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Dr B. Tyr Fothergill

Job: Research Fellow, Human Brain Project

Faculty: Technology

School/department: School of Computer Science and Informatics

Research group(s): Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 366 4823




Personal profile

Human Brain Project, Researcher Awareness, Research Integrity, RRI, Social Responsibility, Ethics, Archaeology, Archaeogaming, Perception Studies, Multispecies Studies

Research group affiliations

Games and Interactive Media Research

Publications and outputs 

(Peer-Reviewed Publications)

Aicardi, C., Fothergill, B.T., Rainey, S., Stahl, B.C. and Harris, E., 2018. Accompanying technology development in the Human Brain Project: From foresight to ethics management. Futures.

Fothergill, B.T. and Flick, C. 2017. Chickens in video games: archaeology and ethics inform upon complex relationships. In A.A. Mol, C. E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, K.H.J. Boom and Aris Politopoulos, eds. The Interactive Past: Video Games and Archaeology. VALUE, Leiden. 

Fothergill, B.T. 2017 Human-aided movement of avian leucosis viruses and the archaeology of “avian osteopetrosis”. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, not yet paginated. 

Colonese, A. C., Lucquin, A., Guedes, E. P., Thomas, R., Best, J., Fothergill, B.T., Sykes, N., Foster, A., Miller, H., Poole, K., Maltby, M., Craig, O. 2017. Direct evidence of poultry processing in archaeological ceramic vessels. Journal of Archaeological Science 78, pp. 179-192. 

Fothergill, B.T. 2017. Urban Animals: Human-Poultry Relationships in Later Post-Medieval Belfast. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 21(1), pp. 107-133. 

Fothergill, B.T. 2016. Reconstructing animal husbandry: Pathologies in Meleagris gallopavo (Domestic Turkey) in the American Southwest (c. AD 900-1678). Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 10 (December), pp. 557-565. 

Fothergill, B.T. and Flick, C. 2015. The ethics of human-chicken relationships in video games: the origins of the digital chicken. SIGCAS Computers & Society 45 (3), pp. 100-108. 

Peters, J., Lebrasseur, O., Best, J., Miller, H., Fothergill, B.T., Dobney, K., Thomas R., Maltby, M., Sykes, N., Hanotte, O., O’Connor, T., Collins, M. and Larson, G. 2015. Questioning new answers regarding Holocene chicken domestication in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112 (9), pp. E2415. 

Thomas, R. M. and Fothergill, B.T., eds. 2014. Animals, and their bones, in the ‘modern’ world. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of ICAZ, Paris National Museum of Natural History, Paris Anthropozoologica 49 (1). 

Fothergill, B.T. 2014. The husbandry, perception and ‘improvement’ of the turkey in Britain, 1500-1900. Post-Medieval Archaeology 48 (1), pp. 207-228. 

Thomas, R. M. and Fothergill, B.T. 2014. Foreword: Animals, and their bones, in the modern world: a multi-scalar zooarchaeology. In Thomas, R.M. and Fothergill, B.T., eds. Animals, and their bones, in the ‘modern’ world. Anthropozoologica 49 (1), pp. 11-18. 

Fothergill, B.T., Thomas, R.M. and Morris, J. 2012. Avian tibial dyschondroplasia in 19th-century turkey (Meleagris gallopavo L. 1758) remains from the Royal London Hospital. International Journal of Palaeopathology 2 (4), pp. 240-45. 

Mattingly, D. J., Abduli, H., Ahmed, M., Cole, F., Fenwick, C., Fothergill, B.T., Gonzalez Rodriguez, M., Hobson, M., Khalaf, N., Lahr, M., Moussa, M., Nikita, E., Nikolaus, J., Radini, A., Ray, N., Savage, T., Sterry, M., Wilson, A. 2011. DMP XII: Excavations and Survey of the so-called Garamantian Royal Cemetery (GSC030-031). Libyan Studies 42, pp. 89-102. 

Driver, J. C., Tarcan, C. and Fothergill, B.T. 2008. Faunal Remains from the Bluff Great House. In C. M. Cameron, ed. Chaco and Post-Chaco in the Northern San Juan Region: Excavations at the Great Bluff House. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Research interests/expertise

Responsible Research and Innovation, Researcher Awareness, Research Integrity and Ethics, Archaeology of the recent past, Human relationships with non-human entities (biological and synthetic), Human impacts on animal health, Human perceptions of digital interactions, Archaeogaming, the material culture of communities without physical proximity


PhD - Archaeology, University of Leicester, UK (August, 2012)

MA - Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, B.C., Canada (May, 2008)                         

BA - Anthropology, University of Colorado at Boulder, U.S.A. (May, 2003)

Honours and awards

2018     Chosen for participation in HBP Career Building Programme, UPM Madrid

2016     Nominated to the Aurora Women’s Leadership Programme (£1250)

2014     Chosen to deliver Doctoral Inaugural Lecture at the University of Leicester

2013     Marc Fitch Foundation Research Grant: Poultry and People in 19th-Century                   Belfast (£1000)

2013     University of Leicester Doctoral Prize (£150)

2010     Student Union's Choice award, Festival of Postgraduate Research (£50)

Membership of professional associations and societies

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

SIGCAS (Special Interest Group: Computers and Society)

Professional licences and certificates

FHEA (Fellowship of the Higher Education Association), MCIfA (Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists)

Forthcoming events

Data Governance in International Neuro-ICT Collaborations

Panel: BRAAAAAAAINS! Archaeology and Philosophy of Zombies in Games, PAX East

Conference attendance

Conference Organisation 

2018     Data Governance in International Neuro-ICT Collaborations, for the Human Brain Project and ORBIT, the Observatory for Responsible Research in ICT. 

Session Organisation 

2017     Health and Welfare: Our Chickens/Ourselves, Open Conference on Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions, Oxford University Museum of Natural History

2013     Zooarchaeology in urban environments (AD 1500-1900), Society for Historical Archaeology, University of Leicester 

Selected Presentations 

2017     Clicks and Clucks: archaeology and ethics of digital chicken-human relationships. (with C. Flick) Presented to PAX East, Boston, U.S.A.

2017     Avian osteopetrosis: Archaeological evidence for transmissible disease in chickens. Presented at the Conference on Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions, Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

2017     From Godhood to Gastronomy: the turkey as transformed by human perceptions. Presented at the Leeds Food History Symposium, York, UK.

2016     A More Efficient Way of Going Backward? Animal Husbandry as Technology. Presented at the 22nd Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, Vilnius, Lithuania.

2016     How archaeology and ethics inform upon digital portrayals of the chicken. (with C. Flick) Presented at The Interactive Past: Video Games and Archaeology at Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands.

2016     Human-poultry relationships in 18th to 20th-century Belfast and Ulster. Presented to the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, Sheffield, UK.

2015     Hollow Women: theory and creation of a research exhibit. School of Archaeology and Ancient History Seminar Series, University of Leicester

2015     The archaeology and ethics of animals in video games. (with C. Flick) Presented at ETHICOMP, Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, de Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

2015     Urban Animals: Poultry and People in Post-Medieval Belfast. Presented at the Association for Environmental Archaeology, York, UK.

2014     Reconstructing Animal Husbandry. Presented at the International Council for Archaeozoology, San Rafael, Argentina.

2014     Perceptions and husbandry of chickens across North Africa. Presented at the International Council for Archaeozoology, San Rafael, Argentina.

2014     Animal Traffic in the Sahara. (with D. Mattingly and M. Sterry) Presented to XIe Colloque international Histoire et Archéologie de l’Afrique du Nord, Hommes et animaux au Maghreb, de la Préhistoire au Moyen Age: explorations d’une relation complexe. Marseille et Aix-en-Provence, France.

2014     Palaeopathology and care of poultry in Britain, AD 1500-1900. (with R. Thomas and R. Gordon) Presented to the World Association for the History of Veterinary Medicine, London, UK.

2014     A Tale of Two Turkeys. Doctoral inaugural lecture at the University of Leicester.

2014     The Turkey or the Egg: Cycles of perception in the husbandry of domestic species. (Winner of the UK AHRC Ignite Competition)

2013     On Barren Wings: Feather harvesting and injury in domestic turkeys from the American Southwest. Presented to the British Animal Studies Network, Strathclyde, Scotland, UK.

2013     Providing “pullen” to the Public: Poulterers and Poultry. Presented at the Joint Conference of the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group XII and the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, Derry, Northern Ireland.

2013     Poultry in Motion: Chickens and other domestic birds in cities. Presented at the Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, UK.


Externally funded research grants information

The Human Brain Project; European Commission-funded Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship Project on neuroscience, computing, and brain-related medicine 02/10/2017-03/31/2020, Research Fellow in Ethics and Researcher Awareness collaborating with project members at more than 120 institutions across Europe and beyond. 

Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions; AHRC-funded interdisciplinary, cross-cultural investigation of human-chicken relationships from species domestication onward through time 04/01/2014-05/01/2017, Research Associate collaborating with project members in at the Universities of Leicester, Oxford, Roehampton, Bournemouth and Nottingham. 

Poultry and People in 19th-century Belfast, Marc Fitch-funded examination of how relationships between people, poultry, and places in 17th to early 20th -century Belfast reflected wider changes in perceptions of gender, education, sport, welfare, and disease. 2013-2015, PI collaborating with members of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Northern Archaeological Consultancy.

Professional esteem indicators

Peer-review of papers and books for ETHICOMP, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, the International Journal for Osteoarchaeology, and Medieval Archaeology

Panel member and reviewer, UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (Science in Culture)        

Case studies

Interview, Culture File on RTÉ Lyric FM (Ireland) on digital research for social impact

Designed, created, and installed public (physical and online) exhibit on gender in past animal husbandry

Interview, Voice America show “Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st-Century Archaeology”

Public talk for AHRC Science in Culture Ignite event on non-human palaeopathology

Activity leader at Being Human event, Vindolanda (zooarchaeology and animal husbandry)

Contributed to article in New Scientist (December-January, “Big Bird”, pp. 73-75)

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