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Our People

Maarten Blaauw

BSc MSc PhD

Dr Maarten Blaauw is a Reader in the School of Natural and Built Environment and Director of 14CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment, and Chronology. He has a background in palaeoecology and previously held postdoctoral positions at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), Mathematics Research Centre CIMAT (Mexico), Uppsala University (Sweden) and Queen’s University Belfast, becoming a lecturer there in 2010. Maarten’s main interests are in numerical palaeoecology and he has almost two decades of experience in age-depth modelling and the statistical/ecological interpretation of proxy archives.

Maarten Blaauw

BSc MSc PhD

Dr Maarten Blaauw is a Reader in the School of Natural and Built Environment and Director of 14CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment, and Chronology. He has a background in palaeoecology and previously held postdoctoral positions at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), Mathematics Research Centre CIMAT (Mexico), Uppsala University (Sweden) and Queen’s University Belfast, becoming a lecturer there in 2010. Maarten’s main interests are in numerical palaeoecology and he has almost two decades of experience in age-depth modelling and the statistical/ecological interpretation of proxy archives.

Gerard Barrett

BSc MSc PhD

Dr Gerard Barrett is a Research Fellow in the School of Natural and Built Environment and Deputy Director of 14CHRONO. He is responsible for the operation, optimization and maintenance of the accelerator mass spectrometer (MICADAS). He is also responsible for the operation, maintenance and development of the ramped pyroxidation system. Gerard has a background in experimental and atomic physics and has completed a masters and doctorate in dating and chronology. Along with continual efforts to improve the accuracy and precision of the radiocarbon dates produced at 14CHRONO, he also conducts research into dating methods for anthropogenic materials such as mortars and ceramics.  He also has a keen interest in early fired clay ceramics, the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Europe, and the use and interpretation of radiocarbon dates in chronology building.

Gerard Barrett

BSc MSc PhD

Dr Gerard Barrett is a Research Fellow in the School of Natural and Built Environment and Deputy Director of 14CHRONO. He is responsible for the operation, optimization and maintenance of the accelerator mass spectrometer (MICADAS). He is also responsible for the operation, maintenance and development of the ramped pyroxidation system. Gerard has a background in experimental and atomic physics and has completed a masters and doctorate in dating and chronology. Along with continual efforts to improve the accuracy and precision of the radiocarbon dates produced at 14CHRONO, he also conducts research into dating methods for anthropogenic materials such as mortars and ceramics.  He also has a keen interest in early fired clay ceramics, the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Europe, and the use and interpretation of radiocarbon dates in chronology building.

Michelle Thompson

Michelle has been a Technician in the radiocarbon laboratory since 1993 and is currently the Acting Laboratory Manager. Prior to the commissioning of the accelerator mass spectrometer, she was responsible for the operation of the liquid scintillation counters. She has also been involved in large-scale research projects providing dates and data analysis. Since 2009, Michelle has been responsible for the operation and maintenance of the isotope ratio mass spectrometer (EA-IRMS) and 14CHRONO’s carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis.

Michelle Thompson

Michelle has been a Technician in the radiocarbon laboratory since 1993 and is currently the Acting Laboratory Manager. Prior to the commissioning of the accelerator mass spectrometer, she was responsible for the operation of the liquid scintillation counters. She has also been involved in large-scale research projects providing dates and data analysis. Since 2009, Michelle has been responsible for the operation and maintenance of the isotope ratio mass spectrometer (EA-IRMS) and 14CHRONO’s carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis.

Kerry Allen

BSc PGCert

Kerry has been a Research Assistant at 14CHRONO since 2017 and is responsible for operating the accelerator mass spectrometer alongside Dr Gerard Barrett, operating the ramped pyroxidation system and maintaining the AGE3 graphitisation system. She is interested in 14C and C:N stable isotopes in marine molluscs both as indicators of anthropogenic input and for their viability as dating resources. Kerry was previously a Research Technician for 14CHRONO, where she was involved in the operation and maintenance of the zinc reduction and hydrogen reduction graphite lines.

Kerry Allen

BSc PGCert

Kerry has been a Research Assistant at 14CHRONO since 2017 and is responsible for operating the accelerator mass spectrometer alongside Dr Gerard Barrett, operating the ramped pyroxidation system and maintaining the AGE3 graphitisation system. She is interested in 14C and C:N stable isotopes in marine molluscs both as indicators of anthropogenic input and for their viability as dating resources. Kerry was previously a Research Technician for 14CHRONO, where she was involved in the operation and maintenance of the zinc reduction and hydrogen reduction graphite lines.

Julia Simpson

GRSC

Julia has been a Technician at QUB since 1993 and has been with 14CHRONO since 2011. She is responsible for the hydrogen reduction graphite line, AGE3 graphitisation system and FTIR analysis of cremated bone. Previously, Julia worked in the Geography department where she was responsible for the application of characterisation analysis equipment in geology and sedimentology research projects.

