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Keck Center Staff


Timothy J. Ward, Director. Tim Ward is Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Sciences. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

In addition to his research interest in archaeology, he is a specialist in chiral separations and the development of analytical LC and CE methods. Dr. Ward served as chair of the International Symposium on Chirality, July 2007 in San Diego, the largest conference in his field.

Dr. Ward has been recognized nationally for his work, receiving the Outstanding Contributions to Science Award from the Mississippi Academy of Sciences and Chemist of the Year Award from the Mississippi Section of the American Chemical Society.

Jiyan Gu, Postdoctoral Fellow. Jiyan Gu received his B.S. in Chemistry from Nanjing University, China and Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Wake Forest University. He now applies his analytical chemistry expertise to the solution of complex problems in archaeology.

Dr. Gu has extensive experience working with various commercial instruments, such as ICP-MS, PXRF, GC-MS and LC-MS/MS, all of which are found in the Keck Center. He has published a number of papers in international journals and received two awards for his work in the field of instrumentation design.

George J. Bey III, New World Archaeologist.  George Bey is Professor of Anthropology, Chisholm Foundation Chair in Arts and Sciences, and Dean of International Studies, and specializes in Mesoamerican archaeology. He received his B.A. from the University of New Mexico and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Tulane University.

After several years of digging at the Maya site of Ek Balam, in 2000 he began work with Mexican colleagues at the 4500-acre Kaxil Kiuic biocultural reserve, operated by Millsaps College. His work at the ancient city of Kiuic has rewritten Maya history and is the focus of a recently released National Geographic documentary entitled "Quest for the Lost Maya."

In 2006 Bey was named the outstanding anthropology professor in undergraduate teaching in the United States by the American Anthropological Association and in 2007 the CASE US Professor of the Year for the state of Mississippi.

Michael L. Galaty, Old World Archaeologist.  Mike Galaty is Professor of Anthropology and specializes in the archaeology of Mediterranean Europe. He received a B.A. with Honors in Anthropology from Grinnell College and M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He and his students dig in Albania and Greece. In Albania he works in the remote high mountains, studying the origins of Europe's last tribal peoples. With Albanian colleagues he runs the Projeckti Arkeologjikë i Shkodrës (PASH), which is studying the prehistoric origins of the Illyrians. In Greece he leads an international team excavating at Alepotrypa Cave, site of a massive 7000-year-old Neolithic village.

In the field of archaeology, Galaty's work has received national recognition. He is a trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America. In 2010, he received the AIA's prestigious Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award - an award given annually to one college or university professor in the field of archaeology.

Student Laboratory Assistants

Syed Ali is a sophomore from Madison, Mississippi. He is a Biochemistry major. He spent last summer in the Keck Lab performing chocolate residue analysis using LC-MS and fatty acid analysis using GC-MS. He plans to continue research in the Keck Lab this summer and to attend medical school after graduation. When Syed is not studying, he enjoys playing basketball and spending time with his family and friends.

Dylan Horne is a junior from Jackson, Mississippi. He is working towards a B.S. in Philosophy and a double minor in Neuroscience and Chemistry. He has been with the Keck Lab since second semester of his freshmen year. He plans to go to law school to become an environmental and civil rights lawyer. When Dylan is not contemplating the mechanics of the LA-ICP-MS, he likes to play guitar.

Faustin Mwambutsa is a sophomore from Gisenyi, Rwanda. He is working towards a B.S. in Chemistry and Applied Mathematics. He just joined the Keck Lab team this year. He is planning an honors project and wants to further his studies in chemical engineering in graduate school. When Faustin is not conducting acid digestion of artifact samples, he is probably solving some complicated mathematics problems or working out at the gym.

Monica Nguyen is a sophomore from Ridgeland, Mississippi. She is working towards a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Business. She has been with the Keck Lab since second semester of her freshmen year, and specializes in elemental analysis spectroscopy. She plans to go to medical school to study pediatrics. When Monica is not engaged in lab research, she spends her time volunteering at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.