Who We Are

Andrew Koh (ARCHEM Project Founder and Database Co-Editor-in-Chief) is an archaeologist (Ph.D. Penn) with a background in the natural sciences (B.S. Illinois – Biophysics/Pre-Medicine and Classics). He founded the ARCHEM Project in 2003 to better integrate organic residue studies into archaeological field work and make it more widely applicable and accessible. He espouses transdisciplinary approaches that foster new creative spaces and discoveries, such as the earliest palatial wine cellar (Koh, Yasur-Landau, Cline 2014), the earliest olive oil (Koh and Betancourt 2010), the earliest royal purple dye installation (Koh et al. 2015), the first definitively-defined Minoan aromatic workshop (Koh 2006), and the first identification of Phoenician cedar oil (Koh, Berlin, Herbert in press). He has been a faculty member at the MIT Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology since 2009 and is currently Senior Research Fellow, covering paleoecology and organic residue studies for its archaeological science course (3.985J) and participating in its year-long ceramic technology course (3.984). He was the co-founder and managing director of the Brandeis Digital Humanities Lab, Associate Director of the Kabri Archaeological Project, and currently co-directs the Southern Phokis Regional Project. His research focuses on better understanding human behavior and social-cultural complexity in the ancient world through organic goods. This ultimately provides opportunities to recover lost ancient innovation and reverse engineer processes for modern applications. His research interests include ancient pharmacology and medicine, history of technology & innovation, paleoecologies and ethnobotany, organic commodities & branded goods, biomolecular archaeology & phytochemistry, and digital applications (GIS, 3D modeling).

Kate Birney (Project Co-Director and Database Co-Editor-in-Chief) is an archaeologist (Ph.D. Harvard) specializing in interaction and cultural exchange between Greece and the Ancient Near East with an eye towards economic systems. She is the current recipient of a Mellon New Directions Fellowship, which is supporting two years of additional training in the archaeological sciences at MIT and Harvard geared towards ceramic technology and ethnobotany. Her research focuses on two periods of intensive contact: the Bronze-Iron Age transition, tracking Mycenaean immigrants and tribes of Sea Peoples as they moved from the Aegean sphere into Cilicia, Syria, Israel and Cyprus (Birney 2007; Birney 2008; Birney and Doak 2011), and the Hellenistic period, during which Greek and Phoenician cultural and market forces shaped the landscape of the southern Levant (Birney and Levine 2011; Birney 2015, 2017, 2018). Each of her major projects (‘Amuq, Ashkelon, Mouliana, Penn Museum) have legacy data at their core, and as such she is intimately familiar with the many challenges of working with such assemblages, and envisions the OpenARCHEM database as a resource to help other scholars apply new data and analytical frameworks to legacy material.

Anna Krohn (Senior Software Developer, Digital Modeling and Programming Team Manager, Managing Editor of Full Spectrum) is a seasoned developer of databases for ancient resources – the new catalog for the Perseus Digital Library being her largest undertaking thus far. She was the original Brandeis Digital Humanities Lab manager and is designing the data model, the database, and the search algorithms for the OpenARCHEM database.

Sarah Schofield-Mansur (Senior Database Editor, Social Media Editor) is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at Brandeis and a veteran of the ARCHEM Project. She is interested in bioarchaeology, social interpretation of funerary practice, infant container burials, cultural/archaeological heritage management, and gendered interpretation of domestic space and material culture.

Alison Crandall (Senior Organic Chemist, ARCHEM Project Assistant Director) double majored in Chemistry and Classical Studies as an undergraduate at Brandeis University, where the perfect background and good timing led to her involvement with ARCHEM. She continued at Brandeis for her MA in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies under Dr. Koh’s supervision, specializing in archaeological and conservation science. She is currently the Lead Lab Chemist for Doble Engineering Company. 

Ryan Johnson (Textual and Ethnohistorical Research Team Manager) is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of British Columbia Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies department. He brings years of experience as a research assistant of the Database of Religious History. After earning his BA at Boise State University, he received a MA in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies under Dr. Koh’s supervision, specializing in ancient magic and religion.


Research Team Members
OpenARCHEM has five active research teams and offers research opportunities for enthusiastic, dedicated graduate and undergraduate student researchers. Interested parties should fill our our application form, or contact the staff coordinator at openarchem@gmail.com.

2020-2021
Nick Bowman (PLR), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Alison Crandall (OC Senior Organic Chemist), Brandeis MA ’15 (Doble Engineering Company)
Anissa Findley (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Anna Friedman (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Sarah Goldman (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Cole Harris (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Anna Krohn (DMP Team Manager, Full Spectrum), Brandeis MA ’18 (New England Law School)
Ryan Johnson (TER Team Manager), Brandeis MA ’14 (University of British Columbia Ph.D. candidate)
Julia Lanfear (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Sophia Marra (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Andrew Rogers (OC, TER), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Tessa Zitter (TER), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)

2019-2020
Aaron Arkin (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Anna Krohn (DMP, Full Spectrum), Brandeis MA ’18 (New England Law School)
Sophia Marra (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Andrew Rogers (OC, MER, TER), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Emma Shapiro (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)

2018-2019
Chris Armstrong (OC), undergraduate (Brandeis University)
Jaquelin Aroujo (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Alison Crandall (OC), Brandeis BA ’13, MA ’15 (Alpha Analytical)
Joy Feinberg (TER), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Derrek Joyce (TER), Brandeis MA ’19
Anna Krohn (DMP, Full Spectrum), Brandeis MA ’18 (New England Law School)
Jana O’Donnell (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Andrew Rogers (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Sonja Welch (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Helen Wong (DMP), undergraduate (Brandeis University)
Tessa Zitter (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)

2017-2018
Chris Armstrong (OC), undergraduate (Brandeis University)
Jaquelin Aroujo (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Savannah Bishop (MER), MA student (Brandeis University)
Alison Crandall (OC), PhD student (UCLA)
Joy Feinberg (TER), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Emma Graham (TER), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Ryan Johnson (TER), PhD candidate (University of British Columbia)
Brittany Joyce (TER), MA student (Brandeis University)
Derrek Joyce (TER), MA student (Brandeis University)
Anna Krohn (DMP), MA student (Brandeis University)
See Woo Lee (DMP), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Jennifer Marks (PLR), MA in Museum Studies (Tufts University) and MPH in International Health (Boston University)
Evan McDuff ( TER), MA student (Brandeis University) – Pliny, Galen
Vanessa Ramirez (OC), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Benjamin Sarraille (TER), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Jack Sheffer (MER), undergraduate (Wesleyan University)
Helen Wong (DMP), undergraduate (Brandeis University)

Advisory Board
Eric H. Cline (George Washington University)
Andrea M. Berlin (Boston University)
Ian M. Roy (Brandeis University)
Cheryl Floyd (Independent Scholar)