Dr Stacey Ward

BA(Hons), MSc, PhD
Lecturer in Biological Anthropology
ANU 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
  • Bioarchaeology education
  • Repatriation of ancestral human remains


Stacey completed her BA(Hons) in Anthropology (2009) 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. In between degrees, Stacey worked as a contract archaeologist in Australia and New Zealand, and she has archaeological and bioarchaeological field experience in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Israel and Peru. Following the completion of her PhD, Stacey was employed by the University of Otago to assist with the repatriation of Indigenous skeletal remains. She joined the Australian National University as a lecturer in late 2020.

Stacey's research has focused primarily on life in ancient Southeast Asia. Previous projects include an investigation of heavy metal exposure among early Bronze Age metallurgists in Thailand, characterising cremation practices in historic Laos, and exploring the relationship between health and social inequality in Iron Age Thailand. Stacey's current research is focusing on improving teaching and learning in bioarchaeology.

Stacey is passionate about teaching. She currently convenes BIAN2015/6517 (Human Skeletal Analysis), BIAN2128/6515 (Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology) and BIAN3125/6512 (Ancient Health and Disease). In 2021, Stacey received the College of Arts and Social Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career). In 2022, she was awarded an Australian National University Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career).

Stacey's service roles include the undergraduate convenorship for the Biological Anthropology major, acting head of the School of Archaeology and Anthropology Education Committee, and organiser of the Biological Anthropology Seminar series. Stacey also designs and leads outreach activities for people of all walks of life.


Researcher's projects

  • Rethinking Perceptions Around Online Practical Laboratory delivery: A Quantitative Comparison of In-Person and Online Educational Outcomes in Biological Anthropology Using 3D Models (CASS Teaching Grant 2021, with Dr Laura Wilson and Dr Katharine Balolia)
  • Futureproofing humanity through re-discovering prehistoric community responses to climate change (CASS Small Grants Scheme 2022, with Dr Naruphol Wangthongchaicharoen, Ms Pimpicha Bannanurak, and Dr Nigel Chang)
  • Investigating the Global Spatiotemporal Distribution of Intentional Cranial Modification (with Professor Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra, Dr Laura Wilson, Dr Gizeh Rangel-de Lazaro, and Ms Caitlin Raymond)
  • Investigating the Effectiveness of Online Bioarchaeology Education Through Participant Survey of a Cohort of International Adult Learners (Unviversity of Otago Research Grant 2021, with Professor Siân Halcrow, Professor Rasmi Shoocongdej, Dr Naruphol Wangthongchaicharoen, Dr Charlotte King, Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz, and Ms. Anna-Claire Barker)

Available student projects

Stacey is available to supervise and mentor students who are interested in bioarchaeology education and outreach, Southeast Asian bioarchaeology, the biosocial impacts of large scale social change, and spatial analysis.

Current student projects

  • Bronwyn Wyatt (PhD, Associate Supervisor): Conceptualising frailty as a bio-social phenomena through exploration of childhood mortality
  • Chelsea Morgan (MPhil, Panel Chair): Sex and gender in bioarcheology: A study of femoral microstructure in a modern Thai population

Past student projects

  • Charlotte March (Master's, Primary Supervisor): Exploring intersectional influences on traumatic skeletal injury during the late Iron Age social transition at Non Ban Jak, northeast Thailand
  • Ebony Pike (Master's, Primary Supervisor): Living with the dead: A spatial analysis of residential burials at Iron Age Non Ban Jak, Thailand
  • Zachary Martin (Undergraduate Project, Primary Supervisor): An anthropologie de terrain analysis of burials from Non Ban Jak, northeast Thailand


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Updated:  07 December 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers