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Graduate Placement

How Do We Train and Place Our Graduate Students?

We ensure that our graduates are trained in professional skills necessary to succeed in academia – teaching, grant writing, and publishing.  We offer three courses that focus on these skills – Proposal Writing, Teaching Anthropology, and Ethics and Professionalism in Anthropology. We also offer a series of professional development workshops throughout the semester on a variety of topics.  All of our Ph.D. students have the opportunity to work initially as a teaching assistant, and then as an Instructor of Record for introductory courses in anthropology.  Some of our students have the opportunity to develop and teach multiple courses prior to graduation.  All of our students are encouraged to submit external grant proposals and to publish their research prior to graduation. Many of our graduates also obtain Graduate Certificates from Texas A&M, including graduate certificates in Conservation Training, Historic Preservation, Women’s and Gender Studies.

What Do Texas A&M Anthropology PhD Students Do After Graduation?

In 2016, the Department of Anthropology celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Ph.D. program. We are proud of our graduate placement record for Ph.D. graduates.  The list below includes information for all of our graduates for the past 5 years, and a partial list of job placements for graduates before that. A review of the placement record for the past five years indicates that most graduates secure some type of relevant employment upon graduation. It is not uncommon for graduates to secure positions as lecturers, visiting assistant professors, and/or post-doctoral fellows in their initial year or two on the market before securing a more permanent position.  A review of the earlier placement data indicates that many of our PhD graduates have gone on to have successful careers in academia, government, contract archaeology firms, and museums.

PhDs Awarded in 2016

PhDs Awarded in 2015

PhDs Awarded in 2014

PhDs Awarded in 2013

PhDs Awarded in 2012

Partial List of PhD Awarded from 1990 to 2011


Completed PhDs and Graduate Placement Record (2012-2016)

PhDs Awarded in 2016  (Total PhDs Awarded in 2016: 12)

Rachel BibleRachel Bible

Research Associate
Biodiversity Institute
University of Kansas

Interests:  hominin evolution during the Late Pleistocene, Neanderthal extinction, modeling hominin ecological niches, influence of climate on hominin distribution

Dissertation: An Analysis of Late Pleistocene Hominin Population Dynamics in Europe Using Ecological Niche Modeling Methods (Chair: Sheela Athreya)

John Blong

Post-Doctoral Fellow (2017-2020)
Department of Archaeology
Newcastle University (United Kingdom)
Interests: Hunter-Gatherer Adaptations and Landscape Use; Prehistory of Alaska and North America; Peopling of the Americas; Environmental Archaeology; Lithic Artifact Analysis; Geoarchaeology

Dissertation: Prehistoric Landscape Use in the Central Alaska Range (Chair: Ted Goebel)

Tim DesmetTim de Smet

Geospatial Remove Sensing Research Educator
Freshman Research Immersion Program
Department of Anthropology
Binghamton University – State University of New York


Interests: Archaeology; Remote sensing; spatial statistics; experimental archaeology; historical archaeology; conflict archaeology; social aggregation in the Southwest.

Dissertation: Advances in Archaeological Geophysics: Case Studies from Historical Archaeology (Chair: Bruce Dickson)

Hulya DoganHulya Dogan

Adjunct Professor
North American University (Houston)

Interests:  Refugees/Migrants; Ethnic Identity and Identity Politics; Transnationalism; Homeland; Gender

Dissertation: Conception of Homeland and Identity among Meskhetian Turk Refugees in the U.S. and Turkey (Chair: Cynthia Werner)

Samila Pereira FerreiraSamila Ferreira

Currently Seeking Employment

Interests: Cultural anthropology; Cultural Heritage; Collective Memory; Brazil

Dissertation: Policies of Memory, Politics of Forgetting: A Comparative Study of Social Memory and Cultural Heritage in Brazil and the United States (Chairs: Filipe Castro and Tom Green)

Joshua KeeneJosh Keene

Research Assistant
Center for the Study of the First Americans
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University

