Miss Alette Blom (2019)
I have always been mesmerized by the world around me and by how everything seems to fit so perfectly together. During high school I tried to combine as many different courses as I could - from biology to history and from arts to math – in order to try and understand all these connections. My teachers continuously tried to explain to me that those fields would never come together in my future. Close to the registration deadline for universities, however, I was introduced to archaeology and fell instantly in love. Studying archaeology has enabled me to learn a lot about subjects ranging from ecology to geology, from history to biomolecular sciences and from arts to evolutionary processes. After a BA in archaeology at Leiden University, I continued to do a Research Master in Bioarchaeology, focusing on human skeletal remains. I have found the field I belong in and that aims to understand how all sciences interplay with each other. I am therefore thrilled to be starting my PhD in archaeology, researching how leprosy sufferers in medieval England have experienced living with their disease, both socially and biologically. I will do so by taking a multidisciplinary approach combining archaeology, osteology, paleopathology, isotope research, biomolecular approaches and historical sources.