Meet the Team

Meet the DV peeps (and pups!) who make it all happen
  • Lisa Westcott Wilkins

    BA MA MCIfA FRSA FSA

    Founder and Co-CEO

    Profile
  • Dr Brendon Wilkins

    BSc MA PhD MIAI MCIfA FRSA FSA

    Founder and Co-CEO

    Profile
  • Ginny Cole

    BA

    Community Archaeologist, Events and Subscribers

    Profile
  • Dr Stephanie Duensing

    BSc BA MA PhD

    Programme Manager, Operations

    Profile
  • Maggie Eno

    BA MA

    Programme Officer, Video and Content // South projects

    Profile
  • Dr Manda Forster

    PhD MCIfA FSAScot

    Chief Operating Officer

    Profile
  • Dr Peter Gould

    PhD FSA

    Chief Financial Officer

    Profile
  • Jodie Hannis

    BA MA

    Programme Officer, Creative Programming // North projects

    Profile
  • Nat Jackson

    BA MA

    Project Officer, Archaeolgical Fieldwork

    Profile
  • Indie Jago

    BSc ACIfA

    Community Archaeologist, Field and Data Management

    Profile
  • Raphael Kahlenberg

    BA MA

    NERC Placement

    Profile
  • Jonathan Millar

    BA (Hons) MCIfA

    Chief Digital Officer

    Profile
  • Maiya Pina-Dacier

    BSc MSc

    Director of Engagement

    Profile
  • Ben Swain

    BA

    Community Archaeologist, Field and Accounting

    Profile
  • Harriet Tatton

    BA

    Programme Officer, Education // Scotland projects

    Profile
  • Kimberley Teale

    BSc ACIfA

    Programme Manager, Digital

    Profile
  • Johanna Ungemach

    BA MA

    Programme Officer, Evaluation // Heritage Regeneration projects

    Profile
  • Freddy Wannop

    BA

    Community Archaeologist

    Profile
  • Monty

    Named after Oscar Montelius

    Site Dog

    Profile
  • Ernie

    Feral and completely unqualified

    Chaos Merchant

    Profile
  • In Memoriam ... Fergus Westcott Wilkins

    NSFW

    Emeritus Site Dog

    Profile

Lisa Westcott Wilkins BA MA MCIfA FRSA FSA

Founder and Co-CEO

As Founder and Co-CEO of DigVentures, Lisa combines 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 focuses her energy harnessing brilliant digital and creative innovations for DV’s work. Lisa is an international speaker on hybrid cultural experiences and crowdfunding, and was the driving force behind our Europa Nostra Award-winning ‘Archaeology at Home’ project in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was recently been appointed to the North East Culture Partnership board, and is responsible for DV’s Americanisms, absurdly strong site coffee, lack of post-it notes and early morning dance parties.

Dr Brendon Wilkins BSc MA PhD MIAI MCIfA FRSA FSA

Founder and Co-CEO

As Founder and Co-CEO of DigVentures, Brendon is focused on bringing together two decades of commercial archaeology experience with his expertise in digital innovation for archaeological fieldwork, public participation, and social impact evaluation. With a consistent research and publication record, he has recently completed a PhD at the University of Leicester, entitled: ‘Digging the Crowd: the future of archaeology in the digital and collaborative economy’. Brendon steers the ship of DV’s fieldwork and evaluation programmes, including our exciting Nesta-funded initiative ‘Deep Time’ project, combining Crowd and Artificial Intelligence in pursuit of archaeological discovery. Brendon’s signature laugh lights up every room, especially when he sneaks onto the turntables for a cheeky DJ set!

Ginny Cole BA

Community Archaeologist, Events and Subscribers

As a Durham University graduate with a BA in Archaeology, Ginny’s studies focused on gender archaeology and identity. She joined the DV team for a student excavation at Lindisfarne during her second year, continuing on through an internship and finally pivoting neatly into a fulltime role with the team. As one of  our Barnard Castle DVHQ-based Community Archaeologists, Ginny’s passion for speaking to the public about archaeology is put to very good use across our Events and subscriber programmes, both online and in the field. If you’ve ever come to a DV event, you’ve definitely met Ginny! Outside of work, she loves fashion, spooky stories, archaeology-themed baking and a classic pub night.

Dr Stephanie Duensing BSc BA MA PhD

Programme Manager, Operations

Steph started her career in America working for commercial and academic units in the Mid-Atlantic region, before coming to the UK to do her MA and PhD at the University of Manchester. Her dissertation was titled: ‘Taverns, Inns and Alehouses? An Archaeology of Consumption Practices in the City of London, 1666-1780’, which basically means she’s DV’s resident expert in…pubs! After completing her doctorate, Steph spent seven years working in UK commercial archaeology, and has now stepped up at DV to hold the operational reins of our fieldwork programme. In addition to digging, Steph has a penchant for pottery and specialises in late Medieval to Post-Medieval pot analysis…as well as making her own!

In addition to herding all of DV’s cats, Steph is the Site Director for our Sudeley Castle and Caerfai projects.