Adjunct Instructor
Department of Anthropology
Baylor University

Interests:  Paleoindians; Geoarchaeology; Peopling of the Americas

Dissertation: Geoarchaeology, Paleoecology, and Holocene Subsistence Change on the Upper Snake River Plain, Idaho (Chair: Ted Goebel)

Larkin Kennedy

Archaeological Technician
Gray and Pape (CRM Firm)

Currently seeking permanent employment

Interests:  Bioarchaeology; Stable Isotopes; Migration; Mortuary Archaeology; Dental Anthropology; Late Antiquity; Greece

Dissertation: The Busy Cemeteries of Late Antique Corinth: Geographic Identification of Migrants vs Locals, and the Characterization of a 6th-8th Century City (Chair: Lori Wright)

Justin ParkoffJustin Parkoff

Currently seeking employment

Interests: Nautical Archaeology; Historical Archaeology; Civil War

Dissertation: “A Formidable Looking Pile of Iron Boilers and Machinery”: Reconstructing the Civil War Gunboat USS Westfield (Chair: Donny Hamilton)

Sunshine Thomassunthomas

Currently seeking academic employment


Interests:  Historical Archaeology; Health and Foodways in the Southeastern United States; Storageware

Dissertation: Storageware and Stature in the American South: Socioeconomic Conditions of the Southern Smallholder, 1830s-1930s (Chair: Alston Thoms)

Staci WillisStaci_Willis

Adjunct Professor
Department of Anthropology, Geography and Sociology
Stephen F. Austin University

Currently seeking academic employment

Interests: Cross-Cultural Interactions and Colonial Encounters; Formation, Maintenance, and Negotiation of Identity; Processes of Cultural Change; Ancient Mediterranean Seafaring; Laced (Sewn) Boatbuilding Traditions; Paleoethnobotany and Archaeological Palynology

Dissertation: Constructing Identity: The Roman-Era Northwestern Adriatic Laced Tradition of Boatbuilding (Chair: Deborah Carlson)

Kotaro Yamafunes200_kotaro.yamafune

President and Founder

Research Associate
Kyushu University

Interests: Nautical Archaeology; Maritime History; Multi-image photogrammetry; Digital modeling

Dissertation: Using Computer Vision Photogrammetry to Record and Analyze Underwater Shipwreck Sites (Chair: Filipe Castro)

Angela Younieangela_younie

Senior Archaeologist
Far Western Anthropological Research Group (CRM Firm)


Interests: Lithic Technologies; Paleoamerican Archaeology; Peopling of the Americas

Dissertation:  Microblades, Bifaces, and the Chindadn Complex: Revisiting the Healy Lake Archaeological Record, Alaska (Chair: Ted Goebel)

PhDs Awarded in 2015 (Total PhDs Awarded in 2015:  6)

Chris CartelloneChris Cartellone

Senior Nautical Archaeologist

Interests: Historical Archaeology; Nautical Archaeology; Archaeological Conservation; Historic Preservation; Military History; Historical Archaeology

Dissertation:  H.M.S. Solebay and Maritime Archaeological Heritage Preservation in Nevis, West Indies(Chair: Filipe Castro)

Peter Fix

Research Associate
Conservation Research Laboratory
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University

Interests:  Nautical Archaeology; Historical Archaeology; Conservation of Waterlogged Materials

Dissertation: Archaeological Watercraft: A Review and Critical Analysis of the Practice (Chair: Wayne Smith)

Nicholas J. MizerNicholas J. Mizer

Instructional Designer I
Sponsored Research Services
Texas A&M University

Interests:  Folklore; Role-Playing Games; Performance

Dissertation: The Greatest Unreality: Tabletop Role-Playing Games and the Experience of Imagined Worlds (Chair: Tom Green)

Heather Smith

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology
Eastern New Mexico University

Interests:  Lithic Technologies; Paleoamerican Archaeology; Peopling of the Americas

Dissertation: Paleoindian Technology in Beringia: A Technological and Morphological Analysis of the Northern Fluted-Point Controversy (Chair: Ted Goebel)

Rodrigo de Oliveira Torres

Universidad de la Republica (Montevideo, Uruguay)

