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Contact Details

+64 3 479 7374
Department of Anatomy
Research summary
Using isotopic systems to investigate questions of diet and mobility in prehistoric populations


My research focuses on the use of bone and tooth chemistry to solve forensic and archaeological problems. I use isotopic systems and trace elements relating to place of origin, dietary intake, exposure to toxins, and stress experiences to reconstruct the lives of unknown individuals.

At the moment my main research focuses on using these techniques to help us to understand the everyday lives of historic New Zealanders living during Otago’s goldrush era.

I am also involved in repatriation research, exploring the use of these techniques to identify and return peoples to their places of origin.


Kavale-Henderson, L. A., Buckley, H. R., King, C. L., Petchey, P., & Snoddy, A. M. E. (2024). Nostalgia for the old country: A histological exploration of early childhood physiological stress experiences in colonial Otago, New Zealand. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, e3281. doi: 10.1002/oa.3281 Journal - Research Article

Rogers, L. M., Halcrow, S. E., Kleffmann, T., & King, C. L. (2024). Comparing Walker's (2008) skull trait sex estimation standard to proteomic sex estimation for a group of South Asian individuals. Forensic Science International: Synergy, 8, 100450. doi: 10.1016/j.fsisyn.2023.100450 Journal - Research Article

King, C. & Sohler-Snoddy, A. (2023, October). Talks After 5 Series: Secrets from the skeletons: Archaeological insights into life in colonial Otago. Ōtepoti Dunedin Heritage Festival: Growing heritage. Southern Heritage Trust: Dunedin, New Zealand. [Public Seminar]. Other Research Output

Ward, S. M., Barker, A.-C. L., Shoocongdej, R., Wangthongchaicharoen, N., Miszkiewicz, J. J., King, C. L., & Halcrow, S. E. (2023). Investigating the effectiveness of online bioarchaeology education through participant survey of a cohort of international adult learners. Advances in Archaeological Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/aap.2023.16 Journal - Research Article

King, C. L., Buckley, H. R., Petchey, P., Kinaston, R., Millard, A. R., Nowell, G., … Gröcke, D. R. (2023). Seeking their fortunes on the Otago goldfields, New Zealand: Constructing isotopic biographies of colonial goldminers. Journal of Archaeological Science, 157, 105836. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2023.105836 Journal - Research Article

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