Maya Research Program

Research Members of the Maya Research Program

Dr. Grace Bascopé
Grace Lloyd Bascopé received her Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from Southern Methodist University. She has taught physical and cultural anthropology courses at Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas. She has conducted numerous studies in an indigenous community in the central part of the state of Yucatán, México for over 20 years. She has also worked in Honduras, South America and Jamaica. In Yucatán she worked with David Freidel and the SMU/Selz Foundation when they excavated a portion of the large ancient city of Yaxunah. She is the author of The Household Ecology of Disease Transmission: Childhood Illness in a Yucatán Maya Community and several articles and chapters on her research in Yaxunah.  She continues to focus on environmental issues and development in the Yaxunah area.

Jesse Berman
Jesse Berman serves as a Research and Development Assistant, and provides support to Dr. Ellen Kintz’s efforts to bring development relief to the community of Coba. His duties include coordinating grant writing and fundraising activities, as well as assisting in the creation of web sites and social media campaigns that promote awareness of Coba’s local Mayan community. He received his BA in Anthropology from Franklin & Marshall College, as well as an MA in International Affairs from American University.

Dr. Timothy Beach
Dr. Timothy Beach is a Professor of Geography and Earth Sciences, C. B. Smith, Sr., Centennial Chair of Geography, University of Texas at Austin, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a leader in the field of Maya wetlands agriculture and is working in collaboration with both the Blue Creek Archaeological Project and the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project. He has also conducted field research on geomorphology and geoarchaeology in the Corn Belt of the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Syria, Turkey, Iceland, and Germany.

Pieta Greaves
Pieta Greaves is currently the Conservation Coordinator for the Staffordshire Hoard conservation and research program based at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK. She was the laboratory director at Blue Creek from 2005 until 2008 and holds degrees in Archaeological Conservation from the University of Wales and a Masters in Architectural Conservation from Edinburgh University.  (

Dr. Thomas Guderjan
Dr. Guderjan is Chairman of the Department of Social Sciences and Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Tyler and the Director of the Blue Creek Archaeological Project. He has 30 years of field experience in Belize. His current research deals with archaeological landscapes in northwest Belize and ancient wetland and other agricultural systems. His books, The Nature of an Ancient Maya City: Resources, Interaction and Power at Blue Creek, Belize, University of Alabama Press (2007), and Blue Creek: Life, Wealth and Ritual in an ancient Maya city, British Archaeological Reports (2016) summarize much of the work done at Blue Creek. ( or

Colleen Hanratty
Colleen Hanratty has worked with MRP for the past 20 years and is co-director of the Blue Creek Archaeological Project and a member of the board of directors. She has conducted archaeological research in the southeastern and southwestern USA, Mexico, Peru and Belize. Her doctoral research is on the collapse and abandonment of Blue Creek, Belize. Colleen is an instuctor at the University of Texas at Tyler and is the owner of Linda Vista Archaeology. ( or

Dr. Joshua Kwoka
Joshua Kwoka is a Research Assistant Professor with the Department of Anthropology, Univeresity of Buffalo (SUNY). He has worked in the Maya area since 2001, with projects in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. His research interests include the anthropology of technology, lithic technology, household archaeology, and interaction within geopolitical border zones.

Dr. Ellen R. Kintz
Ellen Kintz received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has taught archaeology and cultural anthropology courses at SUNY Geneseo since 1979 and served as the Chair of the Department of Anthropology. She began working in the archaeological ruins of Coba, Quintana Roo, Mexico in 1975, and has continued to work in the village of Coba for the last four decades. Her initial fieldwork, directed and designed by Dr. William Folan, focused on mapping the ruins of the ancient Maya city beyond the core area and interpreting the social organization of the ancient center. She continued to work in the village with the local people, documenting the productivity of kitchen gardens and conducting research on the use of fruit-bearing trees and medicinal plants. She performed studies on the role of men and women in the life of the village and on the diversity of household economics, as well as on the transition of the farming community to a wage-based tourism destination. She co-authored, Coba: A Classic Maya Metropolis with William Folan and Laraine Fletcher, and also authored Life Under the Tropical Canopy: Tradition and Change Among the Yucatec Maya. She has published numerous articles and chapters on her research in Coba, and continues to focus on community development in both the village and its adjacent areas.

Dr. Lars Kotthoff
Dr. Lars Kotthoff is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Computer Science department of the University of British Columbia, Canada. His research focuses on the analysis of hard problems in artificial intelligence and how to teach machines to solve them more efficiently. In his spare time, he likes digging in he dirt and using Computer Science to make the results of archaeological research more accessible to the general public

Samantha Krause
Sam holds an MA from Florida State University and is the Maya Research Program's GIS guru as well as an excavation supervisor. Samantha is currently enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Sheryl Luzzader-Beach
Dr. Sheryl Luzzader-Beach is Professor and Chair, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, of the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Luzzadder-Beach conducts collaborative work on Maya agriculture, geoarchaeology, hydrology, water quality and geomorphology

Dr. Katherine Miller
Dr. Katherine Miller is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University-East. She earned her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the Center for Bioarchaeological Research at Arizona State University. Her areas of interest include bioarchaeology, conservation, identity, isotope and biodistance analysis, kinship, migration, odontometry and osteology, and social organization. Since 2003, she has conducted fieldwork in Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Her most recent work engaged with the skeletal collection at Copan, Honduras where she investigated the role of migration and kinship in Copan's social organization during the Late Classic period

Dr. Holly Moyes
Dr. Holly Moyes is Assistant Professor  with the University of California at Merced, and holds her degrees from Florida Atlantic University  (M.A.) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (Ph.D.).  Her areas of specialization are Mesoamerica and the archaeology of religion, cave archaeology, sacred spaces, spatial analysis, the use of GIS in archaeology, the dynamics of complex societies, leadership strategies, and humans and the environment.  She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Belize and the U.S.  Southwest.  

Dr. Alexander Parmington 
Dr. Alexander Parmington is an Archaeologist at the Wurundjeri Tribe and Land Council and a Research Associate (Hon.) in the Archaeology Program at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. He has worked extensively in south-eastern Australia, in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras and has contributed articles to several journals and organizations, including Mexicon, the Minesterio de Cultura y Deportes de Guatemala, the Instituto de Antropología e Historia de Guatemala, and the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies. Alex has also recently authored a book entitled Space and Sculpture in the Classic Maya City (2011), published by Cambridge University Press.

Hannah Plumer
Hannah Plumer received her undergraduate degree from Ohio University and graduated with her masters degree focusing in bioarchaeology from Brandeis University in May 2011. She is currently enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Sheffield.

Carlos Quiroz
Carlos Quiroz completed a Bachelor’s Degree in History from The University of Belize. He first came to the Maya Research Program on recommentdation from the Belize Institute of Archaeology in 2011. He is currently a Caribbean history and African and Maya hisrory teacher at St. John’s College in Belize City. Contact info: or

Justin Telepak    
Justin Telepak has worked with MRP for 20 years and is a co-director of the Blue Creek Archaeological Project and memberof the board of directors.  When he's not patching holes, out gathering supplies or fixing flat tires, he can be found mapping with the survey crew or excavating with a field team.  His background is in Sociology and Lutherie (guitar building).  He is an artist, musician and woodworker living in Austin, Texas: (  

Robert Warden
Bob Warden is the Director of the Center for Architectural Heritage at Texas A& M University and has lead MRP’s digital recording project sonce 2008. Currently he is rendering 3D models of the Blue Creek project's excavations, artifacts, and caves. Bob has previously dealt with WWII battle sites in France, French cathedrals and Puebloan materials in Arizona. 

Marc Wolf
Marc Wolf, our project surveyor, has spent many years mapping Maya sites in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. Currently he is mapping the sites of Xnoha, Nojol Nah and Grey Fox. Marc Wolf is a Phd canidate at City University of New York and Instructor at Indiana University-East.

MRP Board of Directors
Grace Bascopé, Ph.D. (Dallas, Texas)
Bill Collins (Long Beach, California) --
Kim Cox (Corpus Christi, Texas)
C. Gerald Emanuelson (Duluth, Minnesota)
Thomas H. Guderjan, Ph.D. (Tyler, Texas) 
C. Colleen Hanratty (Tyler, Texas) 
Bob Hibschman (Eugene, Oregon)
Dale Pastrana (El Paso, Texas) --
Keith Peacock, Ph.D. (Williamsburg, Virginia)
Justin Telpak (Austin, Texas)

Blue Creek Project Staff

Dr. Tim Beach, University of Texas at Austin
Pieta Greaves, University of Cardiff
Dr. Thomas Guderjan, University of Texas at Tyler, Maya Research Program
Colleen Hanratty, Southern Methodist University, Maya Research Program
Dr. Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Univiersity of Texas at Austin
Greg Mastropietro, SWCA Environmental Consultants
Dr. Katie Miller, Indiana University- East
Dr. Josh Kwoka, Edinboro University
Kent Mead, SWCA Environmental Consultants 
Dr. Holly Moyes, University of California, Merced
Dr. Alexander Parmington, Archaeologist at the Wurundjeri Tribe and Land Council, Australia
Hannah Plumer, University of Sheffield 
Carlos Quiroz, St. John’s College, Belize
Greg Savoie, University of Leicester
Justin Telepak, Austin, Texas
Bob Warden, Texas A&M University
Mark Wolf, City University of New York and Indiana University-East.

Blue Creek Support Staff
Margaretha Dyck
Ben Dyck

Yaxunah Project Staff
Dr. Grace Bascopé - Project Director (Dallas, Texas) Lic. Elías Alcocer - Asst. Project Director (Universidad del Oriente, Yucatan)

Coba Project Staff
Dr. Ellen Kintz - Project Director
Jesse Berman - Research and Development Assistant