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Staff of Charleston Fossil Adventures

Owner, Chief Paleontologist

The owner and principal of Charleston Fossil Adventures, LLC is Ashby Gale. Ever since he was in the stroller, Ashby has had a connection with South Carolina's shorelines and the fossils collected along our beaches. Ashby is a graduate of Appalachian State University where he earned a degree in Environmental Science. In 2014, he took a job with SCPRT as the Interpretive Ranger at Edisto Beach State Park where he curated their collection of Pleistocene vertebrate remains and became the Park's leading authority on paleontology. From 2014-2020, Ashby worked with his parents to publish A Beachcomber's Guide to Fossils, which sold out prior to its publication date. Ashby has presented at numerous conferences on his research, both regionally and internationally (Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Brisbane, Australia, 2019). His current research focuses on marine vertebrates from the Rupelian Ashley Formation. It's hard for Ashby to pick just one favorite fossil in his collection, but his top three currently are a tooth from Saurornitholestes (a small raptor), a baby mammoth molar, and an articulated set of eagle ray teeth with feeding wear facets.


Mike Stoller comes to the CFA team as someone who wears quite a few, colorful hats.  He earned his B.S. in Geology from Indiana University, focusing primarily on the field of Paleontology. Over the years he’s studied and worked with everything from 450 myo Ordovician deposits in Ohio, to Pleistocene proboscideans from dig sites all across the globe. He’s even spent some time crawling around in caves, collecting fossilized owl pellets from a small island in The Bahamas. Mike has worked in various labs and museum collection spaces (IU, UofM Museum of Natural History, GRC San Salvador, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art). Mike's enthusiasm for the natural world and the SC Lowcountry is contagious, and a definite highlight during any adventure he leads! When he’s not in a kayak or hiking some backcountry trail, he spends most of his spare time drawing, painting, and dabbling in the art of photography. His favorite fossil is a partial mastodon tooth collected right here in SC at one of our favorite sites.

Administrative Assistant & Social Media Manager

Growing up in Charleston, Katie Lyons has always loved getting outside and discovering what can be found in her backyard. After graduating from George Washington University with a degree in English Literature and Italian, she packed her bags and headed to Hilton Head Island! As the Recreation Coordinator for Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort, she developed a love for exploring and teaching guests about the natural beauty of the Lowcountry. With previous experience in Marketing and social media management, she is excited to combine her skills and knowledge at CFA. In her free time, Katie can be found with her nose in a book or hitting up the latest estate sale or thrift store to see what treasures she can find! Her favorite fossil finds currently are pieces of extinct sea turtle shell, as well as fossilized twigs, but she can’t wait to see what more she will discover during her new adventure with CFA!


The silversmith behind CFA's fossil fine art jewelry line "MORPHOLOGIE" is Tracy Burlison. Tracy started out working with polymer clay jewelry in 2000, later transitioning to the torch-wielding art of silversmithing in 2007 after taking private lessons. Her previous work sold in the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC. After a short hiatus, she resumed her metal work in 2018 after a chance conversation with Ashby on Folly Beach, and thus, MORPHOLOGIE was born! Tracy's favorite fossils include a horse tooth that was "playing in the waves" at Folly, a near complete capybara molar, and a piece of bone chewed by a rodent prior to fossilization!

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