I work with dead people! This blog/website exhibits my continued commitment to discuss mortuary archaeology and anthropology to anyone with an interest. Aside from being a #deathacademic, I do undergraduate teaching, museum work, and laboratory research on human tissues. These many facets of my professional life reflect the true focus of my efforts which is engaging in anthropology and archaeology with a diverse audience.
I am the Collections Manager of the Duckworth laboratory in the Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. I am also a tutor at the Institute for Continuing Education at Cambridge where I teach about death and burial, epidemic disease, and Andean archaeology. Previous positions I have held include Osteologist in the Repatriation Osteology Laboratory, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, and as Associate Curator and Repatriation Coordinator (NAGPRA Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) at the San Diego Museum of Man in California.
The human remains collections I have researched and curated span all regions of the globe. My research interests include bioarchaeology of death and burial, paleopathology and epidemic disease, mortuary archaeology of the Americas, gender, biomolecular archaeology, anatomical collections, the Columbian Exchange, and museum studies focusing on human remains, repatriation and indigenous visibility.
I received a PhD in archaeology at the University of Cambridge in October 2013. My dissertation titled, ‘Investigating the Relationship between Labour and Gender, Material Culture, and Identity at an Inka Period Cemetery: a regional analysis of provincial burials from Lima, Peru’ combined human skeletal data, burial deposition, and documentary sources to assess identity of artisans under Inka (AD1400-1532) provincial control. My recent research has been accepted for publication by the University College London Press for a two-volume forthcoming title in 2017.
I am very involved in osteology outreach and have years of experience teaching all age groups about bones. I have won grants for outreach and have recently published in outreach as well. I’ve taught at the university level for many years including: Forensic Anthropology at the Univ of Maryland, Death and Burial at the Univ of Cambridge, Human Ecology at the Univ of Nottingham, and Intro to Cultural Anthropology and Cultures of Latin America at San Diego City College.
As someone who has been working in museums and archaeology for several years, the goal of my blog is to discuss death and death rituals through research, interviews, and general musings from an anthropological and archaeological perspective.
I’m currently a member of the following organisations:
British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteology (BABAO)
American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA)
Society of Anthropology in Community Colleges (SACC)
Natural Sciences Collections Association, UK (NatSCA)
American Anthropological Association (AAA)
Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA)
Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA)
Society for American Archaeology (SAA)
Palaeopathology Association (PPA)
Institute of Andean Studies (IAS)
Anatomical Society, UK