Interests: Nautical Archaeology; Historical Archaeology; Brazil

Dissertation: The Archaeology of Shore Stranded Shipwrecks of Southern Brazil (Chair: Filipe Castro)

Jesse TuneJesse Tune

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Fort Lewis College (Durango, Colorado)


Interests: Hunter-gatherer behavioral adapations during the Pleistocene/Holocene transition; Lithic technological organization; Human/Environment Interactions; Environmental Archaeology; Geoarchaeology

Dissertation:  Settling into the Younger Dryas: Human Behavioral Adaptations During the Pleistocene to Holocene Transition in the Midsouth United States (Chair: Michael Waters)

working at a desk

PhDs Awarded in 2014 (Total PhDs Awarded in 2014:  6)

Lilia CampanaCampana, Lilia copy_directory

Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Visualization (College of Architecture)
Texas A&M University


Interests:  Classical archaeology; Visual and material culture of the Mediterranean; Underwater archaeology; Maritime History of the Mediterranean; History of Technology

Dissertation: The Immortal Fausto: The Life, Works, and Ships of the Venetian Humanist and Naval Architect Vettor Fausto (1490-1546) (Chair: Cemal Pulak)

 Keely Britt Carlson (Walker)

Searching for employment

Interests: Biological anthropology; Hominid evolution; geometric morphometrics; Developmental simulation; Australopithecus sediba

Dissertation: Developmental Simulation of the Adult Cranial Morphology of Australopithecus Sediba (Chair: Darryl de Ruiter)

Brandie Massengale

Academic Advisor
University of Houston

Interests: Folklore; Performance Studies; Festivals

Dissertation: The Performance of Sawney Beane at the Texas Renaissance Festival (Chair: Tom Green)

Kevin Philip Pepper

Blinn College

Interests: Cultural anthropology; Anthropology of Religion; Folklore; Autoethnography; Mormons

Dissertation: You are Hereby Called: An Ethnographic Study of Mormon Missionaries (Chair: Norbert Dannhaeuser)

Kelby Rose

Elkhart County Historical Museum (South Bend, Indiana)

Interests: Nautical archaeology; ship construction; Historical archaeology; Visualization; 3D Modeling

Dissertation: The Naval Architecture of Vasa, a 17th Century Swedish Warship (Chair: Filipe Castro)

Danny Welch

Interests:  Archaeology; Polynesia; Culture change; Ceramics

Dissertation: Reconsidering Lapita Ancestry: Evidence of Material Change and Migration on Tutuila Island, American Samoa (Chair: Suzanne Eckert)

PhDs Awarded in 2013 (Total PhD’s Awarded in 2013: 13 )

Lauren ButaricButaric-Lauren-42557

Assistant Professor
Department of Anatomy
Des Moines University


Interests: Modern Human Craniofacial Variation; Modern Human Origins; Neanderthal Evolution

Dissertation:  Biogeographic Patterns of Maxillary Sinus Variation among Homo Sapiens: Environmental Adaptation or Architectural By-Product? (Chair: Sheela Athreya)

Maria Parks Crouch

Interests: Bioarchaeology; Isotope Analysis; Dental Anthropology; Hunter-Gatherers; Brazil

Dissertation: Testing the Subsistence Model for the Adoption of Ceramic Technology among Coastal Sambaqui Foragers of Southern Brazil (Chair: Lori Wright)

Nanda GrowNanda

Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology
Utah State University


Interests: Behavioral Ecology; Primate Evolution and Adaptation; Altitudinal Variation in Primate Behavior and Biology; Tarsier Biogeography and Speciation; High-Altitude Primates; Conservation Biology

Dissertation: Altitudinal Effects on the Behavior and Morphology of Pygmy Tarsiers (Tarsius pumilus) in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia (Chair: Sharon Gursky)

Heather Hatch

Interests: Nautical Archaeology; Maritime cultures; Piracy; Material Culture

Dissertation: Harbour Island: The Comparative Archaeology of a Maritime Community (Chair: Kevin Crisman)

Rebecca IngramRebeccaIngram

Brazos Museum of Natural History (Bryan, Texas)


