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Contact Details

64 3 479 4957
BSc(Hons)Forensic Science(C.Lancs) MSc(Hons)Human Osteology and Palaeopathology(Brad) PhD(Otago)
Research summary
Bioarchaeology, developmental plasticity, physiological stress, health and disease, forensic science

I was privileged to receive the 2016 Top Teacher Award for my role as the academic coordinator for the popular Forensic Biology Summer School (FORB 201) – – run by the Faculty of Dentistry. I have also been a guest lecturer for the FORS 301 paper on Forensic Trauma Analysis.

I am interested in teaching all aspects of forensic science, including; forensic anthropology and archaeology, forensic trauma analysis, forensic taphonomy, entomology, crime scene science, disaster victim identification, blood spatter analysis, and other aspects of forensic biology.

I have also been an active teacher in all Biological Anthropology papers offered at Otago. The full range of papers that I have been involved in teaching at Otago, including:


I am the President of the Otago Branch of the Australia New Zealand Forensic Science Society (, and I am a Board Member of the New Zealand International Science Festival.

Internationally recognised societies that I am a current member of, include:

  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists
  • Australian Society for Human Biology
  • British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology
  • British Association for Forensic Anthropologists
  • Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association
  • New Zealand Federation of Graduate Women
  • New Zealand Society of Forensic Odontology (affiliate)
  • Paleopathology Association
  • Society for American Archaeology
  • Southeast Asian Bioarchaeology Association
  • The Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society
  • YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand


I am a bioarchaeologist with research expertise in the biosocial interactions influencing human skeletal and dental developmental plasticity as a response to stress. My research addresses central bioarchaeological questions of the intensification of agriculture and how humans responded to this critical transitional period in prehistory.

My research interests include human adaptability and variability, and using new tools and approaches to better understand how diverse communities, different ancestries, and unique environments play their role in buffering or facilitating the stress response. I am internationally recognised for my research in the study of the physiological stress response in the past.

I am particularly interested in the emerging field of forensic bioarchaeology; integrating my existing skills in bioarchaeology with my professional connections and experience in forensic science to empower forensic human identification.


Matheson, J., Carrington, S., & Clark, A. (2022). Tika or Tapu? The implementation and benefits of tikanga Māori and Te Ao Māori in forensic research hui. New Zealand Dental Journal, 118(4), (pp. 166). [Abstract] Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Guise, N., Broadbent, J., Li, K. C., Duncan, W., & Clark, A. (2022). Expanding the dentist's toolkit: Reproducing complex forensic trauma in a 3D format. New Zealand Dental Journal, 118(4), (pp. 165-166). [Abstract] Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Clark, A. (2022). Investigating the so-called “CSI-Effect”: undergraduate student views in Aotearoa New Zealand from 2017 to 2022. In M. Anakin, R. Bird, N. Flack, Q. Liu, J. McCallum-Loudeac & T. McLennan (Eds.), Proceedings of the Sciences Education and Health Professions Education Symposium. (pp. 12). Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago. [Abstract] Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Clark, A. L., Stantis, C., Buckley, H. R., & Tayles, N. (2020). Oral health of the prehistoric Rima Rau cave burials, Atiu, Cook