Current MA students in anthropology

Gabrielle Mace

Gabrielle Mace is a first-year graduate student in the Anthropology department, specializing in biological and forensic anthropology. She earned her B.S. in Anthropology from Eastern Michigan University with a minor in human biology. While at Eastern Michigan University she worked at the Wayne County Medical Examiners office where she processed, analyzed, and assisted in the recovery of human remains. During her undergrad, she also performed research regarding sex estimation of individuals who fall within an intermediate/indeterminate sex category and presented the results at the EMU Undergraduate Symposium. She later traveled to Turkey to assist with the archaeological excavations taking place at the site, Antiochia ad Cragum. While in Turkey she also performed her own research focusing on the prevalence and etiology of a patella abnormality, the vastus notch, in that ancient population. She presented the results of her research at the Midwest Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology Association Conference. While working towards a masters in Anthropology, she is also pursuing a Forensic Anthropology Certificate at UNL, and is looking forward to being a part of the UNL Anthropology community!

Andrea Sbei

Andrea Sbei is a first-year Masters student here at UNL. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno with a major in anthropology, and a minor in archaeology. She was able to partake in archaeological research involving the growth of California mussel shells from the Channel Islands. As a co-author, she is expecting a publication soon about variation in Rocker Jaw frequencies across the world. Here at UNL, she hopes to use her experience from the lab and medical examiner’s office to dive further into biological and forensic anthropology.

Bri Petersen

Bri Petersen achieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science: Crime Scene Investigation from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2018. As a graduate student in Anthropology, she focuses on Forensic Anthropology under MA Advisor Dr. Bill Belcher. She has previously interned with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) at Offutt Airforce Base conducting skeletal analyses and is currently doing research there with one of the Forensic Anthropologists on staff. In her free time, she loves to read, play with her two very cute weiner dogs, try local craft beers with her husband, and be involved in other local happenings in Lincoln.

Kat Bickert

Kat Krutak-Bickert is a first year graduate student in Anthropology. Her interests include food ways of the Great Plains, how colonization affects indigenous food, identity and culture and how communities are working to restore traditional cultivation/culinary practices. Kat earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from UNL in 2013 focusing on Anthropology, Great Plains Studies and Native Studies. Kat was part of the 2011-2012 cohort of the Umóⁿhoⁿ language class and was a member of the Umóⁿhoⁿ Language Instruction Team. Kat also works as the Coordinator for the School of Global Integrative Studies at UNL. In her free time she enjoys traveling; domestic and abroad, hiking and climbing mountains.

Will Hertzel

William Darwin Hertzel is a graduate student pursuing studies in bioarchaeology and anthropology, specifically looking to do research in gut microbiome and parasitism in archaeological studies. He graduated in December of 2018 from UNL with his bachelor's in Anthropology and a minor in Sociology, and has since been working as a Pharmaceutical Technician. The past two years he has spent time with Dr. Karl Reinhard from CASNR conducting research in his labs, such as micro and macrofossil sample analysis, parasite recovery, and most notably on the potential for airborne infection in archaeological sites, research which he presented at the Paleopathology Associations conference in 2019. He looks forward to expanding his knowledge in bioarchaeological studies and growing in the field of Anthropology!

Ella Axelrod

Ella Axelrod received their Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Colorado College in May, 2019. While at Colorado College, they completed a research project in partnership with the US Forest Service on a cache of historic artifacts found on BLM land in southern Colorado. They've partnered with University of Wisconsin's Missing in Action Recovery and Identification Project for the past five years doing WWII remains recovery in France and Belgium. Ella is interested in historic archaeology and archaeological applications in a forensic setting.

Mason McKinney

Mason McKinney is a first year Masters student at UNL. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno with a major in anthropology and a minor, in biological anthropology. His time at Nevada was spent conducting research regarding the intra and interobserver error rates in dental metrics, collecting data regarding the frequencies of rocker jaw around the world, and learning from his mentors at the medical examiner’s office. Mason hopes to receive a Masters in Anthropology and earn Forensic Anthropology Certificate.

Trent Carney in an excavation site

Trent Carney is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Anthropology specializing in Professional Archaeology.  He received his Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from UNL in 2016 with minors in History and German. He has taken part in fieldwork in Honduras with Professor Heather Richards-Rissetto (UNL) during the 2016 field season. In July 2018 he attended the Gotland Archaeological Field School in Eke parish on Gotland, Sweden, directed by Associate Professor Dan Carlsson (Gotland University). He just returned from volunteering at the Ness of Brodgar 2019 excavation, part of ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’ UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Orkney, Scotland.  He is an eagle scout and avid outdoorsman.  He and his fiancee have acreage near Greenwood Nebraska.

