Network Steering Group

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Lauren Burleson

Lauren Burleson

Lauren is an objects conservator specialising in remedial treatment of historic organic objects especially from natural history, social history, medical history, and ethnographic collections. She has strong experience in and passion for exhibitions and conservation project management.

She is currently a conservator at the Natural History Museum in London, and has also worked as a conservator at the Science Museum and the University of Cambridge Museums (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and Museum of Classical Archaeology especially). She completed her MA in the Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects through Durham University in 2020, graduating in January 2021 with distinction. Lauren’s research interests include the conservation of human remains and objects made from them, complex ethnographic and composite objects, the formation of copper soap corrosion (on which she presented a poster detailing treatment on a Saudi Arabian face veil at the 2020 IIC Edinburgh Congress), and glass deterioration (for which she won the Nigel Williams Student Prize in 2021 for the conservation of progressed glass deterioration on blue beads in a human bone Rus rGyan ensemble).

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Karoline Sofie Hennum

Karoline Sofie Hennum

Icon Emerging Professionals Network

Karoline Sofie is an objects conservator who specialises in the conservation of maritime objects from both archaeological and historical context. In the second half of 2020, she graduated with a MA in Objects Conservation through the University of Oslo. For her MA dissertation she investigated drying methods for waterlogged boats for the Norwegian Maritime Museum.

She is currently working as a conservator at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, and she has previously completed internships in conservation at The University of Edinburgh and in conservation science at the Mary Rose Trust. Karoline Sofie is an advocate for sustainability in conservation, which has led to her being one of the contributors to the handbook Greener Solvents in Conservation - An Introductory Guide. Writing about her conservation work is a great passion of hers, and a big research project she took part in during her time at the Mary Rose Trust has been published in the journal Forests. 

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Rebecca Plumbe

Rebecca Plumbe

Graduating with a BA (Hons) and MA in object conservation from the University of Lincoln, Rebecca is currently working to assist a large-scale store move encompassing the University of Oxford’s museum collections, which include the Pitt Rivers, Ashmolean, Science Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

Previously, she undertook a two-year Clothworkers' Foundation internship at the Pitt Rivers museum working on the What's in our Drawers? project. In this role she conserved, curated and re-displayed the ethnographic collections housed in their famous publicly accessible drawers. She has also worked as a project conservator for Lincoln Conservation, working on ceramic and historic decorative interiors, as well as conserving archaeological human remains and artefacts for Oxfordshire County Council’s Museums Resource Centre.

Rebecca enjoys speaking about her work and has presented papers at international conferences, including at Icon19 (Belfast), Artefacta (Helsinki) and StuCo (Dresden). She has also spoken about the What’s in our Drawers? project in a webinar hosted by the Icon Ethnography Group, and most recently presented a poster at the Icon Ceramics, Glass & Stained Glass Group’s virtual conference, Fragmented Stories, focusing on the use of 3D scanning technology as an aid to recreating missing elements on ceramic objects. As part of the Icon EPN team she is keen to foster opportunities for emerging conservators to support career development and champion their voice in the conservation community.

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Riva Boutylkova

Riva Boutylkova

Riva is an emerging objects conservator currently working at Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), treating fresh archaeological finds and providing conservation support for excavations in and around London. Before this, she worked with the archaeological collection of the Museum of London and did freelance work for Dorset Museum, supporting a £15M redevelopment project. During this time, she worked on remedial treatments for objects going on display, installation and decants of exhibitions, object handling and collection care training, condition reporting and creating museum conservation protocols. 

In 2020, Riva completed her MA in Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects at Durham University, during which she did a 9-month placement at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. Here she worked on research projects for her degree, while also being involved in the day-to-day collection care and exhibition planning.

Besides her current work in archaeology, Riva is also interested in social history collections, glass & ceramics conservation and museum outreach projects. She has been in the EPN committee for two years and enjoys connecting with fellow emerging professionals, and the collaboration and enthusiasm that the network encourages.

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Carola Del Mese

Carola Del Mese

Carola is a student member of the Emerging Professionals Network. She is currently studying an MA in Conservation of Metals at West Dean College, following a Post Graduate diploma in the same subject. Her undergraduate degree was in 3-Dimentional Glass Craftsmanship and Design at Wolverhampton University. 

Carola entered conservation from a career in the creative arts, having trained as a theatrical prop-maker at Glyndebourne Opera House, focusing on metalwork, scenic prop making and sculpture.

In 2018 Carola undertook an internship in the conservation department of Brighton Royal Pavilion and Museums, and during her Post Graduate year at West Dean, Carola received the Arts Scholar’s Conservation Award,  the Sydney Sanders Trust Award and The BADA Harold Davies Prize for her student projects. Prior to her MA in 2020, Carola interned at Fishbourne Roman Palace and Worthing Museum in Sussex and initiated public engagement projects within both of these institutions. Her focus is on metalwork and archaeological objects, and her MA research project developing a gap-filling material for outdoor metal objects. 

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