We are a group of researchers who study human remains from archaeological, forensic and post-mortem contexts within a scientifically rigorous and ethical framework.  We undertake collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders, including Indigenous communities and law enforcement agencies.

We address a range of questions including how human remains inform interpretations of health, diet, lifestyle and population history, and how living people interact with the dead.  Specifically, we consider the biological impact of a range of issues including adaptive shifts, such as varying subsistence strategies, migration, consequences of past climatic shifts and environmental conditions, availability of resources, violence and warfare, on human individuals and at the population level.

We aim to improve methods employed in archaeology and forensic science to develop biological profiles from human remains.  In addition, we seek to develop our understanding of how taphonomic agents affect the skeleton, how digital forensic techniques can identify and combat online trafficking of human remains, and how scientific techniques can be utilised for the repatriation of ancestral remains and war dead.

Our group incorporates scholars at all levels. Please contact Dr Glenys McGowan (g.mcgowan@uq.edu.au) with any enquiries or to seek information about joining our group.

Key themes:

Isotope analysis
Ancient DNA
Bone histology
Tooth histology
Bioarchaeology of the life course
Biology and human variation
Trauma analysis
Mortuary practices
Community bioarchaeology
Trafficking research
Forensic taphonomy
Digital taphonomy
Digital modelling in bioarchaeology

Staff: Dr Glenys McGowan, A/Professor Michael Westaway, Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz, Dr Damien Huffer
Students: Jason Kariwiga, Jaime Swift, Jamie Tromp; Channon Briar 
International Members: Dr Jessica Cerezo-Roman (The University of Oklahoma), Dr Gabriel Wrobel (Michigan State University)