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The Forum for Island Research and Experience was first established in 2003 at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, by Jago Cooper (British Museum) and Helen Dawson (Freie Universität Berlin). Its original aim was to bring together researchers from the Institute of Archaeology for discussion and comparative debate and quickly grew in response to the growing interest from other researchers around the United Kingdom and further afield.


Nearly 16 years later, it was decided to be revived by two current PhD students, Sarah Forgesson and Jose J. Garay-Vazquez, both of whom focus on islands in the South Pacific and the Pan-Caribbean respectively (see below). 

In 2019, FIRE aims to continue to build upon the legacy of the first network group, providing an environment for anyone interested in sharing their island research or experience in the company of like-minded individuals. 







Sustainable Chemistry

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2023 - 2023

University of Providence

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Small-Molecule Solar Cells

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Metal Free Hydrogen Activation

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The Chemistry of Energy Conversion

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2023 - 2023

Eastern Delta University

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2023 - 2023

Gaithersville University

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Who Are We

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Sarah Forgesson

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New Zealand born archaeologist with a number of years experience across Oceania. Currently focused on helping to develop sustainable and representative heritage management and preservation strategies for small island nations in the face of climate change


Research Interests:

  • Management of Archaeological Sites and Cultural Landscapes

  • Indigenous Heritage and Archaeology

  • Climate Change and Heritage

  • South Pacific Archaeology and Heritage

  • GIS and Landscape Theory



Areas Worked



United Kingdom


South Pacific




Jose Julian Garay-Vazquez

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Puerto Rican born archaeologist with experience in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. Currently researching human-plant dynamics of pre-Columbian Puerto Rico to reconstruct past agricultural and subsistence systems.



Research interests: 

  • Environmental archaeology (Archaeobotany, Zooarchaeology, Geoarchaeology)

  • Archaeology of Food and Cuisine

  • Experimental Archaeology

  • Reconstruction of Paleoenvironments and Paleoclimate



Areas Worked






Regions in Research Network





British Isles

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