In 2018-19, Dr Abidemi Babalola spent several months as a postdoctoral fellow at STARC to continue his research on indigenous glass production in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. During this time he focussed on the study of crucible fragments with adhering remains of the glassmaking raw materials, using optical microscopy and SEM-EDS analysis in our labs.

During his time at STARC the Shanghai Archaeological World Forum awarded him the prestigious 2019 Field Discovery Award for his work on the early Nigerian glass, recognizing his exceptional research and discoveries. The SAF Selection Committee reviewed 116 valid nominations made to the 4th Shanghai Archaeology Forum. A procedure of two rounds of assessment and adjudication was adopted, emphasizing the principles of excellence and impartiality, resulting in just ten nominations for Field Discovery Awards.

Dr Babalola, who was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge at the time, is now working for the British Museum’s Department of Scientific Research on West African bronzes.