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Kirsi received her PhD from University of Cambridge (Trinity College) in 2004, with focus on human bioarchaeology. Prior to joining the Cyprus Institute (CyI) and its Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center (STARC) in 2008, Kirsi was the Director of the Wolfson Bioarchaeology Laboratory and tenured Faculty at Newcastle University. At CyI she served as the Chair of the Faculty Council of the Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center. She was the Scientific Coordinator of the EU FP7 project STACHEM (Science and Technology for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in the Eastern Mediterranean).
Kirsi’s current research focuses on synchrotron radiation enabled bioarchaeology, as well as other scientific and technological means to approach key questions about the human past through archaeological human tissues, ranging from bone and teeth to hair and skin remains. She is currently involved in analyses of human remains from the wider Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region and beyond, including Cyprus, Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Egypt. Her particular research interests include heavy metal exposure in the past through focus on microstructures of ancient human tissues, using synchrotron radiation techniques. Kirsi currently supervises five PhD students, engaging them in regular beamtimes at synchrotron radiation facilities at ESRF, SESAME, and PSI (Swiss Light Source). Kirsi led the first official user group at the newly opened SESAME synchrotron (http://www.sesame.org.jo/sesame_2018/node/253), including two of her PhD students.
Kirsi is the Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee of the EU H2020 project BEATS (Beamline for Tomography at SESAME), building a tomography beamline at SESAME synchrotron (https://beats.esrf.fr/), as well as in charge of the user community building for this SESAME beamline. She serves as the Cyprus Representative to the SESAME synchrotron SUC committee (www.sesame.org.jo), and the Cyprus Representative to ESUO (European Synchrotron and Field Electron Laser User Organisation; www.esuo.org). Kirsi also represents Cyprus as the Management Committee Member at EU H2020 COST Action COMULIS (Correlated Multimodal Imaging in Life Sciences; https://www.comulis.eu/about-cost), as the COMULIS WG3T2 leader, and as the Cyprus Member in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) project RER1018. She led the IAEA-SESAME training course on synchrotron radiation techniques for Cultural Heritage in 2018 at the SESAME synchrotron.
Kirsi currently leads two large funded projects with international consortia including synchrotron radiation facilities: BioMERA - Platform for Biosciences and Human Health in Cyprus: MicroCT and Synchrotron Radiation Enabled Analyses (1 million Euros; 2019-2023; funded by Research and Innovation Foundation, Cyprus; RIF Infrastructure Project) and FF-MAC - Face to Face: Meet an Ancient Cypriot (>1 million Euros, 2019-2022; funded by Research and Innovation Foundation, Cyprus; RIF Integrated Project). BioMERA focuses on constructing a custom-built, state-of-the-art, walk-in-hutch X-ray microCT and a related instrumentation platform and pipelines, including both laboratory and synchrotron radiation facilities. FF-MAC constructs osteo- and odontobiographies through scientific and technological means, including use of synchrotron radiation techniques (e.g. SR-microXRF, XANES, EXAFS, SR-FTIR, SR-phase contrast microCT, holographic tomography, ptychography) and translates these to ancient life stories for elaboration for visitor engagement in both museum and enterprise contexts, involving the governmental sector, industry, academia, and other interested organisations.