Leader Archaeological Institute of America lecturer and host Michael Brennan, Ph.D. has 17 years of experience in maritime archaeology, marine geology, and oceanography. Dr. Brennan received his bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Geology from Bowdoin College, and his MA and PhD in Maritime History and Geological Oceanography, respectively, from the University of Rhode Island. He has conducted both deep-water and shallow coastal remote sensing, autonomous vehicle and ROV-based survey and operations. Dr. Brennan has worked around the world in locations including the Black Sea, Bikini Atoll, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean. His research interests include geoarchaeology, environmental monitoring of shipwrecks, World War II naval history, and bottom trawl fishing damage to shipwreck sites.
Dr. Brennan worked as an expedition leader for Dr. Robert Ballard’s Nautilus exploration program for eight years. This work included five expeditions to the Black Sea, both off the northern Crimean Peninsula and the coast of Turkey to the south. These missions discovered more than a dozen ancient shipwrecks ranging in date from ancient Greek to medieval times. During our cruise, Dr. Brennan will speak on a variety of topics, including the unique oceanography of the Black Sea that allows for shipwreck preservation, the history of deep-water exploration in the Black Sea and his expeditions, and the Black Sea region during Greek colonization through its use as a frontier outpost in the Byzantine period.