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Health Sciences staff profiles

Dr Rebecca Kinaston

PositionResearch Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Anatomy
QualificationsPhD
Research summaryI am a Bioarchaeologist with a passion for reconstructing the past
Memberships
  • American Association of Physical Anthropology
  • Paleopathology Association
  • Australian Society for Human Biology

Research

I am a Bioarchaeologist and Forensic Anthropologist specialising in excavation, skeletal and oral health, and isotope analyses. My PhD and first Postdoctoral positions, both at the University of Otago, were focused on understanding health, diet and migration patterns in the prehistoric Pacific Islands. Highlights of this research were excavating cemeteries and analysing the remains of the Lapita people, the first populations to settle Remote Oceania and the ancestors of the modern-day Polynesians.

I held a Postdoctoral position at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH), Jena, and then I returned to the Anatomy Department at the University of Otago in 2017 as a Research Fellow. I have continued working with the Institute on ancient DNA projects in the Pacific, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. I am currently the PI of a Marsden Fast Start project aimed at understanding prehistoric human migration, diet and health in Indonesia during the Pleistocene and Holocene (collaborating with researchers from Universitas Airlangga, MPI-SHH, Australian National University and Griffith University). I am an Associate Investigator on a Full Marsden Grant assessing Historic cemeteries in New Zealand. I have also partnered with Dr. Jonny Geber, University of Edinburgh, to investigate a historic mining-era cemetery in the Eastern Sierras of California, a project funded by the British Society.

In collaboration with researchers from Charles University (Czech Republic) and Termez University (Uzbekistan) I lead bioarchaeological investigations of Medieval cemeteries in southwest Uzbekistan, a project kindly funded by an Out-of-Season University of Otago Research Grant.

I maintain active collaborative research projects addressing diet, migration and animal husbandry in the Pacific Islands, with a special focus on Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and New Zealand. I am the primary supervisor of PhD candidate Robyn Kramer, who is investigating kurī movement and creating a strontium isotope baseline for New Zealand. I have assisted iwi for the repatriation and analysis of kōiwi tangata in Aotearoa and am available to help with future recovery and reburial. In 2018, I was hired as a Forensic Anthropologist for the New Zealand Defence Force operation Te Auraki (The Return) that successfully repatriated 36 soldiers who died overseas between 1955 and 1971.

In 2020, I was a recipient of the University of Otago Early Career Award for Distinction in Research.

Publications

King, C. L., Petchey, P., Kinaston, R., Gröcke, D. R., Millard, A. R., Wanhalla, A., Brooking, T., Matisoo-Smith, E., & Buckley, H. R. (2021). A land of plenty? Colonial diet in rural New Zealand. Historical Archaeology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s41636-020-00276-y

King, C. L., Buckley, H. R., Petchey, P., Roberts, P., Zech, J., Kinaston, R., Collins, C., Kardailsky, O., Matisoo-Smith, E., & Nowell, G. (2021). An isotopic and genetic study of multi-cultural colonial New Zealand. Journal of Archaeological Science, 128, 105337. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2021.105337

Kramer, R. T., King, C. L., Buckley, H. R., Jaouen, K., Boyd, D. A., Kiko, L., … Kinaston, R. L. (2020). Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope analysis of the Namu skeletal assemblage: A study of past human migration on Taumako, a Polynesian Outlier in the eastern Solomon Islands. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.24179

Buckley, H. R., Roberts, P., Kinaston, R., Petchey, P., King, C., Domett, K., Snoddy, A. M., & Matisoo-Smith, E. (2020). Living and dying on the edge of the Empire: A bioarchaeological examination of Otago’s early European settlers. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2020.1837189

Duxfield, T., King, C., Buckley, H., Petchey, P., Nowell, G. M., & Kinaston, R. L. (2020). Establishing a strontium isotope baseline in New Zealand for future archaeological migration studies: A case study. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 32, 102412. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102412

Kinaston, R., Willis, A., Miszkiewicz, J. J., Tromp, M., & Oxenham, M. F. (2019). The dentition: Development, disturbances, disease, diet, and chemistry. In J. E. Buikstra (Ed.), Ortner's identification of pathological conditions in human skeletal remains. (3rd ed.) (pp. 749-797). London, UK: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809738-0.00021-1

