Dr Stacey Ward

BA(Hons), MSc, PhD
Lecturer in Biological Anthropology
College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61 2 6125 3362

Areas of expertise

  • Biological (Physical) Anthropology 160102

Research interests

  • Investigating how ancient human health is impacted by social changes such as the rise of social inequality in prehistoric and protohistoric Southeast Asia
  • Refining understandings of the interaction of identity, inequality, material culture and health in prehistoric and protohistoric Southeast Asia
  • Mortuary practices in Southeast Asia
  • Repatriation of Human Remains


Stacey undertook an BA(Hons) in Anthropology (2009), specialising in Archaeology, at the University of Otago and while there, she discovered the magic of bioarchaeology. She went on to complete an MSc (2012) and a PhD (2019) at the same institution. Her research is primarily in Southeast Asia and has focused on topics such heavy metal exposure among early Bronze Age metallurgists in Thailand, cremation practices in historic Laos, and the relationship between health and social inequality in Iron Age Thailand.

In between degrees, Stacey has worked as a contract archaeologist in Australia and New Zealand, and has archaeological and bioarchaeological field experience in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Israel and Peru. More recently, Stacey was employed by the University of Otago to assist with the repatriation of Indigenous skeletal remains.

Stacey has experience in providing workshops on the analysis of skeletal human remains, public lectures and tutorials to peoples from all walks of life.

Researcher's projects

  • Living on the Edge: Health in a Marginal Community During the Protohistoric (500-800AD) Social Transition in Northeast Thailand. This project will combine investigation of historical texts, traditional bioarchaeological techniques (e.g. age and sex estimation) and cutting eadge analysis of bone histology, linear enamel hypoplasia and dietary and migration isotopes to investgate health in a marginal population during the protohistoric social transition in northeast Thailand. 

Available student projects

Stacey is happy to supervise and mentor students who are interested in Southeast Asian bioarchaeology, ancient health, social change, spatial relative risk mapping, mortuary practices and repatriation. Feel free to email her for a chat!

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Updated:  26 June 2022 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers