Shelby Navone

Postgraduate Researcher, Institute for Digital Culture

A white, early 30's woman with blonde hair, wearing all black, sits on a stool with arms and legs crossed in front of a red brick wall

School/Department: Museum Studies, School of



Personal Website

Digital Heritage Content



As a PhD candidate in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester and a fellow of the Institute for Digital Culture, my work focuses on improving digital accessibility for neurodivergent individuals in museums. I’m currently exploring the intersections of digital storytelling and emerging XR technologies to create empathetic interactive cultural heritage experiences. Simultaneously, I volunteer as a Lead Exhibitions Curator at Leicester Museum & Gallery.

With a BSc in Anthropology and Archaeology and an MA in Museum & Artefact Studies, I have extensive experience with material culture studies, community archaeology, and collections management. As an Independent Digital Heritage Content Creator with a growing following on social media (@PhDShelbyAdventures), I blend academia with accessible online engagement.

My 11-year technology journey includes roles as a Database Systems Coordinator at Rockefeller University and as a Mobile Technician and Creative at Apple. Noteworthy achievements include managing a $1 million+ database system migration project and conducting over 2,000 digital learning workshops at Apple.

I also spent two years as a professional Arts & Humanities Teacher in Seoul, integrating archaeology and art into the curriculum. Multiple internships in museums and volunteer archaeological work underscore my commitment to the heritage sector.


Navone, S. (2022). A Late-Medieval 'Lyre-Shaped' Buckle from the Durham River Wear Assemblage. Durham Archaeological Journal, 23(Transactions of the Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland), 109–122.


2023 Future 50 PhD Studentship: Full Scholarship

2022 Geoff Egan Prize winner, Finds Research Group. The award is made to the author of the best MA or MSc dissertation undertaken in a given year, recognising an individual's talent and extraordinary potential in the field of finds research.

2020 Santander Scholarship: £2000


Media coverage

Press Release: Virtual Vessels and Tangible Touch: Slow Engagement in the Digital Era

1 February 2024 - What might unfold when you pause to slowly engage all senses with material objects in both physical and virtual realms? This question took centre stage at ‘Somatic Vessels’, a collaborative event organised by Future 50 PhD Candidate Shelby Navone, a Fellow of the Institute for Digital Culture at the University of Leicester, and Jenna Hall, a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (MADA) at Monash University, Australia. For full press release, click here.

Interview: Leicester welcomes its world-changing Future 50 researchers



MA (with Distinction) Museum & Artefact Studies - Durham University - 2021

BSc (with Honours) Archaeology/Anthropology - Portland State University 2018
Latin Honours Recognition | Cum Laude | Dean’s List 2014-2018
President | Anthropology Students for Community Engagement| 2016-2017


TEFL Certified- 120 Hour Premier TEFL Course, Apple Certified Portable Technician (ACPT) & Apple Certified Trainer (ACT) 

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