIfA
Having honed her craft in the heady world of commercial archaeology, Manda joins DV following a five-year stint developing membership engagement for the Chartered Institute of Archaeologists and other professional bodies. She managed the Professional Archaeology programme at the University of Birmingham, and will be involved in developing all of DigVentures’ educational programmes. Manda’s main focus is delivering our project schedule, keeping the team on track and making sure we are happy as we work. Since completing her PhD in 2004, Manda is proud to retain the enviable position of being able to distinguish a Shetland soapstone vessel from its Norwegian counterpart, and continues to research these humble Viking artefacts to this day. She loves getting the best out of talented people, far flung Scottish islands, and all things Scandinavian.
Raksha Dave BSc
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, is a trustee for the Council of British Archaeology (London) and the Young Archaeologists Club. Raksha was one of the original three members of DV and has been with us every step of the way since that fateful Land Rover trip to Flag Fen. 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 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. Maiya was DV’s first-ever employee and we love her to bits!
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! Ask him about his nicknames…
Rosanna Ring BA
Rosanna graduated from the University of Reading in 2008 with a BA in Ancient History and Archaeology. Ever since then she’s gained a diverse range of work experience in the archaeology and heritage sector, spending three years as a Collections Conservation Assistant with the National Trust, as well as working as an HER Officer and Assistant Archaeologist at Peterborough City Council. After a year spent working as a Social Media and Communities Intern with DigVentures, she’s now happy to be officially part of the DV family. She’s (only slightly) obsessed with Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.
Anna Van Nostrand BA, MA
Anna completed her BA in Archaeology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2012. After spending several field seasons abroad in Italy, England and Mongolia she discovered her real passion was sharing archaeology with others. So she packed up her boots and trowel and headed for London where she graduated with an MA in Public Archaeology from UCL. She particularly loves working with kids and has experience teaching in museums as well as in the field. Her second favourite thing in the world (after archaeology) is baking.
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. Ask about her time producing music videos, she’s bound to drop a few extremely interesting names! 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 NSFW
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, leisure activities, and finding chips on a Friday night. He does not believe in meetings, panels, working groups, forms, reports or KPIs, and has been known to accept bribes for access to the team.