My active research interests focus on 4 topics; 1) Stone Age archaeology of sub-Saharan Africa, 2) Paleoindian-Archaic and Southern Plains archaeology, 3) hunter-gatherer foraging theory and technological organization, and 4) geoarchaeology and paleoenvironments.
Currently I am collaborating with Dr. James Brink (National Museum’s Florisbad Quaternary Research Department) on the Modder River Paleontological and Archaeological Project excavating Middle and Later Stone Age sites at Erfkroon and Baden-Baden. This research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Research Foundation, the Leakey Foundation, the National Museum and Texas State University. I am also working with Garth Sampson on the NSF-funded Zeekoe Valley GIS Study, which is converting data from a large survey in the Karoo of South Africa into GIS format. Lastly I am working with Haley Rush and Elton Prewitt on the Rowe Valley site here in Texas. The Bureau of Land Management has supported our field school excavations at Antelope Creek homesteads on the Cross Bar Ranch and NPS has funded research at the Alibates Quarries, both in the Texas Panhandle.
I received my first undergraduate degree (BS) from Southern Methodist University (SMU, 1974) where I worked for Dr. Alan Skinner in the now defunct Archaeology Research Program and directed a number of CRM projects throughout Texas and New Mexico. I then read Archaeology for a BA degree at Cambridge under Dr. Charles McBurney and excavated with him at La Cotte de St. Brelade on the Isle of Jersey in the Channel Islands. While at Cambridge, I also worked with Robin Derricourt at Itechitechi, Zambia, Pat Vinnicombe in the Senqunyane valley, Lesotho, and John Coles at the Somerset Levels in southwest England. After graduating from Cambridge in 1976, I worked in Oklahoma for a year at the Museum of the Great Plains with Reid Ferring, and for 2 years, I directed a nonprofit research company, Archaeological Research Associates, in Tulsa, founded by Charles and Annetta Cheek.. I returned to SMU in 1979 and earned my PhD in 1991, where I studied with Dr. Garth Sampson and worked on his Zeekoe Valley Archaeological Survey in South Africa. I undertook excavations at Blydefontein Rock Shelter in South Africa for my dissertation research. While writing my dissertation I worked as a geoarchaeologist at Prewitt & Associates working on CRM projects throughout Texas. After finishing my PhD, I joined Mike Collins at UT-Austin, TARL, to co-direct the Wilson-Leonard project near Austin, and later spent 5 years at the Center for Archaeological Research, UTSA as the Assistant and Interim Directors. I joined the Texas State Anthropology Department in 1999 to establish the department’s first research center (CAS). I advanced to an Assistant Professor position in 2002, tenured as Associated Professor in 2006, and promoted to full Professor in 2012. I stepped down from the CAS directorship in 2009 when I became Associate Dean for Research in the College of Liberal Arts, and stepped down from the Associate Dean position in 2017
I am very proud to have served as the 2011 President of the Texas Archeological Society and was elected Fellow of TAS in 2013. I am also Honorary Research Associate in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Fall 2014 I was appointed as an Honorary Professor of International Studies in the Center for International Studies at Texas State.