Dr Jenna Dittmar is a Research Fellow in Osteoarchaeology at the University of Aberdeen. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2008), Jenna worked for several years as a commercial archaeologist in the United States before pursuing a MSc in Human Osteology and Palaeopathology at the University of Bradford (2011) and a PhD in Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge (2016). Her research uses a multi-disciplinary approach to explore questions about the evolutionary history and movement of diseases, and how health was impacted by environmental and social conditions. From 2016-2021 she was a Research Associate (specialising in palaeopathology) at the University of Cambridge where she worked on a multidisciplinary research project entitled, ‘After the Plague: Heath and History of Medieval Cambridge’. In 2021, she began working with Professor Marc Oxenham on his British Academy Global Professorship project that explores trends in health and physiological stress in northern communities that lived from the Neolithic to the medieval period. She is also a co-founder and co-director of a collaborative research project that explores health in during the Chinese Bronze Age.
Dr Clare McFadden has a PhD in Biological Anthropology (2019) from the Australian National University. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). In 2019 she was appointed Lecturer in Biological Anthropology in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University, and in 2020 she took a Postdoctoral Fellow position in the same school. Her research has focussed on refining and expanding palaeodemographic tools, with an emphasis on application to bioarchaeological samples from Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. The palaeodemographic measures which she has developed and finessed use skeletally-derived age-at-death data to estimate fertility, the rate of natural population increase, maternal mortality, and elderly age-at-death. The application of these tools has reinforced overarching regional trends in population responses to major sociocultural and technological events.
Melandri Vlok is an assistant research fellow in the Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand. Melandri Vlok’s speciality is in palaeopathology and palaeoepidemiology. Receiving her PhD from the University of Otago in 2020 her research has focused on tracing the introduction of infectious diseases into prehistoric Asia, modelling the impact of migration, conflict and trade on the prevalence and diversity of infectious and nutritional diseases in the past, and producing new methodologies for the differential diagnosis of disease. She has worked predominantly on archaeological sites from East and South East Asia since 2013 including the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Mongolia and Thailand. Melandri Vlok is also a National Geographic Explorer for a project exploring the impacts of the agricultural transition on health in northern Vietnam.
Melie Le Roy is a lecturer in Archaeology and Palaeoecology in the School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast, since 2017. She gained her undergraduate degree from the University of Rennes (France) in 2006, going on to study for the Master of Ancient World in Montpellier (awarded in 2008) and a second master degree in Physical anthropology in Bordeaux (awarded in 2011). She was awarded her PhD in 2015 by Bordeaux University. Her research concerned a social consideration of children through the study of funerary practices in Neolithic France – a project that involved applying GIS techniques to funerary sites to enable a deeper understanding to be gained in relation to burial practices at both site and regional levels. Since 2012, has been undertaking research on collective burial sites in the South of France dated from the transition between the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age.