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KATHERINE BRUNSON | PhD, Assistant Professor

KATHERINE BRUNSON is a zooarchaeologist who studies the origins of China’s domesticated animals and the environmental impacts of animal domestication in East Asia. She is currently investigating the genetic relationships between domestic cattle and the extinct East Asian wild aurochs. She also co-directs the online Oracle Bones in East Asia project. Her research interests include ancient DNA, the origins of pastoralism in East Asia, extirpations and extinctions of China’s native mammals, oracle bones and the ritual aspects of animal domestication, bone artifact production techniques, and archaeological collections management. Dr. Brunson has participated in numerous archaeological survey and excavation projects across China and at the Maya site of Copan, Honduras. Her publications and CV can be found at

MELANIE CHAM | Class of 2024

MELANIE CHAM is a senior studying Earth & Environmental Science and Archaeology. In the Environmental Archeology Lab, she assumes the role of Head Lab Assistant working to catalog specimens and organize community events. Outside of the EAL, she is a collections assistant for the College of East Asian Studies Art and Archival Collections and the Archaeology Outreach Coordinator. She also researches Miocene paleobotany with Dr. Dana Royer (Wesleyan University) and Dr. Caroline Strömberg (University of Washington).


ANDRES ANGELES-PAREDES is a senior at Wesleyan working in the Environmental Archeology Lab. This semester, they are working as a 3D Scanning Technician to scan and model the vertebrate osteology collections in the lab. Andres is a prospective Religion major and Film minor and is also interested in studying English and Archeology.


ADAM SUSSBAUER| Class of 2024

ADAM SUSSBAUER is senior studying Earth & Environmental Science with a linked major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Archaeology. In the EAL, he does object photography and catalogs the osteology collections. Outside of the lab, Adam plays ultimate frisbee for Nietzsch Factor. He also builds sets and does tech for theater and dance shows.

AVNISH KULKARNI | Class of 2024

AVNISH KULKARNI is a senior at Wesleyan with majors in Archaeology and Global South Asian Studies. In the lab, Avnish is working as Head Assistant to help rehouse the Environmental Archaeology Lab’s collections, as well as Wesleyan University’s osteology collections. Ultimately, their goal is to study Environmental Archaeology and Paleoanthropology in South Asia.

ELIZABETH COOPER | Class of 2024

ELIZABETH COOPER is a senior at Wesleyan and an intended Archeology and Anthropology major. She is interested in experimental archeology and the rediscovery of ancient production techniques. In the lab, Beth is currently flintknapping and creating stone tool teaching collections for use in archaeology courses and public outreach.

SHELBY GADALETA | Class of 2024

SHELBY GADALETA is a senior at Wesleyan University, studying Government and Archaeology with a minor in Environmental Studies. She is currently working to identify the EAL’s collection of fish bones. Outside of the lab, Shelby plays ultimate frisbee for Vicious Circles and is interested in GIS and zooarchaeology.

SYDNEY KELLER | Class of 2025

SYDNEY KELLER is a junior at Wesleyan University, studying Computational Design with a minor in Integrated Design, Engineering, Arts & Society. In the lab, she is a 3D Scanning Technician helping to scan, digitally model, and 3D print Wesleyan’s collections. Outside of the lab, her interests center around computing applications for human centered design in order to solve problems in a more efficient and effective way.

ISABELLA HOSEY | Class of 2026

ISABELLA HOSEY is currently a sophomore at Wesleyan and is a prospective Government and Anthropology double major with possibly a minor in Archaeology or Civil Rights Advocacy. She is a course assistant for Dr. Brunson’s Introduction to Archaeology class, where she helps set up labs and materials for class. In the lab, she helps with organizing collections, 3D printing of objects, and other lab tasks. 

HANK SCHWABACHER | Class of 2026

HANK SCHWABACHER is a current sophomore at Wesleyan and is a prospective Archaeology major. This semester, he is working in the lab as a 3D scanning technician, apprentice flintknapper, and general lab assistant. Outside of the lab, he is interested in the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of archaeology as well as studio arts.


