President: Rob MacDonald 
Rob MacDonald is currently the Assistant Managing Partner of ASI, Ontario's largest archaeological and cultural heritage services firm. He received his Honours Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in Anthropology from Trent University and his doctorate from McGill University. His  areas of expertise include ecological archaeology, archaeological site potential modelling, geographic information system (GIS), Iroquoian archaeology, and lithic analysis. Throughout his career with ASI, Rob MacDonald has served as Project Director and/or Field Director on hundreds of single- and multi-phased archaeological assessment and salvage excavation projects throughout southern and eastern Ontario. He has also played a key role in the development of pre-contact Aboriginal site potential models for the archaeological master plans of ten municipalities.

President-Elect: Paul Racher

Vice President: Sheryl Smith
Sheryl Smith has been Vice-President of the OAS since the position was created in 2012. In addition she serves as a Co-Editor of Arch Notes, our newsletter. Sheryl retired in 2011 from a long career with Parks Canada where she managed the archaeological research programme, and then was Aboriginal Affairs Advisor, for all Ontario national parks, national historic sites and historic canals. Her present interests centre on heritage organizations in the Peterborough area and on maintaining links with First Nations colleagues.

Treasurer: Debbie Steiss 
Debbie Steiss is the new Treasurer for the OAS. Debbie is a Partner and General Manager at ASI and has worked in Ontario Archaeology for over thirty years. She has a BA and MA in Anthropology from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining ASI, Debbie had participated in archaeological projects in the American Southwest, Canadian Arctic and southern Italy. When not working, you will likely find her on a tennis court.

Director of Public Outreach: Claire van Nierop 
Armed with a bachelor's degree from the University of Waterloo, Claire's professional archaeological career began with an archaeological dig on the island of Keros in Greece where she excavated famous early Bronze Age Cycladic figurines. In 2008, the Waterloo, Ontario native began working at ASI Archaeological and Cultural Heritage Services as a field archaeologist.  A passionate world traveller, Claire would later take some time off to travel the world and hone her excavation skills in other countries with research in Fiji.

In 2011, Claire completed a Master's degree in Palaeoecology (Archaeology) from the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University in the Netherlands and subsequently spent over a year in Ireland developing programs and teaching archaeology to primary school students. Now back at ASI, Claire is the Manager of Communications and regularly engages with the public about Ontario's cultural heritage.  

Director of Student Services: Nicole Brandon 
Nicole Brandon joined the board as Director of Student Services in January 2014. Nicole resides in London and is the Lab Manager at Timmins Martelle Heritage Consultants Inc. where she works with artifacts. She is an alumnus of Wilfrid Laurier University and the Memorial University of Newfoundland. In her spare time, Nicole cycles, watches movies and searches for the perfect pint.

Director of Membership Services: Abbey Flower 
Originally from Kingston Ontario, Abbey Flower has been an active member of the OAS for several years and is currently Heritage Advisor at Infrastructure Ontario (aka IO). Abbey worked for several years in consulting archaeology and with public archaeology programs, before joining the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and later taking on her current role at IO. She has a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from Memorial University in Newfoundland, and a Masters in Medieval Archaeology from the University of York in the UK. Abbey has worked closely with various groups and individuals both within and outside the broader heritage communities, and is committed to help promote the understanding, management and preservation of Ontario’s archaeology and heritage. In her spare time, Abbey is an avid equestrian and overall sports fan – working with horses and playing competitive baseball are two of her life-long passions

Director of Heritage Advocacy: Margie Kenedy
Margie Kenedy currently manages the archaeology unit at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.  Over the past 16 year she was part of a variety of cultural heritage activities and projects for the TRCA at different capacities. She graduated from York University’s anthropology program and is currently enrolled in the archaeology graduate department at Trent University.   

Her interests span from early hunter-gatherer mobility to present-day archaeological management plans, but she is also interested in everything in between.  She is passionate about sharing the knowledge, data, and artifacts collected in Ontario with the general public.

She lives with her husband on a small farm with a slowly diminishing menagerie of horses, a dog, and a cat.  

She does not have any spare time, but if she did, she would enjoy travelling to warmer climates, reading about warmer climates, and simply heat in general (written during a cold snap).

She is looking forward to serving the archaeological community on the OAS board.  

Director of Avocational Services: William (Bill) Fox 
Began his avocational career in 1962, salvage excavating threatened Glen Meyer sites in Hamilton, while a high school student. Continued on as a student at U of T, earning an Honours BA in Anthropology and an MA in Archaeology. Subsequently, began working for the Province in 1972 as Regional Archaeologist for Northwestern/North Central Ontario with the Ministry of Natural Resources in Thunder Bay, Regional Archaeologist for Southwestern Ontario with the Ministry of Culture and Recreation in London, Senior Archaeologist/Supervisor of Development Plans Review with the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture in Toronto, and entered the Doctoral program at McGill in 1990. Retired from the Provincial government in 1992 and joined Parks Canada as Chief of Archaeology for the Prairie and Northern Region (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, NWT and Yukon) working out of Winnipeg. Moved to Inuvik in 1994 and became superintendent for the Western Arctic. Continued research and publication as an avocational archaeologist until his return to Ontario in 2010, and now works as an instructor in the Trent University Department of Anthropology and Adjunct Professor in the Anthropology Graduate Program. Has been a member of the OAS for close to 50 years; serving as Vice-President in 1978 and President of the Society in 1979 (created Administrator position and Emerson medal); founding member of the London Chapter in 1977 (KEWA newsletter editor to 1986) and the Peterborough Chapter in 2010 (Vice-President to 2015); established the “Passport to the Past” volunteer program in 1987; received the J. Norman Emerson silver medal in 2010 and has served as Director of Avocational Services for the Society since 2012 and served as Program Convener for the 2014 OAS annual symposium in Peterborough.

Director of Publications: Grant Karcich
Grant Karcich has been an active member of the OAS for several years and
was a founding member of the Peterborough Chapter. He has been an
administrator of several special and public libraries in Canada and the
U.S. and he has advanced degrees in anthropology and information science
from the University of Buffalo and U. of Western Ontario and a B. Ed. from
the University of Toronto. He holds a provincial avocational license from
MTCS. His first archaeological work was on a Middle Woodland site in
southwestern Ontario in 1979 and he has worked on a Clovis and Pre-Clovis
site in Virginia and several historical sites in Ontario, including Fort
Rouillé in Toronto. In addition he has visited a Thule site and prepared
faunal samples from the Arctic. Grant studied under David Hunt at the
Smithsonian and carried out mitochondrial DNA sampling at the Merriwether
laboratory at Binghamton U., as well as examining the Krapina Neanderthal
specimen in Croatia. He is engaged in various writing activities in
archaeology, local history, and genealogy, and has a special research
interest in the origins of early man in the Americas and Eurasia.

Director of Chapter Services: Chris Dalton 

Executive Director: Lorie Harris


Editor, Ontario Archaeology: Chris Ellis

Editors, Arch Notes: Sheryl Smith and Carole Stimmell 

Editor, Website: Jean-Luc Pilon 

Symposium Liaison: Sheryl Smith 

Contact us
Address: P.O. Box 62066, Victoria Terrace | Toronto, M4A 2W1

Phone: +1 (416) 406-5959


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The Ontario Archaeological Society is a registered charitable organization that promotes the ethical practice of archaeology. The general public, students and professional alike are encouraged to become members of the Society and to support its co-ordinating role in helping to record and preserve our non-renewable cultural heritage. Click here to view membership details.

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P.O. Box 62066Victoria Terrace Post Office, Toronto, ON M4A 2W1
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