Meet AERA’s Board of Directors and team members
AERA Board Members
Dr. Mark Lehner, President
Mark Lehner’s decades of archaeological research in Egypt include mapping the Great Sphinx of Giza and discovering a major part of the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders at Giza. He is a Research Associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and a Senior Fellow at the Capitol Archaeology Institute of George Washington University.
Matthew McCauley, Chairman
Matthew McCauley is an Emmy award-winning composer, record producer and technology entrepreneur. Mark Lehner and Matthew cofounded AERA in 1984 after ten years of friendly collaboration which led to the 1977-78 remote sensing and excavation of the Great Sphinx at Giza. Matthew interests in science — particularly remote sensing — played a role in shaping AERA’s early research methodology.
Members of the Board
Dr. James Allen
Kathy DeRue, Secretary
Megan Flowers, Treasurer
AERA Team Members
Ben Bazely, Archaeologist
Ben is an experienced field archaeologist who started working with AERA in 2021. He has worked extensively in the United Kingdom on commercial and research archaeological projects. He has also worked in Ireland and Sudan.
Chris Clark, Archaeologist
Chris is an experienced field archaeologist who started working with AERA in 2022. He is a professional archaeologist based in Australia, and has worked on projects in Malawi, Turkey, United Kingdom and Ireland.
Frances Dilks, AERA Development Coordinator
After a career in healthcare, Fran began volunteering for AERA in 2010, travelling to Egypt and spending field seasons with the AERA team. In 2011 she took on the job of development coordinator, helping raise funds for our ongoing work by visiting donors, writing letters, managing membership lists and mailing our AERAGAM newsletter. Fran has also donated her time and funds to enhance our villa in Giza.
Stephen Dilks, Archives Assistant
Mohamed Farouk, Senior Accountant
Mohamed joined AERA in 2015 and has worked on all of AERA’s projects as a chief accountant. He has previously worked in banking, securities, and at brokerage companies.
Megan Flowers, Business Manager, Archivist
Sayed Salah Abd el-Hakim, Excavations Foreman
Sayed is a field archaeologist who has been working at the Giza Plateau and Historic Cairo since 1989. He joined AERA in 2008 and has worked with us in Giza, Luxor and Memphis. In 2009 he took on the role of Reis (foreman) of the team of workers with us every season.
Amir Abdel Hamid, Cairo Project Manager
Samar Mahmoud Ibrahim, Lithic Specialist
Samar is a Senior Archaeologist and Curator at the Grand Egyptian Museum and has been working with AERA since 2015. She also works as a lithic specialist and excavator at sites across Egypt, including Giza, Dakhla Oasis, Aswan, and Luxor. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Archaeology Sciences from Cairo University/University of Cologne.
Daniel Jones, Senior Archaeologist, Field School Senior Supervisor
Dan is a field archaeologist who has been working with AERA since 2008. He has also worked in Luxor, Memphis, the Delta, Fayum, Historic Cairo, and the Dakhla Oasis. Outside Egypt he has worked on sites in Italy, Spain, and the UK.
Dr. Mohsen Kamel, Executive Director of AERA-Egypt, Archaeologist
Mohsen has been working with AERA since 1997. He has worked at sites around Egypt, including with UCLA as a field school instructor in the Fayum. In addition to his work with AERA, he is the archaeological director at the New Kingdom Research Foundation in Luxor.
Dr. Mark Lehner, Project Director, Executive Editor of Publications
Mark’s decades of archaeological research in Egypt include mapping the Great Sphinx of Giza and discovering a major part of the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders at Giza. He is a Research Associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and a Senior Fellow at the Capitol Archaeology Institute of George Washington University.
Emmy Malak, Head of Objects Team
Emmy has been working on AERA’s objects since 2005. She has an Egyptology MA and BA degree from the American University in Cairo (AUC).
She is the head of our objects team and the co-author of the AERA Object Typology book.
Dr. Claire Malleson, Director of Archaeological Science, AERA Lab Director, Archaeobotanist
Rebekah Miracle, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Director
Rebekah is a GIS specialist who has been working with AERA’s archeological data since 2005. In addition to her work with AERA at Giza and Memphis, she has worked at other sites around Egypt from Kom el-Fahkry in the north to Kom Ombo in the south. She has also worked at Chersonesus on the Black Sea coast.
Dr. Richard Redding, Archaeozoologist
The entire AERA team mourns the loss of Dr. Richard Redding who passed away on May 22, 2023. Richard started working with us at the “Lost City of the Pyramids” in 1991 and quickly became a valued team member, field school instructor, AERA board member, and our Chief Research Officer. Learn more about Richard and his many contributions to our work.
Mohamed (Midou) Said, Giza IT Manager
Midou has 22+ years of experience as an IT professional, with diversified IT/IS leading and management expertise. He has been AERA’s IT manager since 2008. He oversees our Giza Data Center, covering end-to-end IT processes and services to our international team.
Dr. Wilma Wetterstrom, Art & Science Editor of Publications
Wilma received BA, MA, and PhD degrees in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. She has worked as an archaeobotanist on excavations in Egypt, Spain, Madagascar, and Syria, as well as the US. She has been with AERA since our first field season in 1988, first as archaeobotanist and later transitioning to publications with the first issue of AERAGRAM. Wilma is also an associate of the Harvard University Herbaria.
Alexandra Witsell, Head of Clay Sealings Team, Managing Editor of Publications
Ali has worked for AERA since 2004 on clay sealings in the lab and on the publications team since 2008. Her background is in Mesopotamian archaeology, anthropology, and Middle Eastern studies, as well as fine arts clay work. She has completed fieldwork in Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and Egypt.
Dr. Anna Wodzinkska, Ceramic Specialist
Anna began working for AERA in 2000 and wrote her Ph.D. on Old Kingdom Giza pottery. She is a teacher and researcher at the Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw, Poland, and has authored “A Manual of Egyptian Pottery,” co-edited “Studies in Old Kingdom Pottery,” and contributed to multiple papers on Egyptian pottery from the Early Dynastic-Third Intermediate Periods. She has worked at sites across Egypt, Sudan, and Turkey, where she has processed millions of pottery sherds.
Manami Yahata, Archivist, Archaeologist
Manami has been working with AERA since 2005 as an archaeologist, with a special interest in the study of ancient roofing and plaster materials. During the field season she also oversees our Giza data archive.