Meet the Team
Lisa Westcott Wilkins
BA MA MCIfA FRSA
Co-founder and Managing DirectorProfile
BSc MA MCIfA MIAI
Co-founder and Projects DirectorProfile
Head of FieldworkProfile
Director of OperationsProfile
Academic Liaison, Cerney WickProfile
Community Archaeologist (AHRC PhD Placement)Profile
BSc MSC DPhil
BA MA MCIfA
Head of CommunityProfile
Fergus Westcott Wilkins
Emeritus Site DogProfile
Named after Oscar Montelius
Junior Assistant Site DogProfile
Lisa Westcott Wilkins BA MA MCIfA FRSA
Co-founder and Managing Director
As co-founder and Managing Director at DigVentures, Lisa has found the perfect place to combine archaeology with over twenty years of professional experience in communications, finance and journalism, including several years as Editor of Current Archaeology magazine. With a Master’s degree in Archaeology from UCL and a prestigious Clore Fellowship under her belt, she now focuses her energy wrangling field archaeologists and harnessing brilliant digital and creative innovations for DV. She is an international speaker on digital outreach and crowdfunding for the creative and cultural sectors, and leads on the consultancy aspect of DV’s work. She is responsible for the Americanisms, absurdly strong site coffee and early morning DV dance parties.
Brendon Wilkins BSc MA MCIfA MIAI
Co-founder and Projects Director
Brendon is an award-winning field archaeologist with over 20 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. He 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’.
Chris Casswell BA MCIfA
Head of Fieldwork
Chris is a tech-loving field archaeologist who has supervised academic and commercial excavations for over fifteen years. He specializes in excavation and recording methodology and digital survey techniques with a particular interest in using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Photogrammetry to create new and immersive digital data visualisations. One of his faves is a digital model of excavations at North Killingholme (comprising over 10,000 contexts) that enables analysts to see the spread of any artefact type across the site at the click of a button. He never really stops working, but when he does, he likes cricket and gardening.
Maggie Eno BA MA
Maggie graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BA in Anthropology in 2010, and completed her MA in Archaeology for Screen Media from the University of Bristol in 2012. After digging around in Jordan and England on academic and commercial excavations, she took a brief hiatus from digging holes and helped film DigVentures’ online course on How To Do Archaeology. Now she is a Community Archaeologist with DV, with added responsibility for producing top-notch video content. She is particularly interested in stone tools, and always likes to stay on the cutting edge. She brings with her an encyclopedic knowledge of baked goods, Canadian celebrities and great archaeology puns.
Manda Forster PhD MCIfA
Director of Operations
Having honed her craft in commercial archaeology, Manda joins DV following a five-year stint at the Chartered Institute of Archaeologists and several years managing the Professional Archaeology programme at the University of Birmingham. Manda’s main focus is delivering DV’s project schedule, developing educational and training programmes, 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.
Ben Garrod PhD
Academic Liaison, Cerney Wick
Ben is Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Science Engagement at the University of East Anglia. With a degree in Animal Behaviour, Masters in Wild Animal Biology and a NERC-funded PhD entitled ‘Primates of the Caribbean’, he has worked across the world with a range of species, with a focus on great apes and other primates. Ben is an established author and an award-winning BBC science broadcaster, presenting, among other things, ‘Secrets of Bones’, ‘The Day the Dinosaurs Died’ ‘Red Ape’ and ‘Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur’. Ben is an accomplished public speaker and as well as having given a TEDx talk, is a regular at both science and literary festivals around the UK. Throughout his career, Ben has both chased and been chased by more monkeys and apes than he can remember and believes the key to his success is by keeping these two numbers roughly even.
Jodie Hannis BA MA
Community Archaeologist (AHRC PhD Placement)
After training as a professional ballet dancer, the obvious next step was to pursue a higher education in archaeology – so Jodie completed BA and MA degrees in Archaeology at the University of Leicester. Jodie is now halfway through a PhD funded by the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, and is joining DigVentures for a six month research placement which is in no way an attempt to avoid writing a thesis. Her research looks at art and creative practice as a method of public engagement with heritage and as such, she may try to persuade you to write a poem about your innermost thoughts and feelings about archaeology. She can probably be deflected with conversations about growing vegetables or her cat.
