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Graduate Student Bios: Nautical Archaeology

M.A. Students  l  Ph.D Students

Landon Bell  Landon Bell

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Advisor - Kevin Crisman
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2010

Landon Bell came to the Nautical Archaeology program after a long and varied past that includes an MBA from Duquesne in Pittsburgh and a BS in Aeronautical Management from Arizona State University.  He has also worked on Enola Gay at the Smithsonian’s restoration facility in Suitland, Maryland. After seven years in the Air Force and service in Afghanistan and Iraq, he became interested in archaeology and shipping.  His current areas of interest are sunken unexploded munitions and rescue technology. 

 

 

 

Nicholas Budsberg Photo Not Available

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Advisor - Filipe Castro
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program -  2011

Nicholas Budsberg received his Bachelor in Anthropology from Western Washington University in 2010, while gaining field experience in Menorca, Spain and the Pacific Northwest. He spent his senior year working in the WWU archaeology lab learning artifact recording, conservation, and archival management. Throughout his undergraduate and graduate career, he has been involved in organizing campus educational and social events, as well as frequently volunteering within the community. Nicholas is the recipient of one of three departmental graduate student scholarships, and is actively engaged in a variety of departmental projects. Currently his research focuses on medieval and early modern seafaring, navigation, and ship construction. He is collaborating with other Iberian maritime scholars to better understand the development of these vessels, and how they affected the Iberian expansion and colonization of Africa, Asia, and the New World.

 

Lilia Campana  Photo Not Available

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Advisor - Cemal Pulak
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2006

 

 

 

 

Chris Cartellone Chris Cartellone

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Advisor - Kevin Crisman
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program -  2009


As a combat veteran, Chris Cartellone believes in the importance of engaging in constructive activity for healing both physical and psychological battlefield wounds. Chris has identified an attractive relationship between the nature of military deployments and archaeological field projects. Archaeology can foster a positive transition. Specifically, Chris plans to leverage his education into scuba diving classes and archaeological projects that can serve as a cathartic process for veterans suffering from TBI and PTSD.

For his dissertation, Chris is working in Nevis, West Indies, to test the waters for shipwrecks using remote sensing technologies. The data will build the maritime history of Nevis using an historical archaeology lens. Long-term, Chris is researching non-naval shipboard security and the use of guns as related to the maturation of nation-states in the 19th-century Age of New Imperialism, state legitimacy, and civic identity.

He holds degrees from Iowa State University in History and East Carolina University in Maritime Studies. Chris has extensive CRM experience participating and directing all phases of investigations primarily on terrestrial sites throughout the Midwestern United States. Additionally, Chris has maritime archaeological experience on projects in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, West Africa, and throughout the Caribbean.

 

José Luis Casaban Jose Luis Casaban

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Advisor - Filipe Castro
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2010

Jose Luis Casaban completed his B.A in Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Valencia (Spain) in 1998 and his M.A. in Post-Excavation Skills (GIS applications in Archaeology) at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester (UK) in 2000. Since then Jose has worked as a field archaeologist for different CRM firms in Spain and Ireland. He worked as an archaeological surveyor in Ireland for 2 years, and has directed several archaeological projects, both on land and underwater, in Spain. In addition, he was also part of the archaeological team (as an archaeologist and photogrammetry technician) working on INA’s Bajo de la Campana Phoenician Wreck project in Spain (2008-2010). Having always possessed and interest in underwater archaeology, Jose began his PhD in Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M in 2010. Since then he has taken part in the Mazotos project, a 4th century BC shipwreck located off the coast in Cyprus. Moreover, as an INA Research Associate, Jose is currently one the project directors of the Finisterre Project in Spain. This project is focused on the study of 16th Iberian seafaring shipbuilding technology, which encompasses his main doctoral research interest.

 

 

Samuel Cuellar  Samuel Cuellar


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Advisor- Filipe Castro
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2011

Sam Cuellar received his B.A. in Anthropology from Texas A&M University in 2011. As a second year Ph.D. student in the Nautical Archaeology Program, Sam’s interests include medieval seafaring, focusing on Western Europe, the Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch during the Age of Exploration, GIS, remote sensing, and ships bells. His current research focuses on the development, proliferation, and use of ship bells through the 17th century. Sam hopes to continue his research this summer in Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

 

 

Christopher Dostal  Christopher Dostal


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Advisor - TBD
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program -  2011

Chris Dostal graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011 with a BA in Anthropology. He is interested in New World seafaring, underwater excavation technology, maritime culture around the Great Lakes, and conservation. Chris recently worked to help excavate a submerged Paleoindian site on the Aucilla River in North Florida.

