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Biological Anthropology Research Program

We are a collegial group of biological anthropologists who collaborate in research and teaching.


Our program offers students the opportunity to study human biology, past and present, using a variety of data, methods, and theoretical orientations in genetics, epidemiology, nutrition, bioarchaeology, and paleopathology.


We have active research projects in current child health and nutrition and the nexus of diet and maternal-child health in past and contemporary communities, the origins and evolution of pathogens and epidemics, Indigenous health, mammalian phylogeography, molecular anthropology and Roman bioarchaeology. We are addressing questions about human origins and migration, population structure, health and disease, and human-environment interactions in past and present populations.


We have state-of-the-art laboratory facilities in hard tissue thin sectioning, microscopic image analysis, molecular genetics and enjoy collaborations with researchers in Italy, France, England, the Netherlands, Spain, US, Canada, and locally in the City of Hamilton.

The Shelley Saunders/ Koloshuk Family Scholarship

The Shelley Saunders/Koloshuk Family scholarship supports biological anthropology PhD students for 4 years of study with a minimum of $35,000/year (international students) and up to $25,000/year (domestic students). Apply to our PhD program and you will be automatically considered. There are funds available to assist with lab and fieldwork.


Visit our PhD Program page for more information


Learn more about The Shelley Saunders/Koloshuk Family Scholarship (PDF) 

Centres, Facilities and Labs

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Graduate Courses

  • 705 Advanced Skeletal Biology
  • 707 Past Perspectives on Health
  • 708 Anthropology of Infectious Disease 
  • 711 Advanced Topics in Physical Anthropology 
  • 715 Readings in Physical Anthropology 
  • 718 From Cradle to the Grave: Anthropological Demography 
  • 721 Ancient Molecules and Preservation of the Past 
  • 740 Biocultural Synthesis 
  • 745 Topics in Bioarchaeology 
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Topical Areas of Study

  • Emerging infectious disease, epidemiology and paleopathology 
  • Diet, nutrition and growth 
  • Environment and health 
  • Extinctions: human, faunal and microbial 
  • Peopling of the New World 
  • Demography and paleodemography 
  • Modern human origins 
  • Molecular anthropology 
  • Aboriginal health 
  • Bioarchaeology 
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  • Ancient DNA 
  • Evolutionary genetics 
  • Coprology 
  • Skeletal and dental analysis 
  • Anthropometry 
  • Community health surveys 
  • Archival fieldwork and analysis 
  • Palaeopathology 
  • Stable isotope analysis 
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Theoretical Orientations

  • Biocultural anthropology 
  • Evolutionary theory 
  • Epidemiological transition theory 
  • Determinants of health 
  • Multi-scalar analysis and interpretation 


Megan Brickley Headshot

Megan Brickley PhD

graduate-chair, Anthropology

Professor, Anthropology

(905) 525-9140 ext. 24256

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Tina Moffat

Tina Moffat PhD

Associate Professor, Anthropology

(905) 525-9140 ext. 23906

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Hendrik Poinar

Hendrik Poinar PhD

Professor, Anthropology

(905) 525-9140 ext. 26331

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Tracy Prowse PhD

Associate Professor, Anthropology

Associate Professor, Anthropology

(905) 525-9140 ext. 26077

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Emeritus Faculty

D. Ann Herring

D. Ann Herring PhD

professor-emerita, Anthropology

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Associate Faculty

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Henry Schwarcz

Professor Emeritus, Earth, Environment & Society



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Laboratory Technicians and Research Assistants

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Bonnie Kahlon

Lab Technician, Anthropology

(905) 525-9140 ext. 24758

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Melanie Kuch

Research Coordinator, Anthropology

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Debi Poinar

Research Assistant, Anthropology

Theses awarded in Biological Anthropology

Welsh, Hayley 

2021 Investing Patterns of Growth and Development in Subadults from the 10th-13th Century Cemetery of St. Etienne de Toulouse, France 


Tapson, Madeline 

2020 An Analysis of Rodent Reservoirs of Plague During the Second Pandemic: Shifting Focus Towards a Multi-host and Multi-mechanism Model of Plague Maintenance and Reintroduction in the Past 


