Fiona graduated with a degree in chemistry from the University of Manchester before undertaking her PhD and post-doctoral research in biogeochemistry at the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff. She then joined the Research Laboratory for Archaeology at Oxford University, where she developed her interests in archaeological sciences whilst working as the radiocarbon dating laboratory chemist.

Fiona's research interests are diverse, but primarily focus on the application of analytical techniques to archaeological and forensic sciences, in particular relating to the preservation of organic materials (e.g. bone collagen, wood, charcoal, leather and parchment) in the archaeological record. She also works with museums and conservators on a wide range of topics, including investigating the composition, provenance and/or manufacture of cultural heritage artefacts, identifying unknown conservation treatments, and micro-CT scanning objects.

Fiona is module lead for Analytical Techniques on the Cranfield Forensic Institute's forensic MSc programme and contributes to several other modules, including Fakes & Forgeries, Forensic Ecology and Further Forensic Anthropology: Identification.  She is also Cranfield's academic rep on the AHRC South, West & Wales DTP Programme Delivery Board.

Research opportunities

Fiona welcomes enquiries from students wishing to undertake research degrees, including PhD (3 years full-time, 6 years part-time), MPhil (2 years full-time), or Masters by Research (1 year full-time). 

Enquiries are particularly welcome from students wishing to investigate the collections at the Museum of Leathercraft:

Current activities

Fiona's current research projects include:

The chronology and provenance of prehistoric Caribbean carvings (with Joanna Ostapkowicz, University of Oxford);

Radiocarbon dating of historical parchments (with Dr Keagan Brewer, Macquarie University and the radiocarbon laboratories at Bristol and Oxford Universities);

Working with museums and conservators on a wide range of topics, applying analytical science to the investigation of objects of cultural heritage and their conservation;

Working with the conservation team at HMS Victory, in particular investigating the impact of Deathwatch Beetle activity within the ship's historic timbers;

Investigating the diagenesis of archaeological bone.


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

  • Dee MW, Wengrow D, Shortland AJ, Stevenson A, Brock F & Bronk Ramsey C (2016) Radiocarbon dating of Early Egyptian pot residues. In: Vienna 2 - Ancient Egyptian Ceramics in the 21st Century, Vienna, 14-18 May 2012.
  • Hodgins G, Lindroos A, Ringbom A, Heinemeier J & Brock F 14C dating of Roman mortars - preliminary tests using diluted hydrochloric acid injected in batches. In: Building Roma Aeterna ; Current Research on Roman Mortar and Concrete, 27 March 2008.
  • Lindroos A, Ringbom A, Kaisti R, Heinemeier J, Hodgins G & Brock F The oldest parts of Turku Cathedral. C-14 chronology of fire damaged mortars. In: Archaeology and History of Churches in Baltic Region, Visby, 8 June 2010.
  • Lindroos A, Heinemeier J, Ringbom A, Brock F, Sonck-Koota P, Pehkonen M & Suksi J Problems in radiocarbon dating of Roman pozzolana mortars. In: Building Roma Aeterna ; Current Research on Roman Mortar and Concrete, 27 March 2008.
  • Ringbom A, Heinemeier J, Lindroos A & Brock F Mortar dating and Roman pozzolana, results and interpretation. In: Building Roma Aeterna ; Current Research on Roman Mortar and Concrete, 27 March 2008.
  • Ranta H, Hansson J, Lindroos A, Ringbom A, Heinemeier J, Brock F & Hodgins G Om datering av Gotlands medeltida kyrkor.


  • Adlington LW, Freestone IC, Seliger L, Martinon-Torres M, Brock F & Shortland A. (2020) Chapter 10: In situ methodology for compositional grouping of medieval stained glass windows: introducing the "windolyzer" for handheld x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. In: Archaeological chemistry: a multidisciplinary analysis of the past, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, p. 176-201.
  • Marshall P, Bronk Ramsey C, Russell N, Brock F & Reimer P (2016) Interpreting the chronology of the cist. In: Preserved in the Peat: An extraordinary Bronze Age burial on Whitehorse Hill, Dartmoor, and its wider context, Oxford: Oxbow Books, p. 183-194.
  • Higham T, Lloyd-Smith L, Barton H, Brock F & Turney C (2016) Radiocarbon dating. In: Archaeological investigations in the Niah Caves, Sarawak. Barker G, Farr L (ed.), Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, p. 219-232.
  • Higham TFG, Ramsey CB, Cheney H, Brock F & Douka K (2012) The radiocarbon chronology of Gorham's Cave. In: Neanderthals in Context: A report of the 1995-1998 excavations at Gorham's and Vanguard Caves, Gibraltar. Barton RNE, Stringer C, Finlayson C (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University School of Archaeology Monograph Series, p. 62-76.
  • Brock F (2012) Preparing samples for AMS Radiocarbon Dating. In: Radiocarbon and the Chronologies of Ancient Egypt. Shortland AJ, Ramsey CB (ed.), Oxford: Oxbow Books, p. 48-52.
  • Brock F & Dee MW (2012) Sample selection for radiocarbon dating. In: Radiocarbon and the Chronologies of Ancient Egypt. Shortland AJ, Ramsey CB (ed.), Oxford: Oxbow Books, p. 40-47.
  • Ostapkowicz J, Ramsey CB, Wiedenhoeft AC, Brock F, Higham T & Wilson SM (2011) 'This Relic of Antiquity': Fifth to fifteenth century wood carvings from the southern Lesser Antilles. In: Communities in contact: Essays in archaeology, ethnohistory & ethnography of the Amerindian circum-Caribbean. Hofmann CL, van Duijvenbode A (ed.), Leiden: Sidestone Press, p. 137-170.
  • Pollard AM & Brock F (2011) Provenancing parchment, leather and paper using stable isotopes. In: The technological study of books and manuscripts as artefacts (BAR International Series 2209). Neate S, Howell D, Ovenden R, Pollard AM (ed.), Oxford: Archaeopress, p. 85-90.