Interests: Nautical Archaeology; Bronze Age Shipwrecks; Mediterranean

Dissertation:  Byzantine Shipwreck YK 11 at Yenikapi-Istanbul (Chair: Cemal Pulak)

Phil Johnson

State of Kentucky Archaeologists Office

Dissertation:  Elemental and Technological Analysis of Basalt Adze Manufacture on Tutuila, Amerika Samoa: Economic Intensification and Specialization During the Monument Building Period (Chair: Suzanne Eckert) 

Christine Jones

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology and Criminal Justice
Texas A&M University – Central Texas

Interests:  Bioarchaeology; Diet; Hunter-Gatherers

Dissertation: Hunter-Gatherers of the Central Gulf Coastal Plain and the Lower Pecos Region of Texas: Interpreting Patterns of Health and Variability (Chair: Lori Wright)

Michael Jones

Interests: Nautical Archaeology; Metallurgical Technologies; Mediterranean; Bronze Age Trade

Dissertation: Oxhide Ingots, Copper Production, and the Mediterranean Trade in Copper and Other Metals in the Bronze Age (Chair: Cemal Pulak)

Catharina Laportecatlaporte

Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University


Interests: Applied Anthropology; Cultural Evolution; Religion; Anthropological Theory; Pedagogical Approaches

Dissertation: The Evolution of Variability in Magic, Divination and Religion: A Multi-Level Selection Analysis (Chair: Michael Alvard)

Andrew LaurenceAndrew_Laurence

Head of Palynology
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Interests: Palynology; Forensic Anthropology

Dissertation:  Trials and Tribulations of Ancient Starch Research: An Investigation of Contamination and Earth Ovens at Ford Hood, Texas (Co-chairs: Vaughn Bryant and Alston Thoms)

Robert “Zac” Selden Jr.selden zac

Research Associate
Center for Regional Heritage Research
Stephen F. Austin University


Interests:  Archaeology; Archaeological Methods; Digital Technology; Archaeology of Texas

Dissertation: Consilience: Radiocarbon, Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis and Litigation in the Ancestral Caddo Region (Chair: Suzanne Eckert)

Margie Serrato

National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow
TutorGen, Inc. (Cincinnati)

Interests: Cultural Anthropology; Anthropology of the Military; Gender

Dissertation: Fighting with Gender: Understanding the Combat Experiences of Servicewomen and Servicemen in the United States Military (Chair: Cynthia Werner)

Victoria Springervictoria.springer

Adjunct Instructor
Social Science Department
Troy University (Mobile, Alabama)

Interests:  Biological Anthropology; Human Evolution; Neandertals; Dental Anthropology; Fossil Hominins

Dissertation: Late Pleistocene Neandertal-Early Modern Human Population Dynamics: The Dental Evidence (Chair: Sheela Athreya)

PhDs Awarded in 2012  (Total Ph.D.’s Awarded in 2012: 6)

Piotr Bojakowskipiotr bojakowski

Staff Archaeologist
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (Hawaii Office)

Interests:  Nautical Archaeology; Historical Archaeology; Early Modern Atlantic Shipbuilding

Dissertation: Western Ledge Reef Wreck: The Analysis and Reconstruction of the Late 16th Century Ship of the Spanish Empire (Chair: Donny Hamilton)

Alexis Catsambisalexis_catsambis_2012

Maritime Archaeologist and Cultural Resources Manager
Naval History and Heritage Command


Interests: Nautical Archaeology; Cultural Heritage; Maritime History

Dissertation: Preserving the submerged and coastal maritime heritage of the United States (Chair: Kevin Crisman)

In Huck Choi

Self-Employed (South Korea)

Interests:  Cultural anthropology; Environmental Anthropology; Korea

Dissertation: Aging of Development: The Saemangeun Tideland Reclamation Project (STRP) and the Sustainable Development of Two Townships in and out of the STRP (Chair: Cynthia Werner)

Jessi HalliganHalligan_Photo_large

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Florida State University


Interests: Geoarchaeology; Underwater Archaeology; Lithic Technologies; Hunter-Gatherer Adaptations to Climate Change; Submerged Landscapes; Peopling of the Americas

