Virginia Louise Harvey


Former affiliation

Personal profile


I am a postdoctoral researcher, working with Dr. Jessica Hendy within the BioArCh group and the Department of Archaeology, and funded by The Leverhulme Trust. I specialise in ancient biomolecule extraction and analysis from archaeological artefacts, and my passion lies in using this data to understand how humans have impacted our planet through time.

My current project, "Investigating the survival of proteins in pots: Strategies for authentication and curation" explores protein extraction and analysis techniques to find ways of minimising sample destruction, whilst maximising protein yield.

From 2017–2020 I completed my PhD at the University of Manchester, with Dr. Mike Buckley, after being awarded the prestigious Dean’s Award scholarship. The theme of my research addressed the use of biomolecular methods in the study of human impacts on marine biodiversity through time, focussing primarily on fishes and marine turtles. I analysed preserved proteins in thousands of ancient bones to acquire faunal identification to help build species presence and composition data. I then used this information to help understand how the world has changed under increasing anthropogenic pressures and to assist in the reconstruction of natural baselines.

From 2014–2016 I completed an MPhil at the University of Manchester on terrestrial biodiversity, using collagen analysis on ancient bone remains from the Cayman Islands to understand species identity. The Cayman Islands have suffered huge biodiversity losses since the arrival of humans in the 1500s, and my research explored these changes in biodiversity through time using cutting-edge proteomic analyses on faunal remains from cave systems on Cayman Brac.

Education/Academic qualification

Masters, Proteomic Analyses of Sub-Fossil Vertebrate Remains from the Cayman Islands, University of Manchester, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

1 Sept 201431 Aug 2016

Award Date: 1 Feb 2017

PhD, Collagen Type I: Sequence evolution, species identification and unlocking past trends in marine biodiversity, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Simon Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

4 Jan 20174 Jun 2020

External positions

Project Co-ordinator and Fundraising Officer, The Carbon Literacy Trust

1 Jan 201431 Jul 2020


  • QH301 Biology
  • QD Chemistry
  • QL Zoology
  • CC Archaeology
  • GE Environmental Sciences

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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