HIGGINS, Valerie (Program Director)

Valerie Higgins has an honours degree in ‘Ancient and Mediaeval History and Archaeology’ from the University of Liverpool and a Master’s in ‘Economic Archaeology’ from the University of Sheffield. She then worked as a professional archaeologist in local government before returning to the University of Sheffield to complete a Ph.D. on human remains from an Italian monastery site. After periods of research in the United States and New Zealand she came to live in Rome where she has been teaching and researching Italian archaeology.
See full profile



Bisan Abdulkader is active in the development of projects for the transfer of know-how between innovative Italian companies and MENA Science and Technology Parks (Middle East North Africa). works towards the realization of sustainability projects with the United Nations and the Youth Engaging Program in Damascus. Bisan is responsible for the development of projects in the MENA region for LUISS ENLABS and co-founder of Artichalk, an online platform for nutritional wellbeing.
See full profile

AYERS, Brian

Brian Ayers is currently a Research Fellow and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of East Anglia. He was Assistant Head of Museums & County Archaeologist for Norfolk until 2008. Thereafter he became the Chief Executive of the Butrint Foundation until the end of 2011 (for which organisation he continues as a consultant) and which works to secure preservation of the World Heritage Site of Butrint in Albania.
See full profile

BARONE, Pier Matteo

Dr. Pier Matteo Barone is an adjunct faculty member of the American University of Rome teaching courses on archaeological methodology, geophysical techniques (GPR, in particular) and forensic archaeology, as well as courses on the archaeology and heritage of Rome and the eastern Mediterranean. 
His research is centered on different remote sensing applications to better understand the archaeological landscape. He is also a recognized expert in forensic archaeology employed to testify in criminal and civil cases. He was a co-investigator in a three-year research project (FIRB 2012) with the geological institute of CNR (IGAG) investigating marble quarries of the Greco-Roman world in Turkey.
See full profile


Dr. Daniels is the director of research and programs for the Penn Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, and holds an appointment as a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Daniels has worked with indigenous communities in western North America on issues surrounding heritage rights, repatriation, and recognition for over fifteen years.
See full profile

FERRARA, Carlotta

Professor Ferrara is currently participating in different fields of Physics and Geophysics in interdisciplinary projects focused on geology, landscape evaluation and hydrology, archaeology, forensic science and cultural heritage. This has involved collaborating with Italian and foreign academics, in particular, with the Università degli Studi di Roma TRE, CRA (Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura – Council for Research and experimentation in Agriculture), the University of Waterloo, and with Sensors & Software, Inc. Canada, for electromagnetic signal analysis, soil study, land evaluation, and territorial assessments. 
See full profile

GOULD, Peter

Peter Gould began his career in economics, initially at the Brookings Institution, then as a financial editor for a national magazine, and subsequently at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the US Department of Commerce. He has taught in cultural heritage programs at AUR and at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a consulting scholar at Penn’s Cultural Heritage Center. He also is a founding director of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, an NGO dedicated to preserving cultural heritage by providing sustainable economic opportunities to communities that are home to archaeological sites. 
See full profile

HODGES, Richard 

Dr. Richard Hodges has served as the President of The American University of Rome since 2012.

Dr. Hodges began his career as an archaeologist with excavations in his home village of Box, Wiltshire while at high school. During that time he founded a village archaeology society – which is still thriving today. He studied archaeology and history at Southampton University where he completed a doctorate on the archaeology of Dark Age trade.
See full profile



Brian is originally from America, and has been studying and working with Digital Media for over 2 decades. He has a Minor in Architecture History which is the driving factor that brought him to Rome to visit, and eventually live here. Brian knows the history of Rome, and his passion for exploring the historic city is reflected in his photography and media productions, as he is always looking for the best light and positions, affording superior results in his work.
See full profile

LANGER, Marshall

Marshall Langer has been an Adjunct Professor at AUR since 2004. He earned his Bachelor’s in Finance from Boston University and an MBA from The Wharton School in Marketing and Management, and has done graduate work in Counseling Psychology at New York University. Marshall entered academia after a 12-year career in finance in the U.S. and Europe, in investment banking and risk arbitrage with firms such as Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp and BNP Paribas. Marshall is also a Trained Group Counselor. 
See full profile

NARDI, Roberto

Roberto Nardi received his degrees in archaeology from Sapienza, University of Rome, and in conservation of archaeological materials from the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro, Rome.  In 1981 he specialized in conservation of stone monuments at the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro, Rome. In 1982 he founded the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica (CCA), a private company carrying out public commissions in the field of conservation of ancient monuments and archaeological sites. He has directed over 50 projects and courses in 14 countries
See full profile


Emily Pierini is a social anthropologist with extensive ethnographic fieldwork experience in Brazil and Europe. She obtained her Ph.D in Social Anthropology from the University of Bristol with a thesis on mediumistic experience in the Brazilian Spiritualist Christian Order Vale do Amanhecer (Valley of the Dawn), where she conducted extensive ethnographic research investigating the process of learning mediumship, embodiment, personhood, emotion and senses, spirituality and health. 
See full profile


Professor Pollon has been teaching courses in finance, economics and the entertainment industry at AUR since 2003. He also teaches graduate seminars for the MBA program of the Institut Superieur de Gestion in Paris, France. Prior to entering the academic world, Professor Pollon made his career in the international financial arena working for The Walt Disney Company. After serving as Finance Director at the company's headquarters in Los Angeles, he became Finance Director in the UK and then Italy, where he was in charge of all cinema, video, and DVD financial operations. 
See full profile

RUSH, Laurie

Dr. Laurie Rush is an Anthropologist and Archaeologist who has served as a US Army civilian for sixteen years managing Cultural Resources at Fort Drum, NY.  She has a BA from Indiana University Bloomington, an MA and PhD from Northwestern University, and is a Fellow of the National Science Foundation and of the American Academy in Rome.  Dr. Rush’s research specialty is Native Americans of northeastern North America, and she serves as Native American Affairs Liaison for the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum.
See full profile