Chapter in Book - Research

Harris, N. J., Buckley, H. R., Halcrow, S. E., Kinaston, R. L., Foster, A., Simanjantuk, T., & Galipaud, J.-C. (2016). Field anthropology in Southeast Asia and the Pacific: Initial steps toward a regional overview and the Pain Haka case study. In M. Oxenham & H. Buckley (Eds.), Routledge handbook of bioarchaeology in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. (pp. 289-310). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Kinaston, R. L., Bedford, S., Spriggs, M., Anson, D., & Buckley, H. R. (2016). Is there a 'Lapita diet'? A comparison of Lapita and post-Lapita skeletal samples from four Pacific Island archaeological sites. In M. Oxenham & H. Buckley (Eds.), Routledge handbook of bioarchaeology in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. (pp. 427-461). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Stantis, C., Tayles, N., Kinaston, R. L., Cameron, C., Nunn, P. D., Richards, M. P., & Buckley, H. R. (2016). Diet and subsistence in remote Oceania: An analysis using oral indicators of diet. In M. Oxenham & H. Buckley (Eds.), Routledge handbook of bioarchaeology in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. (pp. 569-598). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Kinaston, R., & Buckley, H. (2013). The stable isotope analysis of prehistoric human diet in the Pacific Islands with an emphasis on Lapita. In G. Summerhayes & H. Buckley (Eds.), Pacific Archaeology: Documenting the past 50,000 years: Papers from the 2011 Lapita Pacific Archaeology Conference. (pp. 91-107). Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago.

Chapter in Book - Research

Littleton, J., & Kinaston, R. (2008). Ancestry, age, sex, and stature: Identification in a diverse space. In M. Oxenham (Ed.), Forensic approaches to death, disaster and abuse. (pp. 155-176). Bowen Hills, Australia: Australian Academic Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

King, C. L., Buckley, H. R., Petchey, P., Roberts, P., Zech, J., Kinaston, R., Collins, C., Kardailsky, O., Matisoo-Smith, E., & Nowell, G. (2021). An isotopic and genetic study of multi-cultural colonial New Zealand. Journal of Archaeological Science, 128, 105337. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2021.105337

Journal - Research Article

King, C. L., Petchey, P., Kinaston, R., Gröcke, D. R., Millard, A. R., Wanhalla, A., Brooking, T., Matisoo-Smith, E., & Buckley, H. R. (2021). A land of plenty? Colonial diet in rural New Zealand. Historical Archaeology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s41636-020-00276-y

Journal - Research Article

Buckley, H. R., Roberts, P., Kinaston, R., Petchey, P., King, C., Domett, K., Snoddy, A. M., & Matisoo-Smith, E. (2020). Living and dying on the edge of the Empire: A bioarchaeological examination of Otago’s early European settlers. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2020.1837189

Journal - Research Article

Duxfield, T., King, C., Buckley, H., Petchey, P., Nowell, G. M., & Kinaston, R. L. (2020). Establishing a strontium isotope baseline in New Zealand for future archaeological migration studies: A case study. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 32, 102412. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102412

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R. L., Koesbardiati, T., Suriyanto, R. A., Buckley, H. R., Halcrow, S. E., Foster, A., … Galipaud, J.-C. (2020). Ritual tooth ablation and the Austronesian expansion: Evidence from eastern Indonesia and the Pacific Islands. Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/15564894.2020.1754971

Journal - Research Article

King, C. L., Buckley, H. R., Petchey, P., Kinaston, R., Millard, A., Zech, J., … Matisoo-Smith, E., … Gröcke, D. R. (2020). A multi-isotope, multi-tissue study of colonial origins and diet in New Zealand. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 172, 605-620. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.24077

Journal - Research Article

Kramer, R. T., King, C. L., Buckley, H. R., Jaouen, K., Boyd, D. A., Kiko, L., … Kinaston, R. L. (2020). Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope analysis of the Namu skeletal assemblage: A study of past human migration on Taumako, a Polynesian Outlier in the eastern Solomon Islands. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.24179

Journal - Research Article

Tromp, M., Matisoo-Smith, E., Kinaston, R., Bedford, S., Spriggs, M., & Buckley, H. (2020). Exploitation and utilization of tropical rainforests indicated in dental calculus of ancient Oceanic Lapita culture colonists. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 489-495. doi: 10.1038/s41562-019-0808-y