ELISE KRAUTHEIMER is currently a freshman Wesleyan and is a prospective Archaeology major and Religion minor. This semester, she is working in the lab as a 3D Scanning Technician. Outside of the lab, Elise is a member of Gag Reflex, one of Wesleyan’s comedy improv groups, and she is interested in zooarchaeology.


NINA HIRAI | Class of 2023

NINA HIRAI is a former student at Wesleyan where she was a Film and Anthropology double major with a minor in Archaeology. In addition to designing the lab website and managing projects taking place in the Environmental Archaeology Lab, she was also responsible for creating educational videos about 3D scanning, developing public outreach modules, the permanent rehousing of osteological collections, and assisting with database cleanup and analysis for the Oracle Bones in East Asia project. She is particularly interested in the cross-section between film and anthropology/archaeology and its potential to increase accessibility and community outreach in the field of Archaeology.

NICK BOWMAN | Class of 2023

Headshot of Nick Bowman

NICK BOWMAN is a former student at Wesleyan who studied Archaeology and Environmental Studies. He has assisted in 3D scanning projects to digitize the university’s collections as well as producing labels for the Anthropological collections. In the lab, Nick catalogued stone tool teaching collections and developed educational modules that use the stone tool and paleoanthropology collections.

KIRAN KOWLASKI | Class of 2023

Headshot of Kiran Kowalski

KIRAN KOWALSKI is a former Wesleyan student who majored in Biology and Anthropology. In the lab, Kiran worked on 3D scanning of Wesleyan’s collections as well as developing teaching materials used in a variety of archaeology courses. Kiran also took on the role of teaching assistant for Professor Brunson’s ARCP203: Ancient DNA course.



GUY BENNEVAT HANINOVICH is a former Wesleyan student who majored in Computer Science and Earth & Environmental Science with an Informatics and Modeling minor. Guy worked with Dr. Brunson to analyze and compare genome sequences of an unknown ancient cattle species and known ancient and modern, wild and domestic, DNA.

QUIN STEINMETZ | Class of 2024

QUIN STEINMETZ is a former Wesleyan student. She worked as a course assistant to the Ancient DNA class Professor Brunson teaches. Her majors were East Asian Studies and Archaeology, so, naturally, she is quite interested in East Asian archaeology. Quin helped with setting up materials for the Ancient DNA course, and in the lab, she will assist in updating the virtual and physical paleoanthropology collections.

FLETCHER LEVY | Class of 2023

FLETCHER LEVY is a former Wesleyan student who majored in Biology and Earth & Environmental Science. Fletcher worked as a 3D Scanning Technician for the EAL. He used the Artec Scanner to create models of each bone within the skeleton of mammals that are closely associated with human settlements. It is hoped that these bones can used be for identification of fragments while in the field. In addition, Fletcher worked with the Wesleyan Natural History Collections to catalogue specimens and associated information into the relational database “Specify7”. He also prepared several exhibits across campus including the “Specimen of the Month”, and “Wisdom Teeth”, both found in Exley Science Center.

ANDY TAN | Class of 2021

ANDY TAN is a former student at Wesleyan who graduated with a double major in Biology and Earth and Environmental Sciences. Working as a student curator at the Peoples Museum, he has worked on natural history collections spanning various taxa, from Lepidoptera to Mollusca. Andy also enjoys exhibit and graphic designing, fossil and historical cast restoration, as well as taxonomy research. He contemplates evolutionary questions during his leisure time and debates about them with his partner-in-crime Yu Kai as they look forward to photographing spring ephemerals and other New England natives. 

YU KAI TAN | Class of 2020

Headshot of Yu Kai Tan

YU KAI TAN is a former student at Wesleyan who graduated with a triple major in Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Anthropology. At Wesleyan, he studied the systematics, functional morphology and biogeography of freshwater mussels (Order: Unionoida) in North America using the 19th century collections in the Peoples Museum. His work as a former student curator in the museum includes: restoring Shelley the Glyptodon, Deinotherium, and Mosasaur; designing exhibitions; and leading digitization efforts on Specify. He enjoys collecting natural history objects and living non-horticultural plants, and painting.