Following my BA in History at the University of Manchester, I completed a PhD under the supervision of Professor Barri Jones at the same University. I was a British Academy Post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford (1986-1989), then Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan before coming to Leicester in December 1991 as a Lecturer. I was promoted to Reader (1995) and Professor (1998). I held a British Academy Research Readership award from 1999-2001 and was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2003.
I am currently Director of Research for the College of Arts, Humanities and Law (2009-2012). I also hold a major research grant from the European Research Council for the Trans-Sahara Project.