Over the past decade, advances in genetic technologies have made it possible to determine much more information from a sample of DNA. In the context of archaeological work, these techniques open up possibilities that could only be imagined until recently. Using systems designed for forensic investigations, the ability to analyse kinship at a greater depth allows commentary on social structure. Phenotypic inference enables us to build a genetic portrait of individuals who died long ago. Analysis of biogeographic markers can even shed light on the movement of people. In some cases, it may also be possible to comment on the cause of death, through analysis of microbial or viral genomes held within the bones. Although the field of ancient DNA analysis has rapidly expanded over the past 20 years, to date, no large-scale analysis of Roman remains discovered near Hadrian’s Wall has been undertaken. This project aims to fill the knowledge gap for sites along Hadrian’s Wall and make use of traditional and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies to analyse human, animal and microorganism remains recovered from archaeological sites located near Hadrian’s Wall. Applicants should have a good background knowledge in genetics and hands-on laboratory experience of DNA extraction and PCR based systems. Experience of NGS and bioinformatics is also desirable.
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
Please note: Applications should include a covering letter that includes a short summary (500 words max.) of a relevant piece of research that you have previously completed. Applications that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF18/…) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: 1st July 2019 for October 2019 start, or 1st December 2018 for March 2019 start
Start Date: October or March
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers
Trudi Buck, Elizabeth M. Greene, Alexander Meyer, Victoria Barlow, Eleanor Graham. "The body in the ditch: Alternative funerary practices on the Northern frontier of the Roman Empire?" Submitted.
McAllister, Patricia, Graham, Eleanor, Deacon, Paul and Farrugia, Kevin (2016) The effect of mark enhancement techniques on the subsequent detection of saliva. Science & Justice, 56 (5). pp. 305-320. ISSN 1355-0306
Carracedo, Angel, van den Berge, Margreet, Gomes, Iva, Graham, Eleanor, Haas, Cordula, Hjort, Benjamin, Hoff-Olsen, Per, Maroñas, Olalla, Mevåg, Bente, Morling, Niels, Niederstätter, Harald, Parson, Walther, Schneider, Peter M., Syndercombe-Court, Denise, Vidaki, Athina and Sijen, Titia(2014) A collaborative European exercise on mRNA-based body fluid/skin typing and interpretation of DNA and RNA results. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 10. pp. 40-48. ISSN 1872-4973
Graham, Eleanor, Watkins, William, Dunstan, Frank, Maguire, Sabine, Nuttall, Diane, Swinfield, Chloe, Rutty, Guy and Kemp, Alison (2014) Defining background DNA levels found on the skin of children aged 0-5 years. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 128 (2). pp. 251-258. ISSN 0937-9827
Rutty, Guy, Barber, Jade, Amoroso, Jasmin, Morgan, Bruno and Graham, Eleanor (2013) The effect on cadaver blood DNA identification by the use of targeted and whole body post-mortem computed tomography angiography. Forensic Science Medicine and Pathology, 9 (4). pp. 489-495. ISSN 1556-2891