Olivia Thomsen at an excavation site with others

Olivia Thomsen came to UNL from Missouri, where she earned her B.S. in anthropology from Missouri State University. During her time at UNL, she is excited to work on research in Southwest archaeology, specifically examining gender roles in Chaco Canyon during the Classic Bonito phase. In 2018 she started her archaeological experience with a field school at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, CO. More recently she held an interpretive internship at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, where she was able to learn more about archaeology and share her knowledge with the general public. She is excited to be joining the anthropology department here at UNL!

June Weber

June Weber received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies with a Classical Archaeology focus from Pennsylvania State University in May of 2017. While studying at Penn State she assisted a graduate student with material collections and tree analysis in the environmental lab on campus, as well as data collection and interpretation. Her studies in Classics brought her to a field school in Tel Akko Israel, where she is still currently involved in excavations of the multiple occupational sites spanning from the Early Bronze Age into the Hellenistic period. During her time off in between studies, she has worked with several different CRM companies in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region interacting with both Pre-historic and Historic materials. Currently, at UNL, June is pursuing her MA in Professional Archaeology as well as a Certificate in Digital Humanities. Although her interests are currently mixed, she is looking at the interpretation of trade implications on material culture as well as the integration of GIS and photogrammetry into the documentation of older collections.

Amy S Peterson

Amy Peterson received a Master’s of Liberal Arts from Tulane University in 2015, where she focused on Mesoamerican cultures, learning how to read hieroglyphs, and was instructed in the basics of two Mayan languages, as well as that of Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. She received a Bachelor’s of Arts in History from the University of Nevada-Reno in 2003, which was focused on Pre-Columbian History. She is currently a Research Assistant to Dr. Heather Richards-Rissetto and working on her thesis, tentatively titled, “When Leaders Surrender Their Divine Lineage: The Loss of Cosmic Connection Between Maya Local Lords and Their Supernatural Gods”. She currently has an internship with archaeological collections of the University of Nebraska State Museum, where she is using photogrammetry to create 3D digital models of artifacts, which will be used on the Morrill Hall Museum’s website in the future. Finally, she will be graduating this semester (Fall 2020). Additionally, she and Dr. Richards-Rissetto are co-authoring a paper to be presented at the CAA (Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology) Conference in Cyprus in June 2021.

Bailey Oettel

Bailey Oettel received her B.S. in Anthropology from the University of South Dakota with a minor in interdisciplinary sciences. While at South Dakota she completed an internship with Colorado Mesa University at the Forensic Investigation Research Station (FIRS). She used her time there to conduct research on the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the rate of decomposition seen in the human models at FIRS. This research was presented at the University of South Dakota’s research symposium, IdeaFest, as well as being the topic of her undergraduate honors thesis, which was successfully defended this past May. She also attended the ARCHAEOTEK Bioarchaeology field school in Romania, which was taught by Dr. Bethard. There she worked in the lab on medieval juvenile bones and helped with the analysis of the skeletal collection. Bailey is currently working towards a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in Biological Anthropology with a certificate in Forensic Anthropology.

Katlyn Likely

Katlyn Likely received her B.A. in archaeology and a minor in sociology from Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri.  She worked in the Lindenwood University Archaeological Laboratory for three years, in which one year she held the position of laboratory director. During her employment and studies at Lindenwood University, she worked on many sites including Daniel Boone Home, the Lindenwood excavation, the Kress Farm Garden Preserve’s prehistoric sites, and many more. She presented her research, consisting of an experimental archaeology project, at multiple local and national conferences. Along with working at Lindenwood’s laboratory, she also held a position with Missouri Department of Natural Resource-Division of State Parks, where she focused on the conservation and interpretation of multiple historic sites near her hometown of Pilot Knob, Missouri. Because of her work with Missouri State Parks, she is interested in public education and the conservation of archaeological sites. She is currently pursuing a M.A. in prehistoric archaeology; hoping to focus on aquatic subsistence methods in the Great Plains. She recently moved to Lincoln in July 2017 with her boyfriend of three years and her 7 year old rescue dog, and all three enjoy exploring the beautiful landscape of Nebraska.

Erik Schulz

Erik Schulz is a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In his undergraduate degree he studied Anthropology. He studied mummies in Sicily. He has also studied in the UK comparing the criminal justice system of the UK and the US. He is currently studying Anthropology and Archaeology with a specialization in Forensic Anthropology. He was an intern at the DPAA (Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) Laboratory. His internship focused on aiding the DPAA in their mission of identifying United States military remains so that they can be properly identified and laid to rest. His thesis, for my Master’s program, is on the pedagogy of teaching osteology online vs teaching in a classroom. In his free time he likes to ride motorcycles and take his dog on walks.