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How to find us M.W. (Michael) Dee, Prof Dr

M.W. Dee, Prof Dr

Associate Professor of Isotope Chronology

Research Interests

Radiocarbon sample preparation and measurementBayesian statistical modelling Cosmogenic isotope production and astrophysical events Chronology of early civilisations Integrating disparate chronometric data Origins and transference of technology


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

Recent Employment History

  • 2013 – 2016     Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU): Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow
  • 2010 – 2013     ORAU: Postdoctoral Research Assistant
  • 2009 – 2010     ORAU: Postdoctoral Chemist
  • 2000 – 2005     Positions outside academia, mostly in financial management, City of London (SocGén, Accenture)


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

Academic Awards and Career Highlights

  • 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 2014, Antiquity
  • 2nd in Division by University of Oxford (nominations for Leverhulme Research Leadership Award 2016)
  • ERC Horizon 2020 Starter Grant interviewee 2015 (Universe Sciences Panel)
  • Junior Research Fellowship 2013-2016, St Edmund Hall, Oxford
  • 1st author, Most Downloaded Article of the Year, 2013 Proceedings of Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Featured in news globally, including BBC TV, BBC Radio and webpage (2nd most shared of the day); NBC News, Die Spiegel and the South China Morning Post
  • Early Career Fellowship 2013-2016, Leverhulme Trust
  • DPhil research published in Science. Project featured as one of three research highlights in University of Oxford’s Annual Review 2009 – 2010. Featured in news globally including the New York Times
  • 1st prize Student Oral Presentations, UKAS 2007, University of Cambridge

Teaching and Supervision

  • University lecturer Expermental Methods in Trace Gas Research 2018 -, and Radiocarbon Dating and Analysis, University of Groningen, 2019 - 
  • University teacher Professionalism in Science, University of Groningen, 2018 -
  • Short-course designer and tutor: Radiocarbon Dating and Bayesian Modelling, held at University of Arizona (April 2015) and Peking University (May 2015)
  • Co-supervisor of DPhil student, University of Oxford, 2014 – 2017
  • Supervisor BSc (Chemistry) internship, University of Oxford, 2014
  • Tutor MSc (Archaeological Science), University of Oxford, 2006 – 2016
  • Tutor BSc (Chemistry), University of Wellington, 1995 – 1996

Other Responsibilities

  • 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
  • Convener, Departmental Seminar Series, 2014 – 2016

 Grant Funding Track Record

  • 1st author & PI: Exact Chronology of Early Societies (ERC, 2016: €1,500,000)
  • Co-author & Co-I: Predynastic Egyptian Chronologies and the Cemetery of Naqada (National Radiocarbon Facility, 2016: £5,280)
  • 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: ORAU, University of Oxford
  • Professor Walter Kutschera: Isotope Research and Nuclear Physics, University of Vienna
  • Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford
Last modified:24 January 2019 10.53 p.m.