& Administration

Deborah N. Carlson, Ph.D.


Dr. Carlson is a classical archaeologist and Associate Professor in the Nautical Archaeology Program; she holds the Sara W. and George O. Yamini Professorship in Nautical Archaeology. She became INA President in 2011 and specializes in trade and seafaring in the ancient Mediterranean. She helped direct INA shipwreck excavations at Tektaş Burnu and Kızılburun, Turkey.

Kevin J. Crisman, Ph.D.

Vice President

Dr. Kevin Crisman is INA Vice President for New World Research. He specializes in the seafaring of the Early Modern Era including the construction and outfitting of ships, shipboard life and maritime communities, and North American river, lake, and canal navigation. Dr. Crisman has been directly involved in the exploration of numerous historic shipwrecks in Lake Champlain, and the excavation of the steamboat Heroine in the Red River.

Cemal M. Pulak, Ph.D.

Vice President

Dr. Pulak is a mechanical engineer-turned-archaeologist who earned his doctoral degree from Texas A&M, where he is now Coordinator of the Nautical Archaeology Program and the Frederick R. Mayer Professor in Nautical Archaeology. He specializes in Bronze Age seafaring, maritime trade, and technology. Since 1975, Dr. Pulak has directed numerous INA surveys in Turkey and excavated more than a dozen shipwreck sites, ranging in date from the Late Bronze Age to the 16th century A.D.

John Littlefield, Ph.D.

Diving Safety Officer

John obtained a B.Sc. in anthropology and archaeology at College of Charleston (S.C.) before attending Texas A&M University where he earned both a Master’s degree (2012) and a doctorate (2020). A seasoned diver with experience in diverse underwater environments and locations, he has served as the D.S.O. on high-profile projects for INA and various other organizations. He is AAUS trained and a dive instructor, and draws from these experiences to maintain INA’s long history of diving safety.

Cindy Montgomery

Financial Manager, College Station

Cindy moved to Texas from Blacksburg, Virginia where she worked for the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, a public organization created more than 50 years ago and Virginia’s leader in land conservation, protecting more than 825,000 acres in 109 counties and independent cities. She also spent a great deal of her career working at Virginia Tech in the Office of the Vice President for Research and in the Dean’s Office of the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.

Grace Tsai, M.A.


Grace graduated with B.A. degrees in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego in 2011 and received her M.A. in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University. She has participated in nautical fieldwork in Croatia, Turkey, and Vermont, and terrestrial work in Italy. Grace currently directs the Ship Biscuit and Salted Beef Research Project.

Bethany Becktell, M.A.

Assistant Editor

Bethany is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University. She has participated in nautical fieldwork in Michigan and Spain and terrestrial work in Egypt and Cyprus. She earned a Master’s degree from New York University in Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian Studies with a focus in Egyptian archaeology. Her research interests include Bronze Age Egyptian archaeology, ports and harbors, Red Sea seafaring, and maritime iconography.

Jose Casaban, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. José Luis Casabán, who earned a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2017, conducts archaeological and archival research on the history and construction of 16th and 17th century Iberian ships, especially Spanish galleons. As an INA Postdoctoral Researcher, José will be assisting with the digital recording, mapping, and publication of several different INA shipwreck projects around the world.

John McManamon, Ph.D, S.J.

Scholar in Residence

Dr. John McManamon, Professor Emeritus of Renaissance History at Loyola University Chicago, is an INA Scholar in Residence. John has participated in the excavation of shipwrecked or derelict vessels in Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Denmark, and helped survey for shipwrecks in Malta and Morocco. He is the author of Caligula's Barges and the Renaissance Origins of Nautical Archaeology Under Water (2016) and is supervising the final publication of the 9th-century Bozburun Shipwreck excavated by INA between 1995 and 1998.