While earning his doctorate degree archaeology and a secondary degree in cultural anthropology Bryson originally specialized in palynology; the study of fossilized pollen to determine the age of the accompanying artifacts. This is more accurate than carbon dating and of more use on interstellar expeditions since the carbon values differ from planet to planet. As he was one of only a handful on Earth with such expertise Bryson found that his skills were in demand on interplanetary digs and so he eventually found himself working as a field archaeologist.
In 2243 Dr. Bryson began his lifelong search to extend human life beyond the 110 – 115 years that current Earth medicine could achieve. In his travels and exploration of many distant alien worlds and cultures Bryson picked up references to Soul Hunters and their Whisper Galleries.
In 2263, Bryson and his team finally discovered a Soul Hunter Whisper Gallery on a seemingly abandoned and dead world. After two days of excavation they finally broke into the sealed vault, filled with Soul Globes, unaware they had triggered an ancient defence system. Most of the team were killed and their skimmers destroyed, leaving Bryson to escape alone. He took with him the large Ralgan Soul Globe.
Shortly afterward, Bryson was contacted by Michael Garibaldi, the new CEO of Edgars Industrieswho requested a meeting to explain exactly what the now deceased William Edgars had been paying him to do. Choosing Babylon 5 as an easy midway point between Mars and the rim, Bryson met with Garibaldi who was less than impressed with the nature of his programme.
Shortly after their arrival, a Soul Hunter arrived on the station, having tracked Bryson there and demanded the return of what was taken. Bryson, who by how had fallen under the influence of the souls within the globe who had been driven insane by 10,000 years of imprisonment; had Bryson hide them away in Brown Sector, directing him to sabotage the station rather than allow them to be again taken by the Soul Hunters.
He survived the immersion in Relgan souls and the subsequent fight to free him from their hold. He continued his work after the incident, Garibaldi said the man would continue with or without funding, such was his drive.