Denis is a native of Wexford but long term resident of Birr, County Offaly. He holds a BA (2001) in Archaeology and History and an MA (2002) in Landscape Archaeology from University College Dublin – the latter focused on an archaeological review of the Slaney Estuary. In 2014 he was awarded a PhD (2014) from Monash University (Melbourne) for his doctoral research, ‘Changing Places: An Archaeological Study of Manilikarr Country in Western Arnhem Land’, a study which adopted a collaborative archaeological survey with the host community. Since then Denis’ focus has been on building long-standing sustainable archaeological/heritage projects with local communities.
Denis joined the Irish Archaeology Field School as partner in 2014, and is one of the co-founders and Director of the Irish Heritage School DAC. Between his post-graduate studies Denis worked as a professional archaeologist for nearly 10 years, covering a wide array of research topics. He was granted full Irish archaeological licence eligibility in 2006 and since that date has acted as senior archaeologist on a range of projects – with a focus on the High Medieval period.
Denis’ current research interests lie in the sub-disciplines of public/community archaeology, landscape archaeology, Indigenous Australian archaeology/archaeology of rock art and, latterly, Medieval Irish archaeology. He has published locally, nationally and internationally on these topics. Denis is also an adjunct with Australia National University (ANU Researcher), one of the foremost archaeological departments in the world and largest university in Australia.
Denis is an instructor for the Ireland: Ferrycarrig field school, run in partnership with the Institute for Field Research. He teaches an experiential anthropology module for Maynooth University and serves on the steering committee of the Oral History Network of Ireland and the Community Archaeology Group of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland.