Prof Caitlin Buck

Position: Professor
Home page:
Telephone: (0114) 2223715
Office: I23 Hicks building
Photo of Caitlin Buck


MAS279 Career Development Skills Information uses MOLE
MAS6001 Data Analysis Information uses MOLE
MAS6010 Data Analysis Information  


Interests: Application of Bayesian statistics to archaeology, palaeo-environmental science and scientific dating methods
Research group: Statistics
Publications: Preprint page, MathSciNet


Past grants, as Principal Investigator
Uncertainty in Palaeoclimate International Network Leverhulme
Statistical Support for BAS Palaeoclimate Studies BAS
Tools for constructing chronologies: crossing disciplinary boundaries NERC
Past grants, as Coinvestigator
The future of the past: A robust framework for the upgrade and development of the international radiocarbon calibration/comparison curves (IntCal) NERC
Out of Asia / A New Framework for Dating the Spread of Agriculture in Europe NERC
The future of the past: A robust framework for the upgrade and development of the international radiocarbon calibration/comparison curves


Admissions Head


Prof Buck graduated with a BSc in Archaeological Science from the University of Bradford in 1987. She then joined a collaborative team of archaeologists and statisticians at the University of Nottingham, working as a research assistant on a number of projects and completing a part-time PhD in statistics in 1994. Her PhD thesis title was: Towards Bayesian Archaeology. From Nottingham she moved to Cardiff to take up a lecturing post the School of History and Archaeology (1994-2001). During that time, she continued her research interests in the application of statistics to archaeology, focusing most on applications of Bayesian statistics to radiocarbon calibration. In 2001, she moved to the Department of Probability and Statistics at the University of Sheffield where, in 2007, she was promoted to a Personal Chair. She continues to have research interests in the application of Bayesian statistics in archaeology, but now also works on problems in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.

Research interests:

My research draws on experience in archaeology, palaeoenvironmental science and statistics, encouraging experts from a range of fields to share ideas and resources. Previous and current work includes:
  • analysis of field survey data from Britain and Greece.
  • the calibration and interpretation of groups of related radiocarbon determinations.
  • the provenancing of archaeological ceramics with the aid of chemical compositional data.
  • development of models for relative archaeological chronology building (seriation).
  • analysis of the structure of prehistoric corbelled domes.
  • the use of Bayesian radiocarbon calibration to aid in tephrochronology.
  • models for interpreting spatio-temporal data such as those relating to the recolonisation of a landscape in response to past climate change or the arrival of domesticated cereals at the start of the Neolithic in Europe.
  • the development of models and methods for estimating radiocarbon calibration curves.
  • development of tailored statistical models to aid in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction on the basis of data preserved in ice cores and lake/ocean sediments.