Josh Hogue BSc MSC DPhil
Having got the bug for archaeology when he was a teenager, Josh has spent over 15 years trying to dig himself out of holes. He got a little side-tracked along the way and spent much of his time looking for stone tools in caves and deserts in North Africa, culminating in a Leverhulme-funded DPhil in Palaeolithic Archaeology from the University of Oxford. After escaping the sunny weather, he has spent his time battling a downpour of pre-planning advice, desk-based assessments, and specialist reports working with commercial firms, museums and academic institutions in the UK. For fun, he investigates the origins of fire in Europe (perhaps just looking for a way to keep himself warm) and is a committee member of the Lithic Studies Society. He also has an unhealthy obsession with Lego and replicating all things prehistoric out of tiny plastic bricks.
Nat Jackson BA MA
After completing an MA at the University of Liverpool, Nat has gone on to work in archaeology for several years, both commercially and on research projects in Turkey, Iraq, Greece and Ipswich, ranging from the Palaeolithic through to the Bronze Age. He first crossed paths with DigVentures at Leiston Abbey in 2014, and then fell headfirst into commercial archaeology, working all over England and Wales. He is mildly obsessed by cheese, and always travels with a block of blue in his bag.
Indie Jago BSc
Indie was recently awarded a BSc in Archaeology at Durham University. As part of her degree, she joined the DV team on site at Lindisfarne, which then led to volunteering on post-ex activities and finally a training internship. After gaining practical experience in commercial archaeology, Indie has joined the team as a Community Archaeologist, with a special emphasis on excavation logisitcs and delivery. Outsdie of work, Indie loves to go on a baking spree and thinks that beaches are best enjoyed on a wet and windy day.
Stuart Noon BA MA MCIfA
With two decades of archaeological experience in diverse countries such as Britain, Ireland, France, Cyprus, Italy and Albania, Stuart is familiar with the global legislation, technical structure, political and operational criteria for heritage and archaeology projects. As well as project and strategic framework design and management, Stuart has an extensive track record in museums archaeology. He is a subject area expert in the Bronze Age of the UK’s northwest region. Stuart has worked on so many he sites he is starting to feel like a Grandfather of archaeology and he is starting to look like one too.
Maiya Pina-Dacier BSc MSc
Head of Community
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!
Ben Swain BA
Ben graduated with a BA in Finance from the University of Strathclyde in 2014 and spent five years working in accounting and retail. His first passion has always been archaeology, however, and he has been hooked ever since his first dig at DigVentures’ launch project, Flag Fen Lives, in 2012. Returning year after year and spending all his summers digging, eventually it became inevitable that Ben would move into a career in archaeology…and in 2019 he joined the Dig Ventures team as a Community Archaeologist. Outside of digging, Ben loves brewing his own beer – so he’s generally the most popular guy on site!
Harriet Tatton BA
Harriet graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a BA in Archaeology in 2014, following which she began a career in the banking and finance industry. It wasn’t long before she came to her senses and realised that archaeology was her true calling, following which she joined DigVentures as an intern writing blog posts and content for social media. She has now joined the team full time as a Community Archaeologist across several DV projects, particularly taking the lead on our schools and education programme. In her spare time she enjoys collecting every kind of tea she can get her hands on, photography and being outdoors hillwalking.
Johanna Ungemach BA MA
Johanna recently finished her Master’s degree in Sustainable Heritage Management at Aarhus University in Denmark. She has been a researcher for a television documentary about Saint Wendelin, has helped produce interactive history events and, after completing an internship with DigVentures, has now joined the team as Community Archaeologist and Chief Data Cruncher. She has a special interest in finds and post-excavation processes, and a passion for lists and organising things.
David Wallace BSc
David graduated from University of Winchester in 2017, obtaining his degree in Archaeological Practice. He has since continued to gain experience in field archaeology through both voluntary and commercial work, digging across the UK and further afield, including sites in Romania and Georgia. David joined the team at DV after a small break backpacking in the Far East.
Fergus Westcott Wilkins NSFW
Emeritus 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, in his younger years Fergus was responsible for on site security, leisure activities, and finding chips on a Friday night. He’s since handed over the bulk of these essential responsibilities to a younger member of staff, but maintains a watchful eye on all proceedings. Fergus still does not believe in meetings, panels, working groups, forms, reports or KPIs, and will reliably accept bribes for access to the team.
Monty Named after Oscar Montelius
Junior Assistant Site Dog
Monty recently achieved a promotion from Trainee Site Dog and is now coasting on a wave of glory in his new-found responsibilities. He’s alot lickier than Fergus (be warned), though less likely to steal sausage rolls out of your bag. His boundless energy, zest for life, beard of distinction and comedy ears keep everyone on site alert and open to the power of laughter. Monty is still working on some key skills, but has finally nailed the don’t-wee-in-the-trenches thing. Come visit him when we’re next out digging – you won’t be disappointed!