“Who am I?” This is an interesting and complicated question, and the answer (s) is (are) not simple. Let’s start trying to explain why I’m opening this blog. “Not only chemistry” is the English version of my “old” blog “Nonsolochimica”, that is written in Italian.
This new blog is a way to keep me up to date and to improve my written English. So, if you are reading one post of mine, and you notice mistakes, please let me know that!
I went to the high school for classical studies “Machiavelli” in Florence, and when I graduated I started work as a waitress, barman, telephone operator, sales clerk, nanny, tutor, etc., to pay the University’s fees, just as a lot of other colleagues.
I have two degrees: the first is in “Technologies for Restoration and Conservation of Artifacts and Heritage Patrimony”, the second is in “Science and Technologies for cultural heritage”. My thesis were both about studying and characterising samples of archaeological wet wood, from a site near Ercolano (Naples), for that reason I worked at the Organic Chemistry Department of University of Florence. My passion for chemistry has born during high school and emerged again at that time.
In 2005 my supervisor, Dr Salvini, had the brilliant idea to arrange a wide series of labs for schools, and from that year, time after time, the project involved a huge number of partecipants. It was called “Openlab” and it was really fulfilling to me. I’ve even done a traineeship in this organizations, realising interactive laboratories, scientific meetings, workshops and conferences. I enjoyed that experience very much.
Unfortunately 200 euro p/m on short term contracts wasn’t enough to live, and I had to do supplementary jobs to earn money.
That is the main reason why I moved to UK where I worked in schools as a teaching assistant and science technician, until I had the amazing opportunity to get a position as teaching and research technician at the University of Reading, being responsible for the GC lab and the EA-IRMS lab in the School of Archaeology Geography and Environmental Science.
I would like to work in the field of forensics anthropology or heritage science, and at the moment I am doing a PhD in bio archaeology at the University of York.
Focused on Sicily, the ERC funded project “Sicily in Transition” (SICTRANSIT) has the goal of investigating what drives the different transitions and what happened to people from the 6th to the 13th century AD. During this range of time Sicily experienced four radical changes in regime: from Byzantine to Aghlabid to Fatimid to Norman to Swabian. Potentially, each of these transitions saw new groups of migrants, new forms of agriculture and settlement, new networks of exchange, new distributions of wealth and new types of social control. My research is aimed at investigating and documenting diet, economy and demographic movement across these changes of religious political control through the isotopic analysis of human and animal remains. Carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) bulk stable isotope analysis of bone collagen will be applied to directly assess an individual’s average diet. Oxygen isotopes of dentin will provide direct information relating to the lifetime mobility of an individual, since tooth mineral phosphate and carbonate oxygen will inform us about drinking water consumed during childhood (the period of enamel formation). I am also working on the development and application of new approaches for measuring amino acids from bone by gas chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-c-IRMS).
The main subject of this blog would be archaeometry and other issues related to it, but I will also speak about things that make my life tasty, such as music, literature, animals, and science communication. One of my goal in life is to share my passions and thoughts trying to involve more people as possible in matters that I care about. And, when it is suitable, I even would like to let you laugh!