GSAR Staff

Dr. Michael Collins


Dr. Michael B. Collins is a Research Professor at Texas State University in San Marcos. He has specialized in the study of lithic technology and worked with prehistoric collections from North, Central, and South America, as well as the Near East and southwestern Europe. He collaborated on the lithics research for the pre-Clovis site of Monte Verde, Chile. Dr. Collins is currently active in research on the earliest part of the American archaeological record and published Clovis Blade Technology (UT Press) and Clovis Technology (International Monographs in Prehistory).

Dr. Bruce Bradley

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Bradley is Professor of Prehistory and Director of the Experimental Archaeology Masters Programme at the University of Exeter (UK). He has extensive experience with Stone Age technologies and experimental archaeology and has done research in the U.S. France, Russia and Central Asia. Bruce is also active in bringing his archaeological and anthropological interests to the public through presentations, teaching, interaction with Native American communities and participation in documentaries.

Dr. D. Clark Wernecke

Executive Director

Clark Wernecke is the Executive Director for the Gault School. Dr. Wernecke brings a unique blend of scholarship and experience to the project with degrees in history, business and anthropology. He has considerable experience in business and has specialized in the management of large archaeological projects. Dr. Wernecke has worked in the Middle East, Mesoamerica, the American Southeast and Southwest, and Texas. In addition to his work with the GSAR, he is currently working on archaeological data from the Mexican War and early Texas architecture.

Nancy Velchoff Williams

Lab Manager & Research Analyst

Nancy Williams is the Director and Lab manager for the Gault Project and is currently a Board officer with the Gault School of Archaeological Research. She is a lithic analyst specializing in Clovis debitage and has a MPhil in Archaeology from the University of Exeter. Years of working in both medical and legal fields and a lifelong curiosity in rocks (cultural and geological) led her to the Texas Archaeological Society and ultimately an opportunity to volunteer full-time at the Gault site. Under the careful direction of Dr. Collins and Dr. Clark Wernecke, Nancy eventually managed and directed the excavations at the Gault site for 4 years (2008-2012) before joining The Gault School of Archaeological Research as a staff member.

Dr. Steve Howard

Field Director

Steve is the Field Director for the Gault School. In addition to his recent work in Texas, he has directed fieldwork in New York and Ohio, at sites dating from the middle and Late Woodland periods. His dissertation work at The Ohio State University involved several analyses of Middle Woodland mortuary mound-building behavior in the upper Allegheny Valley of Pennsylvania and New York. He currently runs a summer public archaeology program in New York in collaboration with the Seneca Nation Tribal Historic preservation Office and local educational institutions. Here in Texas, he also enjoys teaching, as an adjunct professor at Austin Community College.

Marilyn Shoberg

Usewear Analyst

Marilyn Shoberg does microscopic use-wear analysis, primarily on stone tools from the Gault site. She has previously worked on a number of pueblo sites in the American southwest and Mission Espiritu Santo in Texas. Her MA from the University of Texas at Austin involved Mogollon settlement systems in southern New Mexico.

Dr. Robert Lassen

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Lassen is a lithic analyst and experienced flintknapper. He has a BA in Sociology from Southwestern, an MA in Anthropology from TAMU and got his PhD from the University of Tennessee. Robert has been examining Folsom and Midland as well as the Late Paleoindian technologies in Texas.

Sergio Ayala

Research Analyst & Scientific Illustrator

Sergio brings scientific illustration, lithic analysis, fieldwork, and research-focused flint knapping to the GSAR. He received a Bachelors of Science degree at Texas State University and currently an archaeology graduate student at the University of Exeter under Dr. Bruce Bradley. Sergio’s research integrates the complimentary fields of experimental flint knapping with lithic analysis. His research topics are the Early-Middle Archaic Calf-Creek Horizon people and the highly specialized North American tool industries to discern their causes and context. Sergio is active in public outreach and public speaking, giving Gault site tours, visiting Texas land owners, K-12 career day talks, and flint knapping demonstrations. Examples of Sergio's replication work can be seen at the Meadows Center in San Marcos, Texas.

Dr. Tom Williams

Assistant Executive Director and Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Tom Williams is a lithic analyst specializing in blade technology and our XRF technician. He has a BA and MA in Archaeology from the University of Reading (UK) and a Ph.D. from Exeter. Tom has worked on a numerous projects, from the excavation of a Roman town, to the geotechnical coring of river terraces. He is also a flint knapper and has had the opportunity to study this in both France and Denmark. In addition to his work with GSAR, His research focuses on the early human occupation of the Americas. Tom is also analyzing the blade technologies from America and Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum.

Jennifer Gandy

Research Assistant & Lithic Analyst

Jennifer is a lithic analyst specializing in the examination of debitage ranging in size from one eighth of an inch and larger. She received her BA in Anthropology at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS. After interning for R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. in New Orleans, LA, she decided to pursue her Master’s degree. Her interest in the archaeological study of the peopling of the Americas led her to Texas State University, and Dr. Collins, who encouraged her to analyze debitage from below Clovis in Area 15 of the Gault Site. Having completed her MA at Texas State, she is continuing her MA research; primarily focusing on determining where the Clovis and “Older-than-Clovis” stratigraphic layers begin and end in each area.

Mike Quigg

Staff Archaeologist

Quigg brings 29 years of Texas archaeological experience to the Gault project. He has an MA in archaeology from the University of Calgary, Alberta. He has diverse experience in Plains archeology, hunter-gatherer sites and assemblages, and a background in multidisciplinary approaches to projects. He has spent most of his career with various CRM firms in diverse roles, developing skills in managing projects, directing analyses, and writing technical reports. Much of his work has involved extensive research into burned rock features and extracting data from those features.

Laura Vilsack

Staff Specialist

Laura Vilsack is a lithic analyst who holds a BA and MA focusing on archaeology. She received her BA from the University of Houston and a MA from Texas State University. Her thesis research examined the archaeological context and form of a prehistoric stone feature believed to be older than Clovis from Area 12 at the Gault site. Laura’s research of the stone feature led to analysis using a variety of techniques including magnetic susceptibility, geoarchaeology, structure-from-motion photogrammetry, artifact chronology, geographic information system (GIS), and spatial analysis of all artifacts recovered from excavations. She is continuing and expanding this research with GSAR. Laura has also worked and volunteered on excavations and surveys throughout Texas as well as New England and Tennessee for the past 10 years.