Dr Amy Styring

Research Profile

As an archaeological chemist, I am interested in advancing scientific methods that reveal a direct and detailed picture of everyday life in the past, particularly in relation to food production and consumption practices and associated land use change.

My recent Humboldt Research Fellowship (2017–2019) at the University of Frankfurt used isotopic analysis of modern and archaeological crops to explore manuring practices during the first two millennia AD in Burkina Faso. I was involved in an ERC funded project at the University of Oxford (2013–2017), which assessed the role of changing agricultural practices in the emergence of urban centres in central Europe, the Aegean and southwest Asia. I obtained my PhD in Chemistry from the University of Bristol (2007–2012), applying nitrogen isotopic analysis of amino acids as a novel approach for the reconstruction of past diet and agricultural practices.

Listen to Amy discuss her research interests in this podcast recorded with St Cross College

Research activities

  • Movement of agricultural products in the Scandinavian Iron Age during the first millennium AD: 87Sr/86Sr values of archaeological crops and animals in southern Sweden

    Larsson, M, Magnell, O, Styring, A, Lagerås, P, Evans, J
  • Seed size, number and strategies in annual plants: a comparative functional analysis and synthesis.

    Hodgson, JG, Montserrat Marti, G, Šerá, B, Jones, G, Bogaard, A, Charles, M, Font, X, Ater, M, Taleb, A, Santini, BA, Hmimsa, Y, Palmer, C
    et al
  • Isotopic and microbotanical insights into Iron Age agricultural reliance in the Central African rainforest

    Bleasdale, M, Wotzka, H-P, Eichhorn, B, Mercader, J, Styring, A, Zech, J, Soto, M, Inwood, J, Clarke, S, Marzo, S, Fiedler, B, Linseele, V
    et al
  • Nitrogen isotope values of Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet) grains: towards a reconstruction of past cultivation conditions in the Sahel, West Africa

  • Spatial and temporal patterns in Neolithic and Bronze Age agriculture in Poland based on the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of cereal grains

    Mueller-Bieniek, A, Nowak, M, Styring, A, Lityńska-Zając, M, Moskal-del Hoyo, M, Sojka, A, Paszko, B, Tunia, K, Bogaard, A

Undergraduate teaching

Undergraduate lecturer for:

  • Honour Moderations Paper 4 – The Nature of Archaeological & Anthropological Enquiry
  • FHS option paper – Science-Based Methods in Archaeology


Postgraduate teaching

Postgraduate taught course options in: