Key Personnel

Dr. Michael J. Decker, Project Leader

Michael Decker earned his DPhil from the Faculty of Modern History at Oxford University. He the recipient an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rice University, an Overseas Research Student Award at Oxford, and a Fulbright Multi-Country Research Award. His interest in digital scholarship extends to his days at Oxford University when he helped to digitize and create an online database of the archives of prominent Ukranian-French archaeologist Georges Tchalenko. At Rice University he worked in the Computer and Information Technology Institute to establish a repository of georeferenced texts of 17th-19th century travelers to the Middle East. His scholarly production includes monographs with Oxford University Press and the award-winning The Byzantine Art of War.

Dr. Andrea Vianello, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida
Andrea Vianello (M.A., Ph.D.) has worked at excavations in Crete, Britain and Italy. His research focuses on material analysis (obsidian, metals, ceramics, etc.) and the prehistoric (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age) Mediterranean cultures. He works with pXRF, SEM-EDS, SEM and XRD equipment and also carries out stable isotope analyses on carbon and nitrogen for diet and oxygen and strontium for mobility.

Dr. Mauro Rubini, University of Foggia
Dr. Mauro Rubini is currently affiliated to Servizio di Antropologia S.B.A.L., Ministry of Culture, Tivoli, Italy; Foggia University, Foggia, Italy; IsIPU, Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana, Rome, Italy. , continuing research in the specialized scientific area of anthropology. Dr. Mauro Rubini is serving as an honorary reviewer for Orthopedics and Muscular System: Current Research & other reputed journals and has authored several articles along with chapters in different books related to anthropology

Caitlyn Coleman, Honors College, University of South Florida

Caitlyn Coleman is a second-year student majoring in Microbiology with a minor in Infection Control at the University of South Florida. She is a member of the Judy Genshaft Honors College and alumni of the Science Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program. 

Dr. Ashley Maxwell, Department of Anthropology, Washburn University

Ashley B Maxwell has her doctorate from the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. Her dissertation research utilized stable isotope analysis to assess migration and diet in northeastern Italy during the Early Medieval Period. Her research interests include bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology.

Dr. Timothy Garrett, Timothy J. Garrett Laboratory, Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida
Prof. Garrett is the author of over 60 publications and is an Editorial Board member for Clinical Mass Spectrometry and PLOSOne.  His current interests are in the application of direct tissue analysis approaches such as MALDI, DESI, and LMJSSP as well as the use of high-resolution mass spectrometry in metabolomics and routine diagnostics.  He enjoys the interplay between technological advancement and clinical analysis providing unique opportunities and experiences to develop the future of clinical diagnostics. 

Dr. Hendrik Poinar, Department of Anthropology, McMaster University
Dr Poinar is a molecular evolutionary geneticist and biological anthropologist by training. He uses both chemical and molecular techniques to elucidate the state of preservation within forensic, archeological and paleontological remains. This information is subsequently used to devise novel techniques to extract the molecular information (DNA, RNA and/or protein sequences) to address anthropological questions, such as the identification of pathogens responsible for past pandemics (i.e. The Black Death, The Plague of Justinian) as well as the evolutionary dynamics of infectious disease (i.e. Vibrio cholera).

Dr. Rays Jiang, College of Public Health, University of South Florida
Rays Jiang has a PhD in genomics from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. She has been a computational biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Harvard University. She came to USF with the vision to establish one of the first hybrid labs to synthesize computational biology and experimental sciences. As the first genomics lab in University of South Florida, Rays Jiang lab takes on a pioneer role in establishing a viable research program; as well as pushing the frontier of genomics science. Her lab is developing innovative methods and applications of genomics technologies, including those pertinent to normal and pathological human cells. She has published in high profile journals such as Cell, Science, Nature Communications and Genome Research, and secured diverse funding sources from NIH, NSF and Gates’ foundations.

Dr. Sara Casado Zapico, International Forensic Research Institute, Florida International University

Sara C. Zapico is an Instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Facility Manager of the International Forensic Research Institute at Florida International University. She is also a Research Collaborator at the Anthropology Department from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. She has been an Associate/Forensic Specialist at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland. From 2012 to 2014 she was awarded with the Peter Buck Award Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution. She also carried out short-stays as Visiting Scientist at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner-City of New York, American Museum of Natural History, Department of Forensic Medicine from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and Mercyhurst University.

Dr. Robert Tykot, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida

Robert Tykot is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. His research interests include archaeological science, Mediterranean prehistory, Old World archaeology, ancient diets around the world, bone chemistry, exchange studies, obsidian, marble, Sardinia, and Sicily. His most recent work looks at prehistoric obsidian trade in the Central Mediterranean, bone chemistry and ancient diets, and the use of portable XRF on archaeological materials.