2010 Team Members

Oaxaca, Mexico

Heather Lapham

Associate Scientist, Curator, Adjunct Associate Professor
Center for Archaeological Investigations & Southern Illinois University

Dr. Heather Lapham has been analyzing animal remains from archaeological sites for almost two decades. She joined the El Pamillo team in 2007 as the project’s zooarchaeologist and now continues her work with the Mitla Fortress team. Her research focuses on ancient animal economies and animal use in southern Mexico and the American Southeast. Participating in the Field Museum’s Zapotec Expedition presents an exciting new research opportunity. To learn more about Dr. Lapham, visit her SIUC web page.


Lindsey Cadwell Baker

Project Bioarchaeologist
Southern Illinois University of Carbondale 

Lindsey Cadwell Baker received her Master's degree in physical anthropology, with a focus on human osteology and forensic anthropology, in 2008 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at SIUC with a concentration in skeletal biology and bioarchaeology. Her dissertation research focuses on Mesoamerican bioarchaeology, specifically Classic Period Zapotec identity and health. Lindsey joined the Mitla Fortress team in 2009 as the project bioarchaeologist.


Jill Seagard

Scientific Illustrator, Department of Anthropology
The Field Museum  

Jill Seagard is a graduate of Iowa State University where she obtained her B.A. in Biological & Pre-Medical Illustration (BPMI). She has illustrated objects from 65,000-year-old Palestinian stone tools to digitizing Classic period (A.D. 200-800) maps of Oaxacan houses. Jill is an accomplished scientific illustrator and creates many of the computer and pen-and-ink illustrations utilized by Field Museum curators in their research presentations and publications.


Heather Kearney

Laboratory Assistant & Illustrator
Iowa State University

Heather is an undergraduate student from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, studying Biological/Pre-medical Illustration at Iowa State University. The fusion of science with art is what attracted her to this discipline, and she is enthusiastic about the opportunity to document ancient artifacts through illustration. She also enjoys knitting, book binding, and cross-country skiing.


Kara Bantz

Field & Laboratory Assistant  
University of Illinois at Chicago

Kara Bantz is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago in archaeology. Her research interests pertain to Mesoamerican archaeology and how the culture areas of this macroregion interacted. Specifically, she is interested in the archaeology of the Valley of Oaxaca and the function of obsidian and obsidian trade within the economic and social systems of the region. Kara has been interning with Dr. Gary Feinman and Linda Nicholas at The Field Museum since 2009, and this will be her second year working at the Mitla Fortress as a field and laboratory assistant.


Hillary Leathem

Field & Laboratory Assistant
University of Illinois-Chicago

Hilary is a junior at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where she is pursuing a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Biology. She has been volunteering at The Field Museum since April 2006 and worked as an intern in the summer of 2007 under Dr. Gary Feinman and Linda Nicholas. This will be her third stint in the field, with prior experience on the El Palmillo team in 2008 and at Cerro Mejia in Peru in summer 2009. She joins the team as a field and laboratory assistant.


Alicia Ortiz

Field & Laboratory Assistant 
University of Pittsburgh

Alicia is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Spanish. She has been volunteering for Dr. Gary Feinman and Linda Nicholas at The Field Museum since the summer of 2008. Alicia studied abroad in Spain for a semester and enjoyed her travels throughout Europe and to Africa. In her free time, she enjoys painting and photography. At the Mitla Fortress, she joins the team as a field and laboratory assistant.