 

 

Douglas Inglis  Douglas Inglis


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Advisor - Shelley Wachsmann
M.A. Student
First Year in the Program - 2009


Doug Inglis studies the archaeology of seaborne exploration and contact. He is passionate about public history and outreach, and writes about nautical archaeology at http://divingarchaeology.com.

Doug served as assistant director of the Warwick Shipwreck Project, helping coordinate the excavation of an English galleon which sank in Castle Harbour, Bermuda, in November 1619. Over the course of four seasons, an international team of archaeologists precisely recorded Warwick’s extant hull, recovering important clues about the ship’s armament, cargo, rigging and design. In addition to overseeing documentation and recording, Doug was responsible for local outreach and education. He had the chance to engage visiting students from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), Woods Hole/SEA Semester and Spirit of Bermuda, and also provided formal talks at the National Museum of Bermuda, the Bermuda Sub-Aqua Club, and BIOS.

 

 

 

Carolyn Kennedy  Carolyn Kennedy


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Advisor - Kevin Crisman
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2013

 

Carolyn Kennedy graduated from Concordia University in Montreal with a BA in Honors Classical Civilizations and Anthropology.  She has participated in both the Sanisera Underwater Archaeology field school in Menorca, Spain in 2011, as well as the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's nautical archaeology field school in Vermont, US in 2012. Since attending the LCMM's field school in 2012, Carolyn has maintained a work relationship with the LCMM by participating in a dive survey in Lake George, as well as being crew aboard the 1862-canal schooner replica Lois McClure for two seasons.  Her interests include the archaeology of Lake Champlain, New World seafaring and arctic exploration.

 

 

 

Stephanie Koenig  Stephanie Koenig


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Advisor - Kevin Crisman
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2011

Stephanie Koenig graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a B.S. in Marine Science and Anthropology with honors. She has worked with the Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society in Washington, D.C. on a field school in the Florida Keys and coordinated a survey project in the Chesapeake Bay involving the identification of a 19th century shipwreck.  Her interests include studying human dispersal from a paleoceanographic perspective, particularly the expansion of humans into the Americas, as well as coastal underwater archaeology.  In her continuing work with the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval History & Heritage Command for the United States Navy, she is studying the personal effects from CSS Alabama and USS Tulip to develop her dissertation and better understand life aboard Civil War era vessels within a broader social context.

 



Meko Kofahl  Meko Kofahl


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Advisor - Shelley Wachsmann
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2009


Meko Kofahl is enrolled in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University where she is completing her Master's degree and starting work on her Doctorate. Meko received her B.A. from Washington State University with a triple concentration in Anthropology, History and English, and has worked on several archaeological projects. Most recently, she was aboard the Nautilus during their 2010 and 2011 summer expeditions working in both an archaeological and data processing capacity, helping to identify amphora and shipwreck finds. Prior experience includes Etruscan fieldwork at Murlo in Tuscany, Italy; surveying submerged Roman port sites in Minorca, Spain; and participating in contract archaeological exploration in the sites under Rome with Roma Sotterranea. Her Master's thesis involves tracing of the 6th-century plague via trade routes in the Mediterranean, using literary and archaeological evidence to more precisely identify its specific passage. Her Doctoral work is more focused on technical aspects of deepwater site exploration, particularly in using existing technologies to 'virtually' excavate a shipwreck site using sub-bottom profiling and other ground-penetrating sensors.  Meko's other interests include ancient cooking techniques and recipes (particularly Roman), cultural anthropology (in the form of travel and photography), and trying to find and photograph Endurance, Ernest Shackleton's wooden exploration ship which was violently crushed by pack ice and sunk during a fateful exploration voyage to the Antarctic in 1915.



Karl Krusell  Photo Not Available


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Advisor - TBD
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2012

Karl Krusell earned his BA in Classical Studies from Middlebury College in Vermont. In the field, he has excavated at Fort William Henry in Lake George, New York and documented several of Lake Champlain’s historic shipwrecks. His research interests include Classical seafaring and the evolution of shipbuilding technology in China.


Tyler Laughlin  Tyler Laughlin


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Advisor - TBD
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2011

 
Tyler Laughlin received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in History from Western Oregon University. He is interested in late Classical and early Medieval seafaring focusing on the Roman Republic, Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire. In 2006 Tyler did fieldwork in Pompeii with the non-profit organization Pompeii Food and Drink in a survey and mapping of the ancient city.