Journal - Research Article

Snoddy, A. M. E., Buckley, H. R., King, C. L., Kinaston, R. L., Nowell, G., Gröcke, D. R., Duncan, W. J., & Petchey, P. (2019). "Captain of All These Men of Death": An integrated case study of tuberculosis in nineteenth-century Otago, New Zealand. Bioarchaeology International, 3(4). doi: 10.5744/bi.2019.1014

Journal - Research Article

Foster, A., Kinaston, R., Spriggs, M., Bedford, S., Gray, A., & Buckley, H. (2018). Possible diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) in a 3000-year-old Pacific Island skeletal assemblage. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 18, 408-419. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.01.002

Journal - Research Article

Kysela, J., Augustinová, A., & Kinaston, R. (2018). Preliminary reports on the excavations at Burgut Kurgan and Bobolangar in 2017. Studia Hercynia, XXII(1), 158-182.

Journal - Research Article

McColl, H., Racimo, F., Vinner, L., Demeter, F., Gakuhari, T., Moreno-Mayar, J. V., … Kinaston, R., Buckley, H., … Higham, C., … Willerslev, E. (2018). The prehistoric peopling of Southeast Asia. Science, 361(6397), 88-92. doi: 10.1126/science.aat3628

Journal - Research Article

Petchey, P., Buckley, H., Hil, G., Kelly, A., Kinaston, R., King, C., & Scott, R. (2018). Life & death on the Otago frontier: Preliminary report on the Lawrence Cemeteries. Archaeology in New Zealand, 61(2), 22-40.

Journal - Research Article

Posth, C., Nägele, K., Colleran, H., Valentin, F., Bedford, S., Kami, K. W., … Buckley, H., Kinaston, R., … Powell, A. (2018). Language continuity despite population replacement in Remote Oceania. Ecology & Evolution, 2, 731-740. doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0498-2

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R. L., & Buckley, H. R. (2017). Isotopic insights into diet and health at the site of Namu, Taumako Island, Southeast Solomon Islands. Archaeological & Anthropological Sciences, 9(7), 1405-1420. doi: 10.1007/s12520-016-0440-y

Journal - Research Article

Petchey, P., Buckley, H., Kinaston, R., & Smith, B. (2017). A nineteenth century settlers’ graveyard: Preliminary report on the excavation of St. John’s Cemetery, Back Road, Milton, Otago. Archaeology in New Zealand, (March 2017), 20-31.

Journal - Research Article

Galipaud, J.-C., Kinaston, R., & Guillaud, D. (2016). Aleti Tunu Bibi: Contextualizing a new rock art site in East Timor and the wider Asia-Pacific region. Asian Perspectives, 55(2), 128-147. doi: 10.1353/asi.2016.0016

Journal - Research Article

Galipaud, J.-C., Kinaston, R., Halcrow, S., Foster, A., Harris, N., Simanjuntak, T., … Buckley, H. (2016). The Pain Haka burial ground on Flores: Indonesian evidence for a shared Neolithic belief system in Southeast Asia. Antiquity, 90(354), 1505-1521. doi: 10.15184/aqy.2016.185

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R. L., Roberts, G. L., Buckley, H. R., & Oxenham, M. (2016). A bioarchaeological analysis of oral and physiological health on the south coast of New Guinea. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 160(3), 414-426. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22978

Journal - Research Article

Petchey, P., Buckley, H., Walter, R., Anson, D., & Kinaston, R. (2016). The 2008-2009 excavations at the SAC locality, Reber-Rakival Lapita Site, Watom Island, Papua New Guinea. Journal of Indo-Pacific Archaeology, 40, 12-31. doi: 10.7152/jipa.v40i0.14928

Journal - Research Article

Stantis, C., Buckley, H. R., Kinaston, R. L., Nunn, P. D., Jaouen, K., & Richards, M. P. (2016). Isotopic evidence of human mobility and diet in a prehistoric/protohistoric Fijian coastal environment (c. 750-150 BP). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 159, 478-495. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22884

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R. L., Anson, D., Petchey, P., Walter, R., Robb, K., & Buckley, H. (2015). Lapita diet and subsistence strategies on Watom Island, Papua New Guinea: New stable isotope evidence from humans and animals. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 157(1), 30-41. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22685

