His primary focus in recent years has been in the archaeology of the eastern Mediterranean (Aegean, Egypt and the Levant), and in the Paleolithic period (with Tom Higham). Radiocarbon dating (0-50ka) provides one of the main ways for dating the later Quaternary (0-2.5Ma) and in particular the dating of modern human expansion into Europe, Neanderthal extinction and faunal/human responses to the climate variability during the last glacial cycle. P., Haflidason, H., Hajdas, I., Hatte,, C., Heaton, T. My interests in stable isotopes are defined by the work of the group as a whole.That is to say in recovering palaeodietary and environmental information concerning humans and animals in an archaeological context.This work has close connections with radiocarbon dating (where carbon flux is an essential basis), with the diagenetic alteration of bone during burial, and with the identification of surviving biomolecules.
One approach being taken is at the individual amino acid level.Another is the study of other isotopes such as sulphur, hydrogen and oxygen, and also collaborative development work on calcium and boron.His main research has been in the application of physical sciences to archaeology and the environmental sciences and in particular in the use of radiocarbon isotope studies: As director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, he has been involved in many different archaeological projects. These projects include those that are led from Oxford, and those that are collaborative with scholars elsewhere.
Much of his current research is directed to improving radiocarbon as a method for quaternary research. He is a member of the international INTCAL committee that oversees the calibration of radiocarbon.