Martin Munro

Research Specialist, Sr.

Dr. Munro, Research Specialist, Sr. originally trained as an archaeologist, receiving an M.A. from the University of Edinburgh in 1978. His studies included a one-year course in computer science, and he wrote software to display and manipulate large sets of magnetometer and conductivity readings, since his early research interests included applying geophysical techniques to archeological site surveys.

Munro’s Ph.D. studies were based in the Palaeoecology Centre at the Queen’s University of Belfast, but involved collaborations and fieldwork with archaeologists in Denmark, using pollen analysis to learn more of the farming practices during the Scandinavian Pre-Roman and Roman Iron Age. His laboratory work included extensive experience with optical microscopy, and before he graduated in 1983 he had already become involved in the other research work at the Palaeoecology Center, notably dendrochronology and ^14^C dating. As a postdoctoral research assistant he wrote Cross84 (a program to crossdate tree-ring series that is still used in some institutions), and helped archive a large collection of tree-ring data. He was employed to administer PDP-11 minicomputers in a laboratory setting, provided advice on statistical and database problems, and taught undergraduate courses on European prehistory and on basic computer skills. His first visit to the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at The University of Arizona was in 1987, when he spent two months helping with data analysis for a project on the effects of increasing atmospheric CO~2~ concentrations on tree-ring chronologies. Between 1988 and 1991 he worked in the Department of Geography at University College London, helping produce a large palaeolimnological database.

He has worked at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research since 1991, where he is responsible for computer system and network administration, and provides support to several projects applying image analysis techniques to dendrochronology. Munro has helped produce a system for measuring cell dimensions within conifer tree rings, by adding custom-written code to the NIH Image software, and participated in a joint project with the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to develop a semi-automated system for tree-ring crossdating and measurement (TREES). He revised the LTRR’s database of site collection information, and has experience of programming in C, C++, Ruby, Pascal, Scheme, Fortran, assembler, Java, and Perl, including CGI programming for Web servers. He administers the LTRR’s ten Linux-based servers, including the email system (first established in 1992), although he is now delegating some of the network administration to the central University computing services (UITS).