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The Australian National University

Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz

BSc Hons, PhD
Lecturer, Biological Anthropology
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 2 6125 9295

Areas of expertise

  • Biological (Physical) Anthropology 160102
  • Biological Adaptation 060303
  • Forensic Biology 069901
  • Biomechanics 110601
  • Archaeological Science 210102
  • Systems Physiology 111603

Research interests

I am a biological anthropologist who studies the skeletal tissue in humans and other animals, addressing research questions in bioarchaeology and skeletal biology. My key interests are to reconstruct ancient behaviour/ lifestyle from human skeletal remains, and investigate vertebrate hard tissue growth and metabolism. I am a palaeohistologist by expertise, but I also have experience in experimental biomechanics, synchrotron infrared microspectroscopy, X-ray imaging, and micro-CT. 


I received a Bachelor of Science (Hons, 2010) and a PhD in Biological Anthropology (2014) from the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK), where I also held a fixed-term (2013-2014) lectureship in the same discipline. In 2014, I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. I later worked in medicine (molecular endocrinology of osteoporosis) (2015-2016) at Imperial College (London, UK). I moved to the ANU as a Lecturer in 2016, and in 2017 I launched our palaeohistology lab. Since 2016 I am an Honorary Research Associate with the University of Kent (UK). In addition to my academic endeavours, I worked (2008-2013) as an Assistant Osteologist and later Osteologist for Kent Osteological Research and Analysis (Canterbury, UK). I have been lab-based almost all of my career, with some recent (2017) fieldwork experience in the Philippines. 

Researcher's projects

Currently, I reconstruct ancient human bone metabolism and lifestyles for Holocene samples from Asia-Pacific. Almost all of my ongoing research projects examine skeletal (palaeo)histology in relation to organism biology, environment, and/or culture. 

Available student projects

I am looking to mentor research students who are interested in microscopic analyses of hard tissues in bioarchaeology and skeletal biology. Secondarily, I can offer guidance on a selected range of experimental topics with forensic applications, or research questions within palaeopathology. 

Current student projects

PhD Chair & Primary Supervisor:
Maddy Green (2018) Using microscopy to discern aetiologies that infer hominin behaviour
Karen Cooke (2018) Histopathology of treponemal disease in archaeological human bone
Tahlia Stewart (2018) The effect of different dietary regimes on human bone physiology
Chelsea Morgan (2017) Bioarchaeology of sex and gender

PhD Panel Member:
Alejandra Henriquez (2017) Microscopic methods for identifying enamel hypoplasia
Lauren Meckel (2017) Health of Irish Famine victims (University of Otago)

Master of Archaeological Science thesis:
Diana Tieppo (2018) Investigating cortical porosity in ancient human bone histological samples
Kate Phillips (2018) Osteoporosis from the past to the present (co-supervision with JCSMR)

Biological Anthropology Honours thesis:
Tara Mann (2018) Obesity and long bone epiphyseal fusion in children

Past student projects

  • Sarah Robertson (2018) Differential diagnosis of cribra orbitalia at Christ Church Spitalfields via micro-CT analysis (PhD, primary supervisor)
  • Danielle Rosenquist (2018) Digital Bones: Cortical Bone Remodeling in Human Foot and Hand Phalanges (Master of Biological Anthropology) 
  • Coco James (2017) Femoral muscle markings and the underlying cortical bone histology (Master of Biological Anthropology)
  • Stephanie Robinson (2017) Chalcolithic Wedge Tombs and an Iron Age Burial: An osteobiography and trauma assessment of an individual from the Burren, County Clare, Ireland (Master of Biological Anthropology)
  • Bronwyn Wyatt (2017) Health and disease in prehistoric Indonesia (Master of Biological Anthropology)
  • Claire Rider (2017) Effects of leg pathology on femoral bone remodeling. (Master of Biological Anthropology)
  • Natasha Langley (2016) The effects of experimental burning on pig dental enamel in a forensic and archaeological context (Master of Archaeological Science)
  • Ashley Bridge (2016) Bridging the gap: Looking at new ways to identify stature in Forensics using contemporary Australian anthropometric data (Master of Archaeological Science)

See all here


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Updated:  27 April 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers