Meet the Team
Lisa Westcott Wilkins
BA MA MCIfA FRSA FSA
Co-founder and Managing DirectorProfile
BSc MA MCIfA MIAI FSA
Co-founder and Projects DirectorProfile
BS, BA, MA ,PhD
Dr Manda Forster
Director of OperationsProfile
Dr Peter Gould
Dr Josh Hogue
BA MA MCIfA
Head of CommunityProfile
Named after Oscar Montelius
Feral and completely unqualified
In Memoriam ... Fergus Westcott Wilkins
Emeritus Site DogProfile
Lisa Westcott Wilkins BA MA MCIfA FRSA FSA
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 FSA
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’.
Ginny Cole BA
Ginny recently graduated from Durham University with a BA in Archaeology, her studies mainly focusing in on gender archaeology and identity. During her second year, she joined us on Lindisfarne as part of her course. From there Ginny began an internship with us as she finished her studies, and recently joined the team officially as a Community Archaeologist. She has a passion for speaking to the public about archaeology, and on site you can often find her camped out ready to share all our exciting new findings. Outside of work, Ginny loves fashion, spooky stories and a classic pub night.
Stephanie Duensing BS, BA, MA ,PhD
Steph is our fieldwork expert who knows her way around a trench. She started her career off 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. After completing her doctorate in 2014, Steph spent the next 7 years working her way through the fast-paced world of British commercial archaeology. She has worked on many fantastic and complex sites spanning from the Neolithic to the post-industrial. Steph has a penchant for pottery and specialises in late Medieval to Post-Medieval pot analysis. Steph also has a love of making her own pottery – although somewhat less of a specialist there!
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.
Dr Manda Forster MCIfA FSAScot
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.
Dr Peter Gould FSA
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
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.
Dr Josh Hogue BSc MSc
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. Outside of work, Indie loves to go on a baking spree and thinks that beaches are best enjoyed on a wet and windy day.
Raphael Kahlenberg BA MA
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.
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.
Kim Teale BSc ACIfA
Kim is our resident geophysicist and digital programme manager. After graduating from Birmingham University with a BSc in Archaeology & 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 nothing more than hiking through the fells, swimming in the sea or solo travelling through random countries.
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.
Monty Named after Oscar Montelius
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 can melt your heart with the sheer power of his mournful gaze. He’s alot lickier than Ernie (be warned), though less likely to steal sausage rolls out of your bag. 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!
Ernie Feral and completely unqualified
What can we say about Ernie? He arrived at midnight on Samhain eve in the middle of a howling gale, and is the most mysterious adopted farm fluff we’ve ever seen. Field Season 2021 finds his puppyhood in full bloom, and we expect he will pop up at various DV places this summer wreaking absolute havoc and causing constant mayhem. He is likely to growl at you for no reason, but gives great cuddles (if you can catch him). Stay tuned!
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.