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Dr Meriel McClatchie


Meriel McClatchie

Lecturer/Assistant Professor In Archaeology
School of Archaeology
01 716 8314
University College Dublin, School of Archaeology, Newman Building Belfield Dublin 4


RESEARCH FOCUS My research is focused on prehistoric and early medieval archaeology in Europe, with a particular interest in landscapes, settlement, food and archaeobotany (the study of past societies and landscapes through analysis of preserved non-wood plant macro-remains such as cereal grains, cereal chaff, seeds of other crops, weed seeds, fruit stone and nut shell). I am currently an Assistant Professor in Archaeology at UCD School of Archaeology. I am the Director of the Ancient Foods Research Group and Director of the Bioarch Laboratory at UCD. PUBLICATIONS I am the author of individual and collaborative publications in high-impact, refereed international journals and books -- one book, 10 peer-reviewed journal papers, 16 book chapters; one professional guidelines document; three public outreach articles; 15 technical reports; Google Scholar h-index 9 citations 362. CAREER I began my studies in Archaeology by completing a BA joint honours degree in Archaeology and History at University College Cork (1995), followed by an MA degree in Methods and Techniques of Archaeological Practice at UCC (1997). My MA dissertation focused on analysis of archaeobotanical remains from rural medieval excavations in Ireland. Following completion of my MA degree, I worked as an archaeobotanist and archaeologist (licence-eligible) at the Archaeological Services Unit, UCC. I later began a PhD degree at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, funded by an NUI Travelling Studentship in Archaeology. My PhD research explored archaeobotanical evidence for arable agriculture in Bronze Age Ireland. I also extended my research interests into the archaeology of east Africa, including fieldwork in Uganda with Dr Andrew Reid, Institute of Archaeology, University College London. On completing my PhD thesis, I worked as a Research Fellow (2008-10) on a Heritage Council INSTAR-funded project at the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast. This major research project, "Cultivating societies: assessing the evidence for agriculture in Neolithic Ireland" (, examined the nature, timing and extent of the introduction and development of agriculture in Neolithic Ireland. In 2011, I joined the Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP) team at UCD School of Archaeology (, where I was responsible for collating and analysing archaeobotanical evidence from 60 early medieval excavations in Ireland. This research was funded by the Heritage Council under the INSTAR 2011 programme. Building upon my work with EMAP, I worked as a Research Fellow (2012-14) at UCD School of Archaeology, funded by an NUI Dr Garret FitzGerald Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities. This research project enabled me to explore in more detail the nature and scale of agricultural production in early medieval Ireland and beyond. In 2015, I joined the team of a new research project investigating Late Bronze Age and Iron Age Ireland through integrated analyses of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data. The project is based at UCC and is entitled "Seeing beyond the site: settlement and landscapes of later prehistoric Ireland" ( Our project is ongoing and is funded by Heritage Council INSTAR grants (2014 and 2015). I am responsible for coordinating collation and analysis of archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological data from excavations around Ireland. In 2016, I was appointed to a permanent Lecturer (Above the Bar) post at UCD School of Archaeology, where I continue to develop my teaching and research into prehistoric and early medieval Europe, agricultural systems and food. PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY I am strongly committed to promotion of best professional practice and have taken on a number of roles relating to management of professional bodies. I am a founding member of Environmental Archaeology in Ireland (2015) and the Irish Archaeobotany Discussion Group (2007). These groups were established to build professional relationships, discuss discoveries, tackle problems and establish strategies for development of the profession. I was a member of the Board of Directors at the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI) from 2009 to 2014. I previously spent a number of years on the Managing Committee of the Association for Environmental Archaeology, which is the world's largest organisation of environmental archaeologists (Secretary, 2005-10; Ordinary member, 2004-05).


  • Chair, Athena SWAN self-assessment team
    University College Dublin, School of Archaeology, Dublin, Ireland11 Sep 2017
  • Member, Gender Equality Action Group
    University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland27 Jun 2017
  • School Officer for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
    University College Dublin, School of Archaeology, Dublin, Ireland18 May 2017


  • BA
    University College Cork
  • MA
    University College Cork
  • PhD
    University College London
  • Prof Cert University Teaching & Learning
    University College Dublin


  • Professional Certificate in University Teaching & Learning
    University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland