I received my degree in Archaeological Materials in 2008 from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. My dissertation research focused on the ancient pottery production technology in the Middle Balsas Region of Guerrero, Mexico. I investigated the production decisions made by potters through petrographic analysis of ancient sherds, ethnographic work with potters in the region, and the testing of modern replicas. The Middle Balsas region has been largely uninvestigated by systematic archaeological study. My research results are the first to set forth definitively the occupational sequence in the Middle Balsas from 300 BC to AD 1300.
More recently, I have investigated ceramics used in metal melting and casting at the Maya site of Mayapan in the Yucatán Penninsula of Mexico, and I am currently working on an analysis of pottery production patterns at the site of Calixtlahuaca. Calixtlahuaca is a large, urban settlement in the Basin of Mexico that was conquered by the Aztec Empire in the Late Postclassic Period (ca. 1478 A.D.). I hope to determine if pottery production techniques varied with the introduction of new forms and decorative types introduced by the Aztecs.