When I started at Newcastle one of the first major roles I undertook was taking over as Director of the Wolfson Archaeology Laboratory. This sounds rather grand, but in reality it mostly involves managing room bookings and making sure everyone has all the kit they need for practicals, research and teaching. Part of the job involves looking after a zooarchaeology reference collection, hence the post last month about attending the zooarchaeology short course at Sheffield. I have also made various wonderful purchasing decisions, vastly expanding our suite of microscopes to include a range of Leica DM750P scopes for teaching, and dedicated scopes for research with even fancier specs including reflected light capabilities, image analysis software etc. The next stage will be to transform the side room, currently used mostly for storage, into a dedicated space for research. With a new lab based PhD and PDRA started in January, and possibly a Fellow later in 2017 (if all goes to plan), it is important to make sure there is a quiet space where people can work, and access all of the reference materials.
As part of the revamp I have also put together a lab website, to give us a virtual home where we can collate the latest research projects, show off our facilities, and centralize the list of current opportunities. Hopefully this will make it easier for potential students and researchers to see what we are getting up to in archaeological science at Newcastle. Check it out here, any comments and suggestions very welcome!