Maggie Eno BA MA

Programme Officer, Video and Content // South projects

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’ first online course, How To Do Archaeology. Maggie is the behind-the-camera talent for DV’s ‘Why We Dig’ series, and is a key part of our top-notch online content team. 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.

Maggie is the capable hands behind PalaeoPixels, Unloved Heritage, and a plethora of DV’s amazing online course content.

 

Dr Manda Forster PhD MCIfA FSAScot

Chief Operating Officer

Having spent many years in commercial archaeology, Manda joined 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. As Chief Operations Officer, Manda’s ninja skills are put to use delivering DV’s packed project schedule, designing educational and training programme and keeping the team on track. Manda took the lead on the Dig Digital project, commissioned by Historic England to design a sector-wide protocol for everyone working with digital archaeological data. Since completing her PhD in 2004, she retains 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 far flung Scottish islands, all things Scandinavian, and panda tat.

Dr Peter Gould PhD FSA

Chief Financial Officer

Peter pursued a life in corporations big and small before coming to his senses and turning to archaeology. After years as a corporate CEO, non-profit leader and government appointee, he retreated to University College London and acquired a Ph.D. in archaeology based on ground-breaking research into the potential for local communities to manage their own heritage. Three books and numerous international teaching roles later, Peter is now the Chair of the Board of Advisers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and on the board of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative. Peter joined DV team in 2016 as our business partner and chief supplier of intimidating sourdough bread recipes.

Jodie Hannis BA MA

Programme Officer, Creative Programming // North projects

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. She is now *nearly finished* with a PhD funded by the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, and has joined DV fulltime following on from a six-month research placement (which was in no way an attempt to avoid writing a thesis). Jodie’s 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 sharing your innermost feelings about archaeology. She can be deflected with conversations about growing vegetables or her cat.

Jodie is taking the lead on our Fellfoot Forward project, so if you’re looking for her she’s probably up a hillside in the Eden Valley!

 

Nat Jackson BA MA

Project Officer, Archaeolgical Fieldwork

Smiley Indie

After completing an MA at the University of Liverpool, Nat went 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. Nat is always happiest when digging holes and is mildly obsessed by cheese, and always travels with a block of blue in his bag.

Nat is very capable hand on the tiller of DV’s fieldwork, leading our sites across the UK including the Earth Trust, east Yorkshire, Soulton Hall, and Lindisfarne among others.

 

Indie Jago BSc ACIfA

Community Archaeologist, Field and Data Management

Smiley Indie

Another graduate of Durham University, Indie was awarded a BSc in Archaeology and also first encountered DV as part of her degree. She joined us at Lindisfarne, which led to volunteering on post-ex activities and finally a training internship. After gaining experience in commercial archaeology, Indie is now a fulltime DV Community Archaeologist, with a special emphasis on digital data and archiving. She has led several of our participatory GIS mapping projects, and can wrangle Digital Dig team better than anybody else! Similarly to Ben, Indie is one of the first students undertaking the combined MA/Apprenticeship in Archaeological Practice. Outside of work, Indie loves to go on a baking spree and thinks that beaches are best enjoyed on a wet and windy day.

You will find Indie on most DV sites, and she’s also running our fantastic Lighthouse mapping initiative for Chance Trust, as part of  the ‘Made in Smethwick’ project.

 

Raphael Kahlenberg BA MA

NERC Placement

Raphael studied Prehistory, Near Eastern Archaeology, and Classical Archaeology in Heidelberg, Germany, where he graduated in 2018. After many years of fieldwork in Greece and Israel and a short interlude as a Senior Scientist in Salzburg, Austria, he is now seeking new challenges in the UK. He is doing his PhD at Durham University, conducting geoarchaeological research on Lindisfarne’s landscapes – what could be more obvious than joining DigVentures for a placement? Raphael sometimes misses a chilled café frappé under the blue Greek sky, but as a Whovian, he is firmly convinced his chances to meet the Doctor have increased massively after his move.

Jonathan Millar BA (Hons) MCIfA

Chief Digital Officer

As Chief Digital Officer of DigVentures, Jonski brings an enthusiastic love of archaeology and innovation which he has sustained during 23 years within the commercial sector of Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish archaeology. Jonski was drawn to a career in archaeology as the result of a childhood passion for digging holes, drawing, all gadgets and technology, which evolved into professional expertise in gathering, processing and presenting archaeological data, with emphasis on instrument survey, archaeological illustration and post-excavation dissemination, interpretation and outreach. Jonski is a member of the CIfA Professional Standards Advisory Panel and Treasurer of the Graphics Archaeology Group (GAG). He does traditional stone-carving in his spare time because life’s not just about things that go ‘beep’!

Maiya Pina-Dacier BSc MSc

Director of Engagement

Maiya graduated from UCL with an MSc in Skeletal and Dental Bioarchaeology. After a stint 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 she’s capably and creatively helped DV design all of our digs, events, digital channels and participation opportunities with our fantastic crowd in mind. Her creativity was part of one of DV’s biggest-ever achievements: pivoting our DigNation Festival to a completely online event during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. She can be reliably bribed with bits of chorizo.

