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Graduate Student Bios: Nautical Archaeology

M.A. Students  l  Ph.D Students

 

Arik Bord 

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Advisor - TBD
Ph.D. Student
First Year in the Program -  2015

A four-field anthropologist and Emmy™ Award winning filmmaker, Arik graduated (with Honors) from California State University, Chico in 2014, receiving his B.A. in Anthropology, along with certificates in Museum Studies and Cultural Resource Management. In 2011, he received his A.A. in Behavioral and Social Sciences (with Honors) and certificate in Classical Studies from Butte College in northern California. During his undergrad, Arik participated in pioneering programs using 3D technology and visual media to protect and learn from cultural resources, and is constantly searching for new ways of incorporating the technological innovations of the 21st Century to enhance the learning potential and quality of his research. He has performed archaeological fieldwork in the Caribbean, Great Basin, and Northern California Coast, along with ethnographic work in Central California and the Owen’s Valley. He is interested in expanding the Nautical Archaeologists’ toolkit by combining his skills as a documentary filmmaker with 3D mapping and modeling techniques for use in the field.

Nicholas Budsberg Photo Not Available

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Advisor - Filipe Viera de 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.

 

José Luis Casaban Jose Luis Casaban

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Advisor - Filipe Viera de 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 Viera de 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 - Donny Hamilton
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. Recently, Chris has assisted greatly in the conservation of the La Belle Shipwreck.

 

 

 

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 in 2012 with a B.A. in Classics and Anthropology, and received her M.A. from Texas A&M University in August, 2015 in the nautical archaeology program.  Kennedy’s thesis examined four steamboat shipwrecks in Shelburne Shipyard, Lake Champlain, Vermont.  Three of these steamboats were built prior to 1840, providing essential archaeological evidence of the early years of steam-powered watercraft.  Kennedy’s PhD will continue the work she began on these four Lake Champlain steamboats.

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.

 

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.

Rachel Matheny  Photo Not Available


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Advisor - TBD
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

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

Carla graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida in 2010 with a BA in anthropology, focus in archaeology and the lithics of northern Africa. She moved to California State University, Long Beach where she began to study GIS and Mississippian ceramics, and now hopes to focus on Mediterranean ceramics and conservation.

 

Randall Sasaki  Randall Sasaki


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Advisor - Filipe Viera de 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  Photo Not Available


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

Patricia Schwindinger graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Anthropology. She is interested in long term trends in ship technology and trade, especially during the colonial period. For her master's thesis she is analyzing data from ship log books compiled by the CLIWOC project, and is looking at the effect of warfare on shipping from the period 1750-1850. In 2014 she participated in the excavation of the Gnaliç shipwreck, a 16th century Venetian merchant that sank off the coast of Croatia. She is also currently Secretary for the TAMU chapter of the Society for Underwater Technology.

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. 

Grace Tsai  Grace Tsai

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Advisor - TBD
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.

 

Laura White  Laura White


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

Laura is a Doctoral Candidate and late-stage dissertation fellow in Anthropology at Texas A&M University, specializing in Nautical Archaeology. In addition to holding past research and teaching positions within the Department of Anthropology, she is also a NAUI scuba instructor and technical diver and has served in the Diving Safety Offices for both the Institute of Nautical Archaeology and Texas A&M University.

Find Laura on LinkedIn! https://www.linkedin.com/pub/laura-white/30/ab9/884

 



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


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