Dissertation: Geoarchaeological Investigations into Paleoindian Adaptations on the Aucilla River, Northwest Florida (Chair: Michael Waters)

Tom Jenningsthomas jennings

Lecturer and Director of Waring Archaeological Lab
Department of Anthropology
University of West Georgia

Interests:  Geoarchaeology; Stone Tool Analysis; Quantitative Methods; Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas

Dissertation:  Late Pleistocene Technological Organization at the Buttermilk Creek Site (Chair: Michael Waters)

George Schwarz

Maritime Archaeologist and Cultural Resources Manager
Naval History and Heritage Command

Interests: Nautical Archaeology; Cultural Heritage; Historical Archaeology; 19th Century United States

Dissertation:  The Passenger Steamboat Phoenix: An Archaeological Study of Early Steam Propulsion in North America (Chair: Kevin Crisman)

Partial List of PhD Graduate Placements (1990 To 2011)*

Erik Bartelink (PhD 2006)

Director of the Human Identification Laboratory
Department of Anthropology
California State University – Chico

Dante Bartoli (PhD 2008)

Promare (Promoting Marine Research and Exploration)

Kroum Batcharov (PhD 2010)

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of Connecticut

Carolyn Boyd (PhD 1998)

Founding Director and Research Director
SHUMLA: Archaeological Research and Education Center

John Bratten (PhD 1997)

Chair and Associate Professor
Division of Anthropology and Archaeology
University of West Florida

Juliet Brophy (PhD 2011)

Assistant Professor
Department of Geography and Anthropology
Louisiana State University

Shawn Carlson (PhD 1994)

Curator of Collections and Exhibits
Star of the Republic Museum: The Historical Museum of the Texas Republic

Pearce Paul Creasman (PhD 2011)

Associate Professor and Curator
School of Anthropology
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
University of Arizona

Helen Dewolf (PhD 1998)

Research Associate
Conservation Research Laboratory
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University

Wendy van Duivenvoorde (PhD 2008)

Senior Lecturer of Maritime Archaeology
Flinders University (Australia)

Ben Ford (PhD 2009)

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Jerome Hall (PhD 1996)

Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of San Diego

Fred Hocker (PhD 1991)

Director of Research
Vasa Museum (Sweden)

Heidi Luchsinger (PhD 2006)

Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
East Carolina University

Ty Matejowsky (PhD 2001)

Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of Central Florida

Samuel M. Mark (PhD 2000)

Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology
Department of Liberal Studies
Texas A&M University – Galveston

Allan Meyers (PhD 1998)

Department of Anthropology
Eckerd College

McKenzie Morse (PhD 2009)

Archives Technician
George Bush Presidential Library

Robert Neyland (PhD 1994)

Head of Underwater Archaeology
Naval History and Heritage Command

Frederic B. Pearl (PhD 2001)

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Department of Liberal Studies
Texas A&M University – Galveston

Dana Pertermann (PhD 2011)

Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology and Geology
Western Wyoming Community College

Charlotte Pevny (PhD 2009)

Project Manager
SEARCH, Inc.  (CRM Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana)

Cemal Pulak (PhD 1996)

Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
Texas A&M University

Karl Reinhard (PhD 1988)

School of Natural Resources
University of Nebraska

Timothy Riley (PhD 2010)

Adjunct Professor and Curator of Archaeology
Prehistoric Museum
Utah State University

Andrew Scherer (PhD 2005)

Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
Brown University

Ashley Smallwood (PhD 2011)

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of West Georgia

Kristin Sobolik (PhD 1991)

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
University of Missouri – St. Louis

Samuel Sweitz (PhD 2005)

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology
Department of Social Sciences
Michigan Technological University.

Timothy Trussell (PhD 2004)

Assistant Profesor
Department of Archaeology
University of Millersville

Jason Wiersema (PhD 2006)

Forensic Anthropologist
Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences

Donald Wood (PhD 1999)

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Department of Medical Education
Akita University Graduate School of Medicine (Japan)

Cassidy Yoder Urista (PhD 2006)

Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology
Radford University

* Current Positions as of January 2017