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About us Practical matters How to find us M.W. (Michael) Dee, Prof

M.W. (Michael) Dee, Prof

Associate Professor of Isotope Chronology

Research Interests

Radiocarbon dating • Geochronology • Radiocarbon production & astrophysical events • Isotope analysis in palaeoenvironmental science & archaeology • Bayesian statistical modelling


  • DPhil, University of Oxford (2006 – 2009). Supervisor: Professor C. Bronk Ramsey. Thesis: A High-Precision Radiocarbon Chronology for Ancient Egypt Using Bayesian Statistical Modelling
  • BSc (Hons) Chemistry, First Class, University of Wellington (1992 – 1996). Thesis: Chemiluminescence from the Oxidation of Linoleic Acid

Recent Employment History

  • Associate Professor of Isotope Chronology and Head of Radiocarbon Dating, Centre for Isotope Research (CIO), University of Groningen (2017 – Present)
  • Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU), University of Oxford (2013 – 2016)
  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant, ORAU, University of Oxford (2010 – 2013)
  • Postdoctoral Chemist ORAU, University of Oxford (2009 – 2010)
  • Positions outside academia, mostly in financial management in the City of London (e.g. SocGén, Accenture, 2000 – 2005)


  • Chemical preparation of stable and radioisotope samples
  • Bayesian and Classical statistical techniques
  • Languages (Formal): CQL, Python, html
  • Languages (Natural): English, Dutch (advanced), French (intermediate), Middle Egyptian (elementary)

Academic Awards and Career Highlights

  • Research featured as one of Seven Technologies to Watch in 2023 by Nature (2023)
  • ERC Horizon Consolidator Grant award winner (2022)
  • Offered Directorship of Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (declined, 2021)
  • Last author Nature article. Highest ever impact of any article led by University of Groningen (Altmetric). Top 200 of all 100,000 outputs from Nature (Altmetric). Featured in news globally including on BBC TV World News, the New York Times & Wall Street Journal (2021)
  • Academic tenure, University of Groningen (2021)
  • Invited seminar, Science of the Human Past series, Harvard University (2017)
  • ERC Horizon 2020 Starter Grant award winner (2016)
  • 1st author of article in Proceedings of Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences covered by BBC Radio and The Guardian (2016)
  • 2nd author, Best Article of the Year, Antiquity (2014)
  • 2nd in Division by University of Oxford, nominations for Leverhulme Research Leadership Award (2016)
  • ERC Horizon 2020 Starter Grant interviewee (Universe Sciences Panel, 2015)
  • Three-year Junior Research Fellowship, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford (2013)
  • 1st author, Most Downloaded Article of the Year, Proceedings of Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Featured in news globally, including BBC TV and Radio (2013)
  • Three-year Early Career Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust (2013)
  • DPhil research published in Science. Project featured as one of three research highlights in University of Oxford’s Annual Review. Featured in news globally including the New York Times (2010)
  • 1st prize Student Oral Presentations, UKAS, University of Cambridge (2007)

Teaching and Supervision

  • PhD Supervisor (3 current PhDs, University of Groningen)
  • MSc Course Lecturer (Energy & Environmental Science), University of Groningen: Global Change (2022 –), Experimental Methods in Trace Gas Research (2018 –), Radiocarbon Dating and Analysis (2019 –), Biomedical Science Professional Perspectives (2018 –)
  • MSc Thesis Supervisor (Energy & Environmental Science), University of Groningen (2017 –)
  • BSc Course Lecturer (FSE Honours College ), Masses from Subatomic Particles to Galaxies (2020 - )
  • BSc Thesis Supervisor (Physics), University of Groningen (2019 –)
  • BA Course Lecturer, University of Groningen, Geoarchaeology (2019 –)
  • Short-course Tutor: Radiocarbon Dating and Bayesian Modelling, held at University of Arizona (April 2015) and Peking University (May 2015)
  • DPhil Co-supervisor, University of Oxford (2014 – 2017)
  • BSc Supervisor (Chemistry) internship, University of Oxford (2014)
  • MSc Tutor (Archaeological Science), University of Oxford (2006 – 2016)
  • BSc Tutor (Chemistry), University of Wellington (1995 – 1996)

Other Responsibilities

  • Management of commercial work of radiocarbon dating laboratory, University of Groningen (2017 –)
  • Admissions Board Member, MSc Energy & Environmental Science, University of Groningen (2021 –)
  • Editorial Board Member Scientific Reports (2022 –)
  • Appointment Panel Member, NERC Doctoral Training Programme, University of Oxford (2016)
  • Session Chair, 22nd International Radiocarbon Conference (2015)
  • Chair of Organising Committee, St Edmund Hall Research Expo (2015)

 Grant Funding Track Record

  • 1st author & PI: CONTACT (ERC, 2022: €2,000,000)
  • 1st author & PI: ECHOES (ERC, 2016: €1,500,000)
  • Co-author: Catastrophe or just a drama: Dating the Minoan eruption

    of Thera (Dutch Research Council, 2021: €257,740)

  • Co-author: High Resolution Measurements of Cosmic Isotope Signatures of Past Cosmic Radiation Events (GUF & Gratama Foundation: € 8,525)

  • 1st author & PI: Past Surges in Cosmic Radiation and Exact Ancient History (Fell Fund, 2015: £81,121)

  • Co-author & Co-I: A Guest Star in the Woods: Detecting Supernova 185 in the Tree-ring 14C Record (Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute, 2014: £3,000)

  • 1st author & PI: Fractured Land: Drought and the Fall of Old Kingdom Egypt (Leverhulme Trust, 2012: £113,068)
  • 1st author: The Origins of Nationhood: A New Chronology for the Formation of the Egyptian State (Leverhulme Trust, 2009: £170,550)

Selected Invited Lectures

  • Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), 2018; Harvard University 2017; Musée Nationale de l’Histoire Naturelle, Paris; British Museum; Durham University; University of Cardiff, 2016; University of Chicago, University of California San Diego, University College London (Public), Aberystwyth University, 2015; Ashmolean Museum (Public), 2013; University of Berlin, 2011


  • Professor Christopher Bronk Ramsey: ORAU, University of Oxford
  • Professor Sturt Manning: Cornell Tree-ring Laboratory, Cornell University
  • Professor Thomas Higham: University of Vienna
Last modified:18 March 2023 7.12 p.m.