Lamer, Madeleine 

2020 Decoding Adolescent Rickets: The Effects of the Environmental and Social Contexts on the Development of Rickets in Adolescents in the Netherlands from the 17th to 19th Centuries 


Salahuddin, Hana 

2019 Individual Breastfeeding and Weaning Histories in Iron Age South Italy using Stable Isotope Analysis of Incremental Dentine Sections and Bone Collagen 


Peacock, Taylor 

2019 City, Town and Village: An Intra and Inter Site Analysis of Long Bone and Rib Fractures at Five Settlements in the Western Roman Empire 


Smith, Taylor 

2018 Individual breastfeeding and weaning histories in a 19th century Spanish sample using stable isotope analysis of incremental dentine sections 


Jennings, Emma 

2017 Analysis of Trauma Patterns and Post-Traumatic Time Interval in a Late Romano-British and Spanish Context

Avery, L Creighton 

2016 An Analysis of Dental Health in Relation to Sex and Social Status at Roman Winchester

Wei, Xuan 

2016 An evaluation of “old age” traits in transition analysis and mandibular ridge resorption in age estimation of older individuals 


Semchuk, Lisa 

2016 A Stable Isotope Investigation of Diet at Vagnari 


Timmins, Sarah 

2016 Subadult Growth and Rickets from a Late Roman and Merovingian Period Context in Lisieux, France  


Ingram, Joelle  

2015 Activity and Aging in Adult Males: Investigation of Entheses and Cortical Bone from the Site of Lisieux-Michelet in Northern France

Schattmann, Annabelle F. 

2015 The Co-Occurrence of Scurvy and Rickets in 16th to 18th Century Skeletal Material from Douai, France  


Casaca, Lia 

2014 Taphonomy: What About the Small Bones, Long Bones, and Cranial Bones? A Study of the Representation and Weathering of Human Remains from the Battle of Stoney Creek during the War of 1812

D’Ortenzio, Lori L. 

2013 You are not what you eat during stress: An Isotopic Evaluation of Human Hair from Belleville, Ontario 


Emery, Matthew 

2012 A Stable Isotopic Invesigation of the Smith’s Knoll Sample 


Lockau, Laura 

2012 Bioarchealogical Analysis of Trauma in an Skeletal sample from Smith’s Knoll Historic Cemetary

Murchie, Tyler  

2021 Ancient environmental DNA as a means of understanding ecological restructuring during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Yukon, Canada

East, Kaitlin  

2021 Stress, Dying, and Disease: Hair Cortisol Concentration in the Study of Stress at the End of Life in the Past and Present 


D’Ortenzio, Lori 

2018 Tooth Tales: What Internal Dental Structures Reveal About Visiting Vitamin D Deficiency and Age Estimation

Lockau, Laura 

2018 Skeletal evidence for vitamin D deficiency and chronic respiratory infections across the life course at two Roman period sites

Emery, Matthew 

2018 Assessing Migration and Demographic Change in pre-Roman and Roman Period Southern Italy Using Whole-Mitochondrial DNA and Stable Isotope Analysis

Gilmour, Rebecca 

2017 Resilient Romans: Cross-Sectional Evidence for Long-Term Functional Consequences of Extremity Trauma. 


Stark, Robert James 

2017 Ancient lives in motion: A Bioarchaeological Examination of Stable Isotopes, Nonmetric Traits, and Human Mobility in an Imperial Roman Context (1ST-3RD C. CE) 


Mant, Madeleine 

2016 Slips, trips, falls, and brawls: Fractures of the working poor in London during the long eighteenth century

Marciniak, Stephanie-Marie 

2016 Scourge of the Empire? Ancient Pathogen Genomics and the Biosocial Context of Malaria in Imperial Period Southern Italy (1st-4th c. A.D.)

Devault, Alison 

2014 Genomics of Ancient Pathogenic Bacteria: Novel Techniques & Extraordinary Substrates

Bos, Kirsten 

2011 Genetic Investigations into the Black Death