Julia Guernsey received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997, and has taught ancient Mesoamerican art and culture history in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin since 2001. Her research and publications focus on the Middle and Late Preclassic periods in ancient Mesoamerica, and the Olmec and Maya cultures. She continues to participate on the La Blanca Archaeological Project, exploring this large site that dominated the Pacific coastal and piedmont region of Guatemala during the Middle Preclassic period.
Dr. Guernsey is author of Sculpture and Social Dynamics in Preclassic Mesoamerica (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Ritual and Power in Stone (University of Texas Press, 2006), and co-editor of The Place of Stone Monuments: Context, Use and Meaning in Mesoamerica's Preclassic Transition (Dumbarton Oaks and Harvard University Press, 2010). In addition, she has given numerous invited papers and presentations throughout the country and in Latin America.