Archaeology Staff

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The archaeology courses are staffed by a core of highly skilled, experienced archaeologists supported by a range of specialists in areas of science and transferable skills. We are firmly committed to excellence in teaching and research, aiming to strike a balance between theory and practice.  All our core archaeologists have considerable experience in both the commercial and academic archaeology sectors, while our specialist academic staff support the programme with in-depth scientific expertise.

Core Archaeological Academic Staff


Research and teaching summary  
Dr Fiona Beglane

Fiona Beglane is a zooarchaeologist at the Institute of Technology, Sligo, specialising in the analysis of animal bones from excavations. Her research focuses mainly on medieval archaeology, hunting and the use of scientific techniques in archaeology. She recently published a book on deer hunting and parks in medieval Ireland, Anglo-Norman Parks in Medieval Ireland, which has led her to an interest in interdisciplinary approaches to medieval landscapes. In particular she has an interest in integrating scientific and social/cultural interpretations of archaeology and in examining the interaction between humans and animals. See her page

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Dr James Bonsall

James Bonsall is an archaeological geophysicist. James has directed a commercial geophysical company for 12 years and completed PhD research for a National Roads Authority Fellowship in 2014 by reappraising the effectiveness and use of geophysical legacy data with particular reference to the influence of geological, seasonal and archaeological variables. James’ current research focuses on the detection of Irish ring-ditch sites using electromagnetic techniques, he is also the director of the Kilcashel Landscape Project and co-director of the Great Connell Abbey Exploration Project. Full publication details can be found at his page.

Dr Marion Dowd

Marion Dowd is primarily interested in exploring the relationships between people and caves in the Irish landscape through time. Cave archaeology formed the basis of her MA (1997, UCC) and PhD (2004, UCC). Her first book, The archaeology of caves in Ireland (2015, Oxbow Books) won the Tratman Award 2015 and the Current Archaeology Book of the Year Award 2016. Her edited books include The archaeology of darkness (2016, Oxbow Books), co-edited with Robert Hensey, and Underground archaeology: studies on human bones and artefacts from Irish caves (2016, Oxbow Books). She has directed numerous archaeological excavations, including Dunmore Cave, Co. Kilkenny with evidence of Viking material; Bronze Age ritual deposits in Glencurran Cave, Co. Clare; and a Neolithic excarnation cave on Knocknarea Mountain, Co. Clare. In 2016, together with Ruth Carden, Marion published the first evidence of Upper Palaeolithic activity in Ireland, pushing back the date of human occupation of the island by some 2,500 years. Many of her publications are available on her page.

Shirley Markley

Shirley Markley is an historic building archaeologist specialising in researching and understanding Medieval and Post Medieval settlement archaeology with an MA in archaeology from UCC and a MUBC in architecture from UCD. Shirley has directed her own commercial archaeological consultancy for 16 years. She has worked widely in the heritage and museum sector including having been a previous Heritage Officer. She continues to develop public archaeology initiatives with heritage associations and is a strong advocate of the archaeology in schools programme. Her book, ‘Connecting People, Place and Heritage’ was published by Sligo County Council in 2013. Her present doctoral research examines earth built and earth mortared masonry construction in later medieval Ireland.

Sam Moore

Sam Moore is an archaeologist with a keen interest in Irish passage tombs specifically and prehistory in general. He has written or contributed to a considerable number of local history articles, books and guides, and has considerable archaeological excavation and survey experience. Sam has been lecturing in archaeology at the Institute of Technology, Sligo since 2007. His main interest lies in the landscape and human interaction with it and the biography or ‘life-history’ of monuments including how mythology and folklore plays a role in the mental landscape.

Dr Karena Morton

Karena Morton is a conservator, ensuring that artefacts found during excavations do not deteriorate. She provides specialist training in this subject as part of the IT Sligo degree programmes. In addition, Karena is employed by the National Museum (Castlebar) as a professional conservator.

Chris Read

Christopher Read, MA, PhD Candidate has been a Lecturer in Archaeology at IT Sligo since 2003. He teaches numerous modules covering diverse topics with both theoretical and practical content. Chris has been running the IT Sligo Archaeological Field School since 2005. His research interests include landscape archaeology, archaeological theory (social memory and cognitive archaeology), deviant burials and experimental archaeology within the framework of interdisciplinary, diachronic and contextual approaches to the past.

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Specialist Academic Staff

Research and teaching summary  
Cait Coyle

Cait Coyle lectures on the subjects of earth science, soil science and natural resource management at IT Sligo. She has over ten years’ experience working as an Environmental Consultant in Ireland, the UK, Australia and Central Africa. Cait is highly experienced as a field scientist. She has worked on site investigations for large scale industrial developments, mines and infrastructure projects. During her role in the past as project manager for commercial environmental assessments, she worked closely with archaeologists. Her main research interest is the sustainable management of the soil resource.

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Dr Eoin Gillespie

Eoin Gillespie lectures in chemistry to the archaeology students.

Dr Carmel Moran

Carmel Moran lectures in the Characterisation and Dating of Archaeological Materials to the archaeology students. She has successfully co-supervised an MSc in the analysis of archaeological glass by Sinead Middleton.

Dr Cian Taylor

Cian Taylor lectures in Physics, Statistics, IT and Maths to diverse groups including: Applied Archaeology, Occupational Safety and Health, Environmental Protection, Environmental Science. He is a keen advocate of the use of the latest technology in lecturing.

Dr Nicolas Touzet

Nicolas Touzet is a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Science at IT Sligo involved principally in the delivery of the Environmental Science, Environmental Protection, Applied Archaeology and Energy Sustainability & Environment programmes. The remits of his teaching topics are aligned to biology, microbiology, ecology, toxicology and biotechnology themathics relevant to archaeology and the environment in general. His research interests and areas of expertise are multidisciplinary by nature and encompass microbial oceanography & limnology, eutrophication, water quality, biotoxins and shellfish safety, molecular ecology, biogeography and eco-physiology of harmful algal blooms, biorefining of high value metabolites from marine and freshwater microalgae.


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