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Vaughn Bryant

Dr. Vaughn Bryant
Regents Professor
  • (979) 845-5242
  • Anthropology 308F
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PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 1969


Archaeological Palynology, Paleoenvironmental Studies, Coprolite Studies, Forensic Palynology, Melissopalynology

Current Research Projects:

Most of my research focuses on the study of fossil pollen and other plant remains recovered from archaeological sites on land and from shipwreck and other underwater sites. For much of my career I have studied the contents of ancient human feces (coprolites) and used those data to reconstruct the diets and paleonutrition of ancient human societies. Some of those studies have focused on coprolites from Homo erectus, Neandertals, and early Holocene cultures throughout North and South America. Currently, my students and I are also studying the origin and spread of food use throughout the Americas using data recovered from the analysis of ancient starch remains recovered from archaeological sites. My other research focus is on the use of pollen in forensic applications to aid law enforcement agencies in their pursuit and conviction of criminals and international terrorists. One other research specialty, which I have pioneered over the course of more than 30 years, centers on the pollen analysis of commercial honey produced in countries throughout the world in an effort to verify both the country of origin and the primary nectar sources of honey.

Courses Taught:

ANTH 201 – Introduction to Anthropology
ANTH 205 – Peoples and Cultures of the World
ANTH 614 – Palynology
ANTH 637 – Paleoethnobotany

Current Graduate Students:

Katelyn McDonough (co-chair), Anthony Taylor

Selected and Recent Publications:

2014        A. Sajwani, S.A. Farooq, V.M. Bryant, Studies of Bee Foraging Plants & Analysis of Pollen Pellets from Hives in Oman, Palynology, 38(2):207-223

2014        Gretchen D. Jones and Vaughn M. Bryant. Pollen Studies of East Texas Honey, Palynology, 38(2):242-258.

2013        E. Lundelieus, V. Bryant, R. Mandel, J. Thies, and A. Thoms. The first occurrence of a Toxodont (mammalia: notoungulata) in the Unit Ed States, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(1):229–232

2012        V. Bryant, S. Kamphill, and J. Hall, Tobacco Pollen: Archaeological & Forensic Applications, Palynology 36 (2): 1-16.

2011        A. R. Laurence, A. V. Alston, V. M. Bryant, and C. McDonough. Airborne Starch Granules as a Potential Contamination Source at Archaeological Sites. J. of Ethnobiology 31(2):213-232.