Ryan is a Palaeolithic archaeologist with a specialization in the field of zooarchaeology. His research focuses on the process of early human adaptation and dispersal into new environments, and on linking the remote past to the present.
In the last ten years he has led archaeological projects in Vietnam, Canada and the Mediterranean, and has worked as a faunal specialist on projects in Libya and Malaysian Borneo. He is currently the PI on a new programme of research in the Tràng An massif, World Heritage site, Vietnam. There, he and his team are studying the effects of coastal inundation on prehistoric settlement. They are also assessing which elements of those adaptive strategies might be transferable into models exploring modern responses to sea-level and environmental change.
Aside from this, island archaeology holds a particular fascination. He is also interested in the role of ecological refugia during the Palaeolithic and the potential significance that these biodiverse habitats may hold for conservation under increasingly unstable global climate.
(Image: 14 m below ground at the base of excavations, Haua Fteah, Libya – A. Pryor)