Ruth Ann Armitage & Kay Antúnez de Mayolo

Ruth Ann Armitage is a Professor of Chemistry at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan (USA). She studied chemistry at Thiel College and obtained her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University in analytical chemistry. She has been on the faculty at EMU since 2001. Her research focuses on the applications of analytical methods to archaeological and art materials, ranging from determining the composition and age of rock paintings to developing ambient ionization mass spectrometric methods for characterizing dyes in ancient textiles. Through her research at the EMU Archaeological Chemistry Laboratory, she has collaborated with specialists and mentored students from across the humanities and the sciences.

Kay Antúnez de Mayolo retired in 2012 after a 24-year career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as an environmental educator. She and her husband Erik relocated to northeastern California where they are part of the local food community as market gardeners. She studied botany and obtained a teaching credential at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. After teaching science in California, Honduras and Peru, she completed an M.S. with a thesis focused on the ethnobotany of Peruvian natural dyes and coloring sources. Her 1989 publication on this topic in Economic Botany has long served as a reference for researchers studying the dye sources of the colorful and complex textiles of ancient Peru. She continues to be fascinated by economic plants and annually plants a big garden that includes dye plants and others that have been overlooked.

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