Megan Lickliter-Mundon  Megan Lickliter-Mundon


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Advisor - Shelley Wachsmann
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2011

Megan Lickliter-Mundon graduated with a B.A in Anthropology from the University of Georgia in 2003 and with an MSc in Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh in 2005. Her Master's thesis examined the provenance of metal finds from submerged crannog sites in Scotland. Prior to returning to graduate studies for her PhD she was the director of a local aviation history museum in Houston, Texas for four years. During the course of her archaeological career, Megan has directed both terrestrial and underwater fieldwork in the US and in the South Pacific. She has also either volunteered for or served on the board of several preservation-related non-profit organizations. Her doctoral studies with the Nautical Archaeology Program specialize in deep-water technology, aviation archaeology, historical archaeology, and historical preservation. Megan researches aviation-related themes and sites in her coursework and currently plans a dissertation involving submerged aircraft wreck sites and museum display.



John Littlefield  John Littlefield


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Advisor - Debbie Carlson
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2007

John Littlefield graduated from College of Charleston with a Bachelors of Science degree in Anthropology/Archaeology. Before entering the Nautical Archaeology Program (2007) at Texas A&M University he worked on a number of archaeology projects including the colonial occupation of Charles Town Landing in South Carolina (2006-2007), the Göksu Archaeological Project in central Turkey (2006), and the excavation of the Athenian Agora in Greece (2007). In addition to a B.S. in Anthropology/Archaeology, John has earned certificates in Maritime Conservation from Texas A&M University and Dendrochronology from the University of Arizona. His other interests include American Civil War Era experimental craft, dugout canoes of North America, and the evolution of ancient shipboard technologies.


Rachel Matheny  Photo Not Available


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Advisor - Cemal Pulak
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2012

Rachel Matheny is a pursuing a doctorate degree in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University. She received her Bachelor's degree in Anthropology/Archaeology from Baylor University and, just recently, completed her Master's degree in Classical Archaeology from Oxford Univeristy. Her Master's thesis focused on the transportation of metal cargoes during the Roman period. Previously, she has worked at terrestrial sites in Central Texas and Italy. Her interests include ancient Mediterranean trade and human agency in ancient seafaring.

 

Kevin Melia-Teevan  Photo Not Available


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Advisor - Cemal Pulak
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2011

 

 



Justin Parkoff  Justin Parkoff


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Advisor - Donny Hamilton
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program – 2009


After receiving a B.A. in History from Texas A&M University, Justin Parkoff is continuing his studies in the Nautical Archaeology Program where he is focusing on the conservation of submerged archaeological resources and the preservation of cultural heritage sites. His dissertation research interests include the exploration and management of historic sites along the Texas Gulf Coast. Currently, Justin is working at the Texas A&M Conservation Research Laboratory where he is assisting with the analysis and conservation of the Civil War Gunboat U.S.S. Westfield that was recovered from Galveston Bay. In addition to modern historical archaeology, Justin is also interested in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. As a continuation of his studies in the preservation of cultural heritage sites, his Master’s thesis details and reconstructs Babylon during the Chaldean dynasty in the form of an architectural model.

 

Holly Perdue  Holly Perdue


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Advisor - Shelley Wachsmann
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2011

Holly Perdue's research interest centers on ancient warfare. Her Master of Arts thesis in History discussed ancient supply and communication specifically related to the Julio-Claudian armies serving on the northern frontier and she aimed to deduce the degree of power held by the leading commanders, legati. She intends to incorporate her historical background, classical training, and archaeological fieldwork into studying various aspects of classical marine warfare. As a secondary passion, she is interested in conducting underwater investigations on the California Channel Islands. She plans to examine the many ships deposited on the coastal seafloor, which were traveling to or from these islands and understand how the arrival of these vessels spawned coastal migration. With her vast diving background, including trimix, cave, and scientific diving certifications, she plans to lead the first underwater investigations on the CA Channel Islands.



Carla Pereira  Carla Pereira

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Advisor - TBD
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelby Rose  Kelby Rose


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Advisor - Filipe Viera de Castro
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2008

Kelby Rose is a PhD candidate in the Nautical Archaeology Program.  He earned a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2006.  His dissertation research is a pioneering investigation into the naval architecture of the Swedish warship Vasa, sunk on its maiden voyage in 1628.  He is also interested in archaeological and educational applications of 3D visualization technology.  You can learn more about Kelby and his research at www.kelbyrose.com

 

David Ruff  David Ruff


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Advisor - Debbie Carlson
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2011


Dave Ruff is working toward a masters degree in Nautical Archaeology. He has a BS in Chemistry from the Naval Academy, and a MS in Acoustic Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Interests include deep water archaeology, Greek and Roman merchant shipping and warfare, Venetian galleys, and ancient ports around the Mediterranean.

 


Randall Sasaki  Randall Sasaki


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Advisor - Filipe Castro
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2002

Randall Sasaki was born in Yokohama; the largest port city in Japan. His parents first met on a Trans-Pacific Liner, and growing up near the harbor where Commodore Matthew Perry stepped ashore in 1853 might have something to do with Sasaki's career choice. Sasaki has always been fascinated by how archaeology can trace past human behavior and how people from different cultures interacted.

