My B.A is in Egyptology with Coptic from Liverpool University (UK), including introductory Akkaddian and the Prehistory of Europe; my PhD is from University College London on ancient Egyptian painted ceramics. Whilst undertaking the latter I was also G. A. Wainwright Research Fellow in Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Oxford (1976-81). Subsequent to this research I held post-doctoral research fellowships at The University of Melbourne and Macquarie University, and then was a contract lecturer at The University of Melbourne and Monash University, and Curator of Mediterranean Antiquities at Museum Victoria. I have taught the archaeology, history and language of ancient Egypt at Monash University since 1990, and am co-founder of its archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean programme. I am an advisor to the National Gallery of Victoria and associate of Museum Victoria.
I have participated in archaeological fieldwork in Jordan (1971-3), Syria (1973), the Sinai (1976) and Egypt (annually since 1974); in the latter I have worked at Malkata, Saqqara and in the Dakhleh Oasis, and on material also from Memphis and Karnak North. Since 1978 I have been a co-investigator on the Dakhleh Oasis Project responsible for the study of the ceramics from the prehistoric to late Roman periods. In 1986 I commenced excavations at the Roman period settlement of Ismant el-Kharab and in 2000 at the multi-period site of Mut el-Kharab, both in Dakhleh Oasis; these excavations are on-going. The excavations have been funded through the Dakhleh Oasis Project, The Australian Research Council, Monash University, the Egypology Society of Victoria, Australians Studying Abroad and Columbia University.
I continue a life-long interest in the study of ancient Egyptian ceramics and their use in the reconstruction of ancient society; I am currently preparing for publication the New Kingdom blue-painted pottery from Karnak North (excavations by the French Institute in Cairo) and Memphis (excavations by the Egypt Exploration Society, London), while also trying to finalize the publication of the 18th Dynasty ceramics from Malkata (University of Pennsylvania excavations).
Concurrently I research the history and nature of settlement in Egypt’s Western desert, especially Dakhleh Oasis through my excavations; I am working on the publication of 5 late Roman houses excavated at Ismant el-Kharab.
I am also looking at the archaeology of ancient Egypt with particular reference to the Western Desert, and cultural interaction between ancient Egyptians and their western neighbours; ancient Egyptian and western desert ceramics; Egyptianizing monuments in Australia and collections of Egyptian antiquities in Australia.