Ryan graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a B.A. in Anthropology. As an undergraduate he spent one summer studying abroad in Urbino, Italy. His previous archaeological experience includes working at Davis Farms in Walland, TN, the prehistoric Topper Site in SC, the Bells Bend Archaeological Project, in Nashville, TN and the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cemetery Project in Jackson, MS. His research interests include southeastern archaeology, GIS, bioarchaeology, and paleopathology. He hopes to work internationally once finished with his studies.