 

Ben Swain BA

Community Archaeologist, Field and Accounting

Ben Swain

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, with an additional emphasis on accountancy for the business. Ben is currently one of the first students doing the combined MA/Apprenticeship in Archaeological Practice. Outside of digging, Ben loves brewing his own beer – so he’s generally the most popular guy on site!

 

Harriet Tatton BA

Programme Officer, Education // Scotland projects

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 a communications and content intern. Harriet takes the lead on educational programming on site and in schools, and is the fearless leader of our popular DigCamp and DigClub activities. She is also our resident specialist in identifying and excavating human remains. In her spare time she enjoys collecting every kind of tea she can get her hands on, photography and being outdoors hillwalking.

Harriet’s impressive fortitude at delivering awesome projects can be seen on big DV projects including our search for St Aebbe at Coldingham, as well as Glengarnock Castle, Miracles to Medicine and Trimontium Trust.

Kimberley Teale BSc ACIfA

Programme Manager, Digital

Kim is our resident geophysicist and digital programme manager, working across everything at DV that beeps! After graduating from Birmingham University with a BSc in Archaeology and Geology, Kim has spent the last 10 years excavating and surveying her way through most of the British Isles in a commercial archaeology capacity. She loves good data and non-invasive survey techniques, and prides herself on being able to hand over a detailed scan of below-ground complex archaeological remains without having lifted a grain of soil. In her spare time, Kim loves hiking through the fells, swimming in the sea or solo travelling through random countries. Catch her cool new podcast too: Survey Like A Girl

Kim’s stamina for stomping up windy hillsides carrying things that beep has been put to the test across most of our projects, and she’s also project leader for Ancient Connections, Caerfai, Ryevitalising Redesdale, Moorsholm and the GIS whizz behind Deep Time.

Johanna Ungemach BA MA

Programme Officer, Evaluation // Heritage Regeneration projects

Das UngemachPrior to joining DV, Johanna was awarded a Master’s degree in Sustainable Heritage Management at Aarhus University in Denmark, and was a researcher for television documentaries as well as interactive history events. She joined the team as a Community Archaeologist after completing an internship with DV, working her way up from newbie to Chief Data Cruncher, with extra focus on finds and post-ex processing. Johanna’s specialism in impact evaluation and data visualisation is a key aspect of DV’s sector leading practice in understanding the value of our work to people and places. She has a passion for lists and organising things, and is the leader of the DV dungarees enthusiast club.

Johanna is leading the charge on our bustling ‘Made in Smethwick’ project with Chance Trust, and recently wrapped up the vibrant Windows to the World project.

Freddy Wannop BA

Community Archaeologist

Freddy graduated with a BA in Archaeology and Ancient Civilisations in 2021 from, yes, you’ve guessed it, Durham University. He first met DV at Lindisfarne that same year after which he spent a brief stint working in the commercial sector. With a particular interest in prehistory and digital recording, he joined the team officially in August 2022 to help in our post-excavation processes at Barnard Castle. When Freddy isn’t participating in rolling around in muddy holes and doing archaeology, he enjoys culinary escapades and thinks there isn’t a food that tuna doesn’t taste good with, even doughnuts!

Monty Named after Oscar Montelius

Site Dog

Monty recently achieved promotion from Trainee Site Dog, and is now riding a wave of glory on his new-found responsibilities. A being of pure love, light and goodness, Monty is alot lickier than Ernie (be warned), and much more likely to steal sausage rolls out of your bag. Monty has shown a particular aptitude for the Couch-Based Assessment phase of DV’s archaeological activities. Come see him when we’re next out digging, and get yourself one of the most high-quality cuddles in British Archaeology!

Ernie Feral and completely unqualified

Chaos Merchant

What can we say about Ernie? He arrived at midnight on Samhain in the middle of a howling gale, and is the most rambunctious, tenacious and growly adopted farm fluff we’ve ever seen. Ernie is very invested the ‘wreaking absolute havoc and causing constant mayhem’ phase of his life, and is nowhere near ready for a promotion or team responsibilities of any kind. He currently cares more about tennis balls than anything else on earth, including archaeology.

 

In Memoriam ... Fergus Westcott Wilkins NSFW

Emeritus Site Dog

Fergus was the world’s finest archaeological dog. A natural risk-taker and entrepreneurial spirit, Fergus displayed a keen interest in digging and a fine nose for interesting buried things his entire life. 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. Fergus never believed in meetings, panels, working groups, forms, reports or KPIs, and could always be relied on to accept bribes for access to the team. Predictably, Fergus made sure the team was assembled on site at his favourite place, Lindisfarne, before making his decision to cross the rainbow bridge after one last gravy bone. We feel sure that he’s whooping it up over there now and keeping a watchful eye on our proceedings.

DigVentures advisory board

Our Advisory Board

Led by our Patron, Sir Tony Robinson, meet the amazing folks helping DV grow