Linda Scott Cummings, Ph.D., director-palynologist-phytolith-starch analyst, has been working with pollen since 1971. Her work includes paleoenvironmental, as well as subsistence and paleonutrition interpretations. In addition to analysis of archaeological pollen and phytoliths, her experience also includes the use of a Scanning Electron Microscope. The best diet studies involve paleofeces (coprolites). Linda examines pollen, starches, phytoliths, and parasite eggs contained in these paleofeces for evidence of diet, nutrition, and health. She has worked with remains from the American Southwest, the northern Great Basin, the west coast of South America, as well as from Nubia (Africa).
R.A. Varney, palynologist and paleoecologist, examines pollen samples and analyzes archaeoclimatic models. R.A. also contributes geological expertise and works comfortably with pre-Pleistocene through Holocene samples. He also processes the AMS radiocarbon samples and develops new methodologies. His interests lie primarily with the intrepretation of stratigraphic paleoenvironmental records and AMS samples.
Peter Kovacik, MA , charcoal and macrofloral analyst, works with the macrofloral record and is responsible for identification of charcoal and seeds from a wide variety of locations. He is instrumental in identifying and selecting charcoal for AMS radiocarbon dating, calibrating the dates, then writing the interpretive report. He also assists with protein residue extractions. Peter works on our SEM, creating a photographic reference library and also individual photographs for reports. Peter comes to PaleoResearch Institute from Slovakia, where he first learned macrofloral analysis from Dr. Maria Hajnalova.
Lee Drake, Ph.D., XRF specialist, has worked worldwide with archaeologists, agronomists, engineers, and nuclear physicists on developing mobile solutions for advanced analytical problems. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico with a focus on paleoclimatic reconstruction using stable isotopes, but has since focused on non-destructive spectral analysis.