Associate professorship awarded to Orkney-based archaeologist

18 September 2023
Dr Scott Timpany
Dr Scott Timpany has been promoted to the role of Associate Professor in recognition of his contributions to research and teaching at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Dr Timpany joined the University of the Highlands and Islands' (UHI) Archaeology Institute in 2013 and since then has played a 'pivotal role' in the development and delivery of UHI’s archaeological courses. He has also been instrumental in supporting student research from undergraduate to PhD level.

Dr Timpany’s own research focuses on the reconstruction of past landscapes and the study of charred plant remains from archaeological sites to develop our understanding of former agricultural practices and the interactions between past communities and woodlands. The theme of woodlands and identifying management techniques and fuel procurement strategies has been central to recent projects looking at fuels from Scottish Iron Age metalworking sites and in Irish Bronze Age burnt mound sites.

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A leading expert in the study of intertidal landscapes and submerged forests, Dr Timpany is also taking forward research on native woodlands. He has secured funding from organisations including Historic Environment Scotland, the Carnegie Trust and Historic England to work on such sites across the UK.

He is currently part of a large collaborative project funded by National Geographic exploring Mesolithic-Neolithic landscapes and fish traps in the UK. Dr Timpany also acts as a consultant in the field of environmental archaeology and is currently working with commercial archaeology companies on large road infrastructure projects in Ireland and England.

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Dr Timpany's research has been published in several academic journals, monographs and books. He is keen to further develop his research in the fields of palaeoecology and archaeobotany, particularly on submerged landscapes and to continue to enhance the teaching and research provision in these subjects within the Archaeology Institute.

Commenting on his promotion, Dr Timpany said: “I am delighted to have been awarded the title of Associate Professor by UHI. This is a great milestone to have achieved in my academic career and reassuring that I am on the right career trajectory. I look forward to continuing with my research in the field of environmental archaeology and to learn more about the challenges faced by previous communities in the Highlands and Islands region as we begin to deal with similar issues of climate change, rising sea-levels and resource availability.”

Vicki Nairn, Interim Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UHI, commented: “The title of Associate Professor is awarded to academics who have established distinguished reputations in their research or scholarship. Dr Timpany has made a significant contribution to the study of environmental archaeology, an area which is gaining increasing interest as we understand more about the effects of climate change on coastal areas. I am delighted his work has been recognised in this way and I look forward to seeing more of his cutting-edge research in the years to come.”

Professor Jane Downes, Director of the UHI Archaeology Institute, added: “I am delighted that Scott's distinctive and important research has been recognised by this award, which is well deserved. His contribution to environmental archaeology is greatly valued within UHI’s Archaeology Institute and widely recognised by colleagues further afield.”

To find out more about archaeology courses at UHI, click here.

(Report and image courtesy of the UHI)