Journal - Research Article

Stantis, C., Kinaston, R. L., Richards, M. P., Davidson, J. M., & Buckley, H. R. (2015). Assessing human diet and movement in the Tongan maritime chiefdom using isotopic analyses. PLoS ONE, 10(3), e0123156. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123156

Journal - Research Article

Buckley, H. R., Kinaston, R., Halcrow, S. E., Foster, A., Spriggs, M., & Bedford, S. (2014). Scurvy in a tropical paradise? Evaluating the possibility of infant and adult vitamin C deficiency in the Lapita skeletal sample of Teouma, Vanuatu, Pacific islands. International Journal of Paleopathology, 5, 72-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2014.03.001

Journal - Research Article

Horrocks, M., Nieuwoudt, M. K., Kinaston, R., Buckley, H., & Bedford, S. (2014). Microfossil and Fourier Transform InfraRed analyses of Lapita and post-Lapita human dental calculus from Vanuatu, Southwest Pacific. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 44(1), 17-33. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2013.842177

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R., Bedford, S., Richards, M., Hawkins, S., Gray, A., Jaouen, K., … Buckley, H. (2014). Diet and human mobility from the Lapita to the early historic period on Uripiv Island, Northeast Malakula, Vanuatu. PLoS ONE, 9(8), e104071. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104071

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R., Buckley, H., Valentin, F., Bedford, S., Spriggs, M., Hawkins, S., & Herrscher, E. (2014). Lapita diet in remote Oceania: New stable isotope evidence from the 3000-year-old Teouma site, Efate Island, Vanuatu. PLoS ONE, 9(3), e90376. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090376

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R. L., Buckley, H. R., & Gray, A. (2013). Diet and social status on Taumako, a Polynesian outlier in the Southeastern Solomon Islands. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 151(4), 589-603. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22314

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R. L., Walter, R. K., Jacomb, C., Brooks, E., Tayles, N., Halcrow, S. E., Stirling, C., Reid, M., Gray, A. R., Spinks, J., Shaw, B., … Buckley, H. R. (2013). The first New Zealanders: Patterns of diet and mobility revealed through isotope analysis. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e64580. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064580

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R., Buckley, H., Gray, A., Shaw, B., & Mandui, H. (2013). Exploring subsistence and cultural complexes on the south coast of Papua New Guinea using palaeodietary analyses. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40(2), 904-913. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2012.09.002

Journal - Research Article

Valentin, F., Buckley, H. R., Herrscher, E., Kinaston, R., Bedford, S., Spriggs, M., … Neal, K. (2010). Lapita subsistence strategies and food consumption patterns in the community of Teouma (Efate, Vanuatu). Journal of Archaeological Science, 37, 1820-1829. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.01.039

Journal - Research Article

Kinaston, R. L., Buckley, H. R., Halcrow, S. E., Spriggs, M. J. T., Bedford, S., Neal, K., & Gray, A. (2009). Investigating foetal and perinatal mortality in prehistoric skeletal samples: A case study from a 3000-year-old Pacific Island cemetery site. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36(12), 2780-2787. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2009.09.004

Journal - Research Article

Snoddy, A. M. E., Beaumont, J., Buckley, H. R., Colombo, A., Halcrow, S. E., Kinaston, R. L., & Vlok, M. (2020). Sensationalism and speaking to the public: Scientific rigour and interdisciplinary collaborations in palaeopathology [Brief communication]. International Journal of Paleopathology, 28, 88-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2020.01.003

Journal - Research Other

Snoddy, A. M. E., Beaumont, J., Buckley, H. R., Colombo, A., Halcrow, S. E., Kinaston, R. L., & Vlok, M. (2020). Comment on Charlier et al., 2019: “The mandible of Saint-Louis (1270 AD): Retrospective diagnosis and circumstances of death”. Journal of Stomatology, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, 121, 192-197. doi: 10.1016/j.jormas.2019.12.013

Journal - Research Other

Kinaston, R. L., Shaw, B., Gray, A. R., Walter, R. K., Jacomb, C., Brooks, E., Halcrow, S. E., & Buckley, H. R. (2015). Critical review of Brown and Thomas "The first New Zealanders? An alternative interpretation of the stable isotope data from Wairau Bar" [Formal comment]. PLoS ONE, 10(10), e0137616. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137616

Journal - Research Other

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