I am a specialist in the analysis and curation of human remains, with a particular focus on palaeopathology (the study of ancient diseases). I have previously worked as a researcher at the British Museum, where I analysed and helped to curate human remains from Ancient Sudan, and was later employed as a Lecturer in Osteoarchaeology and Later Prehistory at Cardiff University, before taking up my new role at the University of Leicester.
My specific research interests include the study of respiratory diseases in past populations, with a focus on the effect of different environments and living conditions on respiratory health. This stems from the PhD I undertook in collaboration between Durham University and the British Museum, which investigated changes in respiratory disease through time in Ancient Sudan. The results from my thesis and subsequent research indicates that air pollution arising from arid and urban environments may have been particularly bad for respiratory health in the past, providing a historical perspective on a problem of increasing public concern today.
As part of the Tobacco Health and History project, I will be undertaking the palaeopathological analysis of human skeletal remains to determine the correlation between certain diseases and evidence for tobacco smoking in the past. This will include an investigation of conditions such as respiratory and metabolic diseases, cancers, and dental and oral pathology.
Key research interests
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