Julia Simpson

GRSC

Julia has been a Technician at QUB since 1993 and has been with 14CHRONO since 2011. She is responsible for the hydrogen reduction graphite line, AGE3 graphitisation system and FTIR analysis of cremated bone. Previously, Julia worked in the Geography department where she was responsible for the application of characterisation analysis equipment in geology and sedimentology research projects.

Niamh O’Neill-Munro

BSc MSc

Niamh has been a Technician in the radiocarbon laboratory at 14CHRONO since 2017. She has a background in geography and quaternary science and is responsible for sample pre-treatments, gas separations and operation of the AGE3 graphitisation system. Niamh has been involved in the Deep Challa project, developing pre-treatment methods for complex issues in sediment dating.

Niamh O’Neill-Munro

BSc MSc

Niamh has been a Technician in the radiocarbon laboratory at 14CHRONO since 2017. She has a background in geography and quaternary science and is responsible for sample pre-treatments, gas separations and operation of the AGE3 graphitisation system. Niamh has been involved in the Deep Challa project, developing pre-treatment methods for complex issues in sediment dating.

Ron Reimer

BSc MSc MEng

Mr Ron Reimer is a part-time Research Fellow in the School of Natural and Built Environment. In addition to managing the database and software for the 14CHRONO Centre AMS facility, he has been involved in construction of the IntCal radiocarbon calibration curves since 2001 and is responsible for designing and maintaining the Marine Radiocarbon Reservoir Correction database and the CALIB and CALIBomb software.

Ron Reimer

BSc MSc MEng

Mr Ron Reimer is a part-time Research Fellow in the School of Natural and Built Environment. In addition to managing the database and software for the 14CHRONO Centre AMS facility, he has been involved in construction of the IntCal radiocarbon calibration curves since 2001 and is responsible for designing and maintaining the Marine Radiocarbon Reservoir Correction database and the CALIB and CALIBomb software.

Paula Reimer

OBE PhD MRIA

Prof. Paula J. Reimer is  Emeritus Professor at the 14CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment, and Chronology in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the former leader of the international radiocarbon calibration working group (IntCal) and is actively involved in research on carbon reservoir changes and carbon sources in sediment and soils. Paula is also interested in the use of stable isotopes in palaeodietary studies as a way of understanding radiocarbon reservoir effects on the accuracy of dating humans and animals subsisting on marine or freshwater resources.

Paula Reimer

OBE PhD MRIA

Prof. Paula J. Reimer is  Emeritus Professor at the 14CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment, and Chronology in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the former leader of the international radiocarbon calibration working group (IntCal) and is actively involved in research on carbon reservoir changes and carbon sources in sediment and soils. Paula is also interested in the use of stable isotopes in palaeodietary studies as a way of understanding radiocarbon reservoir effects on the accuracy of dating humans and animals subsisting on marine or freshwater resources.

Stephen Hoper

GRSC

Mr Stephen Hoper is the former Senior Technician and Laboratory Manager in the 14CHRONO Centre. He had over 30 years’ experience in the radiocarbon laboratory at QUB. Stephen is now retired but is continuing to work for 14CHRONO on a part-time basis, mainly dealing with invoicing.

Stephen Hoper

GRSC

Mr Stephen Hoper is the former Senior Technician and Laboratory Manager in the 14CHRONO Centre. He had over 30 years’ experience in the radiocarbon laboratory at QUB. Stephen is now retired but is continuing to work for 14CHRONO on a part-time basis, mainly dealing with invoicing.

Svetlana Svyatko

MSc PhD

Dr Svetlana Svyatko is a bioarchaeologist who specializes in palaeodietary analysis as well as chronology.  She received an MSc (Hons) in History (Department of History, Saint-Petersburg State University) in 2005, before coming to Queen’s University Belfast where she completed her PhD in Bioarchaeology in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology in 2009.  She was a postdoctoral research fellow in the 14CHRONO Centre from 2010 to 2018 and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow on a Leverhulme Trust Research Grant “Migration or adaption: Emergence and development of nomadism in the Altai” 2020-2023.  She has published numerous papers in both English and Russian.

Svetlana Svyatko

MSc PhD

Dr Svetlana Svyatko is a bioarchaeologist who specializes in palaeodietary analysis as well as chronology.  She received an MSc (Hons) in History (Department of History, Saint-Petersburg State University) in 2005, before coming to Queen’s University Belfast where she completed her PhD in Bioarchaeology in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology in 2009.  She was a postdoctoral research fellow in the 14CHRONO Centre from 2010 to 2018 and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow on a Leverhulme Trust Research Grant “Migration or adaption: Emergence and development of nomadism in the Altai” 2020-2023.  She has published numerous papers in both English and Russian.

Quality Control

This is largely achieved through participation in international laboratory intercomparison programs and the routine analysis...

History

The Centre provides radiocarbon (14C) dates and stable isotope analysis as well as statistical chronological...