 

 

Patricia Schwindinger  Patricia Schwindinger

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Advisor - Kevin Crisman
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2013

Patricia earned her B.A. from Rutgers University in 2012.  She has done fieldwork in Jamestown, VA and off the coast of Menorca, Spain.  She is interested in how empires are formed and maintained, as well as the applications of computer graphics to archaeology.

 

 

 

 

Ralf Singh-Bischofberger  Ralf Singh-Bischofberger


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Advisor - Debbie Carlson
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2011

Ralf completed a two Bachelor degrees in Classics and Art-History at the University of California Los Angeles in 2006. His interests are in classical warfare, specifically pertaining to the Roman periods. His Ph.D. research interests focus on the Roman World in the upper Adriatic region. He is writing his dissertation on shipbuilding technology and seafaring activities of ancient Aquileia. He has worked as a commercial and rescue diver for the Swiss Lifeguard Society at Lake Constance. As well as working at the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries in Los Angeles. Furthermore, he worked for J.P. Getty Villa Museum in Malibu California, and for the Disney Media Group in Los Angeles as a Language Specialist. He participated in November 2007 in an expedition to Sonora in Mexico, which was organized by the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries in conjunction with the University of Arizona. He participated during the summer of 2007 in the excavation program at Pit 91, lasting twelve weeks. 

 

 



Rodrigo Torres  Photo Not Available


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Advisor - Filipe Castro
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program – 2010

 

 

 

 

Grace Tsai  Grace Tsai

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Advisor - Kevin Crisman
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2012


Grace completed her BA degrees in Anthropology (Archaeology) and Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. Her interests include underwater osteology, ancient seafaring, ship construction, and psychological anthropology.

 

 

 

Amanda Vance  Amanda Vance


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Advisor - Wayne Smith
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program – 2008
 
Amanda graduated from Texas A&M University at Galveston in 2007 with a B.A. in Maritime Studies (minor in Anthropology). She is interested in archaeological conservation. Her research focuses on a collection from King's Mountain National Park, that she conserved while working at the Conservation Research Lab. In addition to the Ph.D. and conservation certificate, she is also working towards her certificate in Historic Preservation.

 

Rudi Vanzin  Rudi Vanzin

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Advisor - TBD
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2013

Rudi recently graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology. During her undergraduate career she participated in archaeological projects in Nemea, Greece; Tarsus, Turkey; Tell Abraq in the U.A.E. and at Dhiban, Jordan. She is currently pursuing her PhD, and is most interested in trade and transport of the prehistoric-to-Iron-Age Near East, especially Arabia.   

 

 

 

Laura White  Laura White


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Advisor - Cemal Pulak
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program – 2010

Laura White is a PhD student in the Nautical Archaeology Program. She previously received her MSc in Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford, and prior to that completed a BSc in Marine Sciences and a BA in Maritime Studies at Texas A&M University at Galveston. She has terrestrial fieldwork experience in Viking Shetland sites, Roman Yorkshire sites, and in historical sites in Texas.

Laura’s research interests are in ancient ship construction, and more specifically in the applications of analytical chemistry to the discipline. Her dissertation research focuses on the chemical characterization of residues such as paints, pigments, resins, tars, and oils used in the decoration and preservation of ancient hulls through the use of high-performance analytical techniques such as SEM, GC-MS, HPLC-MS, IR and Raman spectroscopy.

Laura is a NAUI Openwater SCUBA Instructor and a NAUI First Aid, CPR, and Emergency O2 Administration Instructor. She works as the TAMU Assistant Diving Safety Officer and co-instructs scientific diving classes. She was the DSO of the 2011 season of INA’s Bajo de la Campana Phoenician shipwreck project in Spain, and has participated in the 2011 and 2012 seasons of the Mazotos project, a 4th century BC shipwreck off the coast of Cyprus.

 



Staci Willis  Staci Willis 


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Advisor - Debbie Carlson
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2010

Staci received her B.A. in Archaeology and Anthropology from Baylor University in 2004, and went on to earn her M.A. from the University of Chicago in 2006, with a thesis investigating the relationship between ideology and the built environment during the Amarna period of New Kingdom Egypt.   Her doctoral research focuses on the shipbuilding tradition of laced construction in the upper Adriatic   Her research interests also include the negotiation of cross-cultural interactions and applications of spatial analysis tools to archaeological contexts.

 

Kotaro Yamafune  Photo Not Available


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Advisor - Filipe Castro
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program - 2008

 

 

 

 

 


Other Grad Student Bios:    Archaeology       Cultural       Biological       Nautical - M.A.