Professor Caitlin E. Buck

School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Sheffield Hicks Building Sheffield S3
7RH United Kingdom
Phone: +44 114 222 3715 (direct line) Phone:
+44 114 222 3752 (School office) Fax: +44 114 222
3809 Email: c.e.buck@sheffield.ac.uk

Biographical information
I graduated with a B.Sc. in Archaeological Science from the
University of Bradford in 1987. I 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 parttime PhD in statistics in 1994. My PhD thesis
title was: Towards Bayesian Archaeology.
From Nottingham I moved to Cardiff University to take up a post
as Lecturer in Computing in the School of History and Archaeology
(19942001). During that time, I continued my research on the
application of statistics to archaeology and moved to the University
of Sheffield in mid2001.
Since arriving in Sheffield I have continued my research at the
interface between archaeology and statistics and have broadened my
horizons to work on the application of Bayesian statistical methods
to a range of issues in palaeoenvironmental science.
Research interests
My general research interests lie in applied Bayesian statistics. I work almost exclusively on the quantification, management, modelling and interpretation of large, complex or uncertain datasets in archaeology and palaeoenvironmental science. I am, however, also interested in foundational Bayesian matters such as elicitation of expert knowledge and development of methods for robust inference when such knowledge is highly subjective and personal.
Previous, recent and ongoing research work has included:
 the calibration and
interpretation of groups of related radiocarbon determinations.
 development of models for
representing archaeological and palaeoenvironmental a priori
information for chronology building.
 developing formal approaches to
address issues of contemporaneity in archaeological and
palaeoenvironmental research.
 forward models for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.
 models for
construction of the internationallyagreed radiocarbon calibration curves.
 Bayesian models for treering dating.
 statistical methods
for quantifying the uncertainties in ice core dating and for matching
ice core records one to another.
 analysis of field survey data
from Britain and Greece.
 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.
 development of models for interpreting spatiotemporal data such as those relating to the
recolonisation of a landscape in response to past climate change.
 the use of Bayesian radiocarbon calibration to aid in tephrochronology.
I am also the coordinator of a project which provides the
online Bayesian radiocarbon calibration software known as BCal 
http://bcal.sheffield.ac.uk.
Researchers from around the world are welcome to use the service for
any radiocarbon calibration that might benefit from the integration
of chronological information from a range of sources.
Teaching
My teaching responsibilities vary from yeartoyear, but I am generally responsible for training in applied statistics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
PhD students
I am happy to discuss supervising students who want to work on any application of statistics to archaeology or palaeoenvironmental science (including past climate). Current and previous PhD students have worked on the following.
 Bryony Moody, Heritage Data Analytics: sustainable strategies for large and complex stratigraphic and chronometric data
 Fiona Turner, Reconstructing the past and predicting the future: what can icecores tell us about climate?
 Masoud Hassan, Applications of Bayesian statistics in palaeoenvironmental science.
 Emma Jones, Practical Bayesian dendrochronology.
 Lynsey McColl, Statistical tools for investigating contemporaneity and colocation in archaeological records.
 Angela Karlsberg, Flexible Bayesian methods for archaeological dating.
Some recent publications
 Sweeney J., SalterTownshend M., Edwards T., Buck C.E. and Parnell A.C. (2018). Statistical Challenges in Estimating Past Climate Changes. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Statistics, doi:10.1002/wics.1437.
 Bennett K.D. and Buck C.E. (2016). Interpretation of lake sediment accumulation rates. Holocene, 26(7), 10921102.
 Buck C.E. and Meson B. (2015). On being a good Bayesian. World Archaeology, 47, 567584.
 Dye T.S. and Buck C.E. (2015). Archaeological sequence diagrams and Bayesian chronological models. Journal of Archaeological Science, 83, 8493.
 Seddon A.W., Mackay A.W., Baker A.G., Birks H.J.B., Breman E., Buck C.E., Ellis E.C., Froyd C.A., Gill J.L., Gillson L., Johnson E.A., Jones V.J., Juggins S., MaciasFauria M., Mills K., Morris J.L., NogusBravo D., Punyasena S.W., Roland T.P., FTanentzap A.J., Willis K.J. and the Palaeo50 Working Group (2014). Looking forward through the past: identification of fifty priority research questions in palaeoecology. Journal of Ecology, 102(1), 256267.
 Reimer P.J., Bard E., Bayliss A., Beck J.W., Blackwell P.G., Bronk Ramsey C., Buck C.E., Edwards R.L., Friedrich M., Grootes P.M., Guilderson T.P., Haflidason H., Hajdas I., Hatte C., Heaton T.J., Hoffmann D.L., Hogg A.G., Hughen K.A., Kaiser K.F., Kromer B., Manning S.W., Niu M., Reimer R.W., Richards D.A., Scott E.M., Southon J.R., Staff R.A., Turney C.S.M. and van der Plicht J. (2013). IntCal13 and Marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 050,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon, 55(4), 18691887.
 Reimer P.J., Baillie M.G.L., Bard E., Bayliss A., Beck J.W., Blackwell P.G., Bronk Ramsey C., Buck C.E., Burr G.S., Edwards R.L., Friedrich M., Grootes11 P.M., Guilderson T.P., Hajdas I., Heaton T.J., Hogg A.G., Hughen K.A., Kaiser K.F., Kromer B., McCormac F.G., Manning S.W., Reimer R.W., Richards D.A., Southon J.R., Talamo S., Turney C.S.M., van der Plicht J. and Weyhenmeyer C.E. (2009). IntCal09 and Marine09 Radiocarbon Age Calibration Curves, 050,000 Years cal BP. Radiocarbon, 51(4), 11111150.
 Blackwell P.G. and Buck C.E.
(2008). Estimating radiocarbon calibration curves. Bayesian Analysis, 3, 225248.
 Parnell A.C., Haslett J., Allen J.R.M., Buck C.E. and Huntley B. (2008) A flexible approach to
assessing synchroneity of past events using Bayesian reconstructions of sedimentation history. Quaternary Science
Reviews, 27, 18721885.
I am also coauthor of:
 C. E. Buck, W. G. Cavanagh and C.
D. Litton (1996). The Bayesian Approach to Interpreting
Archaeological Data, Wiley, Chichester.
 O'Hagan A., Buck C.E., Daneshkhah A., Eiser R., Garthwaite
P., Jenkinson D., Oakley J. and Rakow T. (2006). Uncertain
Judgements: Eliciting Expert Probabilities. Wiley, London.
and coeditor of:
Personal interests
In my spare time I cook, garden and help my husband to brew wine.
What I like most is growing vegetables, utilising the produce to
cook vegetarian dishes from around the world and sharing the results
with groups of friends  especially if they happen to like home
brewed wine. Fortunately, given the other interests, I also swim on my way to work!
This page is maintained by
Caitlin Buck
and was last updated Nov 2018.