Kori Lea Filipek is a trained field archaeologist with active interests in bioarchaeology and palaeopathology. She is currently finishing her doctoral work under the supervision of Professor Charlotte Roberts, Dr. Janet Montgomery, and Dr. Rebecca Gowland on leprosy immunology and stigma in the past and is a part-time teacher at Durham University. She holds an MSc in Palaeopathology from Durham University, an MA in Anthropology/Archaeology from California State University; bachelor’s degrees in Classics with an emphasis in Greek civilisations and Anthropology; and undergraduate degrees in Journalism, Liberal Arts, and Dance Performance. Over the years, she has worked with skeletal remains at sites in Crete, Mycenae, El Salvador, Guatemala, California, and Romania; lectured in osteology and archaeology at several institutions; served as a research associate for repatriation of NAGPRA collections in Southern California, lectured at the Transylvanian Museum of National History, and was the Principle Investigator for the Health and Migration in the Kingdom of the Gepids (Transylvania) project.
Her other research interests include infectious disease; mobility and dietary isotope analyses; the bioarchaeology of care; mental illness in antiquity; mobilities of infection; non-adult palaeopathology; and bioarchaeological ethics.
She currently serves as the Director and Program Coordinator for Transylvania Bioarchaeology and is one of the Principle Investigators for the Jucu Necropolis Project (skeletal analysis).
Kori Lea Filipek
Durham University, England
Dr. Katie Tucker
University of Winchester, England
Katie Tucker is a human osteologist and field archaeologist, with many years of experience in commercial and research archaeology. As a field archaeologist, she has worked on a wide variety of rural and urban sites in the UK and her osteological work has included the analysis of inhumations, cremations and commingled remains from all periods from the Mesolithic to the post-medieval, and from single burials to large cemetery sites.
She holds an undergraduate degree in Archaeology, an MSc in Human Osteology and Palaeopathology and a PhD on the Archaeology and Osteology of Decapitation in Britain, with a focus on the evidence for peri-mortem trauma. Since completing her PhD, she has been the osteologist for the Magdalen Hill Archaeology Research Project (MHARP) under Dr. Simon Roffey and Dr. Phil Marter at the University of Winchester where she is also a post-doctoral researcher. Her latest body of work, looking at the burials from the Saxo-Norman leprosy hospital has brought about a number of co-authored academic papers on the site and skeletons, including publications in Science, PLoS ONE, and The International Journal of Paleopathology. She is also the osteologist and lead archaeologist for a project in Ethiopia, focusing on medieval cemeteries and cave burials, under Dr. Tania Tribe at SOAS, University of London; and is working on Bronze Age collective burials from Jordan in collaboration with the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, and medieval hospital burials from Berlin in collaboration with the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte.
Katie is currently a Principle Investigator for the Jucu Necropolis Project (excavations).
Katie received her MSc in Paleopathology from Durham University in 2012, specializing in the global history of cancer as evidenced in archaeological skeletal remains. She continues to pursue this research as the co-founder and President of the Paleo-oncology Research Organization (PRO), for which she has been recognized in 2014 as a TED Fellow, one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in the world, and the joint Foreign Policy & U.S. Department of State’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers. Katie has over 7 seasons of field experience at sites in Egypt, Israel, and Romania.
In addition to assisting Transylvania Bioarchaeology’s Jucu Roman - Barbarian Necropolis excavation, she is also the primary osteologist for the Leggio and Tel Megiddo East project’s through the Jezreel Valley Regional Project in Israel, and has served as the assistant osteologist for Pacific Lutheran University’s Valley of the Kings Expedition. Her current research interests lie in the history of human health, the bio-cultural factors leading to the evolution and development of disease, and specifically the study of cancer in ancient societies
Katie formally served as an Assistant PI to Katie Tucker in the Jucu Necropolis Project, and has remains a consultant for the Jucu Project.
Paleo-oncology Research Organization
Jordan Snyder holds an MSc in Osteoarchaeology from the University of Sheffield, UK and was one of the initial team members for Transylvania Bioarchaeology. Her MSc work focused on palaeopathology in the Gepids populations of Transylvania, which she completed while working as an assistant for Kori Filipek. After gaining her MSc, Ms. Snyder carried on her osteological work at the Natural History Museum in New York, cataloguing their osteological collections. Jordan has 8 years of field experience and her previous field experience includes Kampsville, Illinois, Achill Island, Ireland, and of course, Transylvania. Ms. Snyder is pursuing further postgraduate study at Durham University looking at the relationships between palaeopathology and carcinogenic medical treatments in the past.
Jordan currently serves as a Field Assistant for the Jucu Necropolis project, focusing on in situ identification, excavation techniques, and post-processing.
Interested in joining our team?
Kelly Blevins is a bioarchaeologist who specializes in human osteology, paleopathology, and ancient DNA. She received her BS in Anthropology from Appalachian State University and her MSc in Paleopathology from Durham University. She is currently a PhD student at Arizona State University where she is investigating the relationship between infectious disease epidemiology and population history in pre- and post-contact Peru. Her field experience has been geographically diverse, ranging from North Carolina to Egypt. Kelly has a co-authored publication in PLOS One and a co-authored book chapter in A Companion to South Asia in the Past (Robbins Schug and Walimbe, 2016).
Kelly has a special interest in public outreach and community engagement; she has designed and implemented activities introducing children to human evolution, bioarchaeology, and forensic anthropology. She has served as a teaching assistant at the university level for years and holds a substitute teaching certification for grades K-12.
Kelly currently serves as an Assistant Principle Investigator for the Jucu Necropolis Project (skeletal analyses).
Arizone State University
Center for Geogenetics, Denmark
Liam Lanigan has worked extensively as a bioarchaeologist in England, Canada, Romania, France, and Denmark, both in commercial and research capacities. Most notably, Liam has been a core member of the Hafstadir excavations since 2010 and is the lead bioarchaeologist for the Mosfell project in Iceland and worked on the cranial and odontological collections at the Royal College of Surgeons (UK). He holds a BSc Honours in Archaeology from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), and an MSc in Skeletal and Dental Bioarchaeology from University College London (UK). Liam's research interests include proteomics and biomolecular approaches to palaeopathology; cysts and neoplastic conditions; cranio-facial pathology; odontology; and congenital disorders affecting the skeleton. He currently works at the Center for Geogenetics in Copenhagen investigating dental calculus proteomics and disease biomarkers.
Liam currently serves as an Assistant Principle Investigator for the Jucu Necropolis project (excavations).
Megan Oliverson began as a student in the Transylvania Bioarchaeology field school and went on to become one of our interns, before solidifying her place as a permanent member of staff. Megan holds a BA in Anthropology from Utah State University and graduated with an MSc in Palaeopathology from Durham University. Ms. Oliverson has spent 4 seasons with us in the field and lab, and has a keen interest in dental pathology.
Megan currently serves as the Laboratory Assistant for the Jucu Necropolis project, focusing on osteological identification and analysis, recording techniques, data management, and good vibes.