Before joining B2C, I was a Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Textile Research (CTR), University of Copenhagen. My EU Horizon 2020-funded research project focused on Knitting in Early Modern Europe (KEME). I investigated 100+ knitted caps from the late 15th to early 17th centuries by developing a new protocol for the scientific study of early knitwork, published an online database of the evidence (see www.kemeresearch.com), hosted a programme of five seminars to discuss and develop a scholarly approach to knitwork, and guest edited a themed issue of the Archaeological Textiles Reviewwith nine articles by invited contributors devoted to previously unplublished early evidence for knitting. I ran a citizen science project to investigate the effects of fulling knitted fabric and compare the finish provided by a variety of sheep’s fleece and a public programe of lectures investigating Analytical Techniques for Organic Materials Studes (ATOMS).
I am currently postdoctoral researcher at CTR and manager of THREAD, a project funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark to explore the potential for using textile craft and culture as a catalyst for improved refugee integration by building a themed network of contacts which will be developed into a transferable model for refugee support in other sectors. I was senior postdoctoral research fellow at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland in the ERC project Refashioning the Renaissance from January to April 2018. I was responsible for designing a relational database for cross-referencing pictorial, archaeological/historical and documentary evidence for Italian dress from 1550 to 1650.
Before that, I was a heritage interpretation consultant running my own business, JMD&Co, and lecturer in business management and research methods at Farnborough College of Technology. My doctoral research established a reliable method for measuring the effectiveness of front-of-house presentation at heritage sites. My supervisor was Professor David Airey, Head of School at the University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality Management, where I was a member of the tourism research group. My project developed theory on the relationship between visitor satisfaction and staff performance at heritage sites. My methodology had immediate commercial application and I established a consultancy to provide benchmarking services for major heritage organisations such as Historic Scotland. My methodology has since been used to allocate scarce resources at World Heritage Sites such as Edinburgh Castle, the Roman Baths in Bath, and Skara Brae, part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.
I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of the Highlands & Islands (Centre for Interpretation Studies) and the University of Southampton (Textile Conservation Centre). I lectured in entrepreneurship and leisure management at the University of Surrey (to August 2014), introduced costumed interpreters at Hampton Court Palace (1992 to 2004), and coordinated training for the front-of-house team at Buckingham Palace each summer (2000 to 2010).
I am also co-director of The Tudor Tailor, which researches and retails publications and products aimed at improving reproduction historical dress for pedagogical projects. Since 2005, my co-director Ninya Mikhaila and I have built a collaborative team of dress historians with whom we publish books on the reconstruction of 16th century dress. Our next book The Typical Tudor will draw on my knitting research to provide instructions for making everyday garments. These will build on patterns for boys’ headwear and babies clothing available in The Tudor Child.