His main research has been in the application of physical sciences to archaeology and the environmental sciences and in particular in the use of radiocarbon isotope studies: As director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, he has been involved in many different archaeological projects.
Much of his current research is directed to improving radiocarbon as a method for quaternary research. He is a member of the international INTCAL committee that oversees the calibration of radiocarbon. Two current research grants are directed at improving the global datasets for radiocarbon calibration. Over the last 15 years he has worked extensively on the application of Bayesian statistical methods to the study of chronology in both Archaeology and Quaternary environmental research. E., Haraguchi, T., Gotanda, K., Yonenobu, H., Yokoyama, Y., Nakagawa, T.
E., Haraguchi, T., Gotanda, K., Yonenobu, H., Yokoyama, Y & Suigetsu 2006 project members.
L., Brock, F., Kitagawa, H., van der Plicht, J., Schlolaut, G., Marshall, M.
He has formulated a systematic approach to approaching chronological research, which is embedded in the widely used software package Ox Cal.
Trained as a physicist, much of his early-career research was in the development of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) techniques including the development of gas ion sources for AMS which allows the measurement of very small samples and a technique, GC-AMS with applications in the environmental and biological sciences.
More recently he has been most concerned with the development of high-precision techniques and their applications to archaeological and environmental problems.
Identification and correlation of visible tephras in the Lake Suigetsu SG06 sedimentary archive, Japan: Chronostratigraphic markers for synchronising of east Asian/west Pacific Pacific palaeoclimatic records for 150ka Staff, R. L., Brock, F., Kitagawa, H., van der Plicht, J., Schlolaut, G., Marshall, M.