Professor Zender received his B.A. in anthropology from the University of British Columbia (1997), and his M.A. (1999) and Ph.D. (2004) in archaeology from the University of Calgary. As a linguist, he studies contemporary and historically-attested Mesoamerican languages in order to reconstruct older stages of these languages, the better to compare them to ancient writing from the region. As an epigrapher and archaeologist, his work focuses on the ongoing decipherment and interpretation of these writing systems, and especially on their origins, development, and eventual abandonment during the Colonial era. Professor Zender teaches courses in historical linguistics, Maya hieroglyphic writing, and several Mesoamerican Indian languages (Ch’orti’ Maya, Yucatec Maya, Classical Nahuatl, and Chicontepec Nahuatl).