Faculty and Staff

Photo of Michael E Smith

Michael E. Smith
Professor and Director, Teotihuacan Research Laboratory

Michael E. Smith is an archaeologist who specializes in the Aztecs of central Mexico. He has combined the results of his fieldwork with studies of documents to analyze the expansion of the Aztec empire, the nature of the Aztec economy, cities and city-states, and patterns of social inequality.

Photo of Mercedes Cabrera Cortes

Oralia Cabrera
Academic Professional; Operations, Teotihuacan Research Laboratory

Oralia Cabrera studies the production and consumption of ritual lapidary objects and textile and ceramic production systems at Teotihuacan. Her recent research addresses the socio-economic integration of low-status sectors of the Teotihuacan society, as well as issues concerning craft production by independent craftspeople.

Photo of Saburo Sugiyama

Saburo Sugiyama
Research Professor

Saburo Sugiyama is currently an assistant director of the Sun Pyramid Project. His major research interests are on Mesoamerican social histories (particularly Teotihuacan), ancient urbanism, iconography and symbolism, and theories of cognitive archaeology.

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Ben Nelson
Professor Emeritus

Ben Nelson's research encompasses cycles of social complexity and connectivity among the ancient cultures of northwestern Mexico and the American Southwest, especially A.D. 200–1540; on human roles in and responses to the desertification of grasslands in those regions; and on relating archaeology to indigenous cultures of the present day.

Photo of Christopher Morehart

Christopher Morehart
Associate Professor

Christopher Morehart is an archaeologist, environmental anthropologist and ethnobotanist/paleoethnobotanist. Much of his work centers on Mesoamerica, and for the last several years has concentrated on the Basin of Mexico. Conceptually, a great deal of his research involves questions of inequality and ideology.

Photo of Lisa Gallagher

Lisa Gallagher
Coordinator of Education and Programs

A recent graduate of the Museum Studies master’s program at ASU, Lisa plans to pursue her PhD in this field by continuing her thesis research in professional development programs and educator partnerships. Lisa's concentrations are in community outreach and educational support in the form of visitor research and program evaluation. Lisa participated in the inaugural collections management summer internship program at the ASU Teotihuacan Laboratory in 2016. She also participated in 2017, and trained four students at the lab. As the Coordinator of Education and Programs, Lisa’s responsibilities include recruiting, supervising and guiding students for the summer internship program. She also works at developing and promoting outreach events for the lab in Arizona. She is currently working with students to create portable lesson plans for K-12 educators using collections from the lab.