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Ship Biscuit and Salted Beef

‘Hello!’ From our new Aggie Research Scholars Program team members

As a holistic study, Anthropology benefits from incorporating individuals from many different fields. Several Texas A&M undergraduate students from the Aggie Research Scholars Program will be helping out with different aspects of the project. Read more about each of these fascinating individuals below!


Ruby Jean Velasquez


Degree(s): Anthropology (B.A) from Texas A&M University, WIP

Myers-Brigg Personality Type: ISFJ

Interests: refurbishing furniture, classic movies, cooking, Islamic history, and animals

Favorite Book: The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

One Amazing Thing I’ve seen or Done: I witnessed a NASA rocket launch at Florida’s Space Coast

Born and raised on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas, Ruby Jean Velasquez grew up raising her family’s farm animals, including their rambunctious race horses. Her passion for healing injured animals transformed over the years into her devotion towards caring for minority populations. She is currently an undergraduate at Texas A&M University majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Public Health. Her goals in life include obtaining an M.D. and implementing human variation courses in medical schools throughout the United States, and ultimately the globe. For this project she will be assisting with isotope analysis of faunal remains, acting as a mentor to freshmen and sophomore team members, and applying 3-D technology to the project.

Melissa Dossett


Myers-Brigg Personality Type: INFJ-T

Interests: Healthy eating, petting dogs, and conspiracy theories

Favorite Book: Me Before You by JoJo Meyers

One Amazing Thing I’ve Seen or Done: Climbing to the top of Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and seeing Cristo Redentor

Melissa Dossett was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She is very passionate about her Latin American culture. She now attends Texas A&M at College Station as a sophomore and is interested in all things nutrition and education. Melissa enjoys finding new and healthy recipes to cook for her friends and family. She also enjoys dog sitting and working with children. She is particularly interested in the research being done in regards to nutritional value in the experiment. She plans to pursue a career as a dietician and a teacher and hopes to see more of the world after she graduates.

Monica Montgomery


Myers-Brigg Personality Type: ESFJ-T

Interests: Hiking, bicycling, drawing, adventuring, and learning.

Favorite Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

One Amazing Thing I’ve Seen or Done: In the same day, I watched the sunrise and sunset on top of Half Dome at Yosemite National Park!

My name is Monica Montgomery and I grew up in the small town of Fredericksburg, Texas. I am a junior honors student studying Nutritional Sciences at Texas A&M University. After graduation, I plan to attend dental school and further specialize in pediatric dentistry. I am an officer for an organization on campus called Global Dental Brigades. This organization attends two mission trips to Nicaragua each year to provide free dental care to people in need while gaining experience and knowledge about the field. During my spare time, I enjoy time with friends and exploring new places. As this is my first research opportunity, I look forward to learning how shipboard food preparation and storage methods effect the nutritional value of food items and health of sailors.

Meagan Bishop


Myers-Brigg Personality Type: INFP-A (mediator)

Interests: Art, traveling, snowboarding, diving and animals!

Favorite BookThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

One Amazing Thing I’ve Seen or Done: I went and explored the Galápagos Islands a couple years back, and that was truly amazing! We were able to get up close and personal with all kinds of different wild life indigenous to the islands, while also getting to see some amazingly beautiful terrain. We also got to free dive on the reefs surrounding the islands, swimming with everything from penguins to Galapagos sharks/White tip reef sharks and sea lions.

My name is Meagan Bishop, I’m a senior Nutritional Sciences major here at Texas A&M University from a small suburb outside of Dallas, called Colleyville. I come from a fairly large family, being the oldest of 7 kids, all girls minus one, my youngest sibling Graham. My family here in College Station consists of me and my three fur babies, Meeko, a 9 month old mountain coatimundi, Max, a 2 year old goofy little corgi, and Nikki, a 2 year old sweet grey chinchilla! When I’m not at school or tending to my little furry ones, I enjoy drawing or hanging out with friends. Some of my hobbies I don’t get to partake in as frequently include snowboarding and diving, both of which I indulge in when ever possible, but living in Texas makes it a little harder to find the chance. I also love to travel, however, it’s hard to find the time or money while I’m trying to finish up school and all that it entails. But, I have managed to travel to a few really awesome places over my life time, including Japan, Mexico, England, Paris, the Cayman Islands and my favorite of all, The Galapagos Islands. I hope to add more places onto my travel list once I graduate and have a little more time to spare.

Elizabeth Latham Sheets


Biology (M.S.) Scripp Institution of Oceanography, a long time ago
Biology (B.S.) and Environmental Systems (B.S.) UCSD, even longer

Myers-Brigg Personality Type: INFJ

Interests: Fermentation, raising my daughter Sybil, lifting heavy objects, RPGs, taking online quizzes

Favorite BookA Wrinkle in Time

One Amazing Thing I’ve Seen or Done: I drove from England to Mongolia.

Elizabeth hails from San Diego, but has lived in Kansas, Louisiana, Costa Rica, and the United Arab Emirates. She started her graduate career as a marine microbiology and through incredibly circuitous channels now studies the microbes that live inside the stomach of cows, she likes to say she went from surf to turf. Over the last 12 years, she’s cultured everything from the guts of cows, cryptobiotic soil, the deep sea, salt mines, and whalebones, now is excited to add rotten sailor food to the list!

Sarah Bankhead


Degree(s): Undergrad Allied Health

Myers-Brigg Personality Type: ENFP

Interests: Getting to know people, chocolate, trying new things

Favorite Book: Currently trying to read through The One Year Bible, but for leisure: To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorites

One Amazing Thing I’ve seen or Done: Waking up at 4:30am to climb 1,000 steps to watch the sunrise from a castle in Nafplio, Greece.

My name is Sarah Bankhead and I am a senior health major (pre-med hopeful). I was intrigued by this research project, and am excited to see what new things we will learn about the health and nutrition of these men from the past. After taking nutrition my freshman semester I considered changing my major because I enjoyed it so much. I also love learning about history, so I think that attributed to my interest in this study. I grew up in a small town on what most people would consider a farm/ranch and was involved in sports and church. In my free time I enjoy exercising, and spending time with friends and family. In a nutshell, I love Jesus, sunshine, staying busy, spicy food, waking up early, and getting to know people.

Jillian King


Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Visualization

Myers-Brigg Personality Type: INFP

Interests: Running, contemporary art, sparkling water, and podcasts

Favorite BookInfinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

One Amazing Thing I’ve seen or Done: I worked on an island as a camp counselor and lifeguard for two years.
Jillian King grew up in Hingham, Massachusetts, a small suburb, surrounded by colonial history, good seafood, strong sports teams, and even stronger Boston accents. After moving to Marblehead High School, Jillian found her place running cross country and track and volunteering as a member of the National Art Honor Society. As a freshman at Texas A&M, she continues to indulge her interest in the visual arts by pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Visualization with plans to explore graphic design and interactive media. When she is not in the art studio dreaming up her next project, she can be found outside on the architecture quad enjoying supermarket sushi, studying, or playing ultimate frisbee with friends. Propelled by a passion for good storytelling through design, she looks forward to working on the visual elements of this project.

We are so glad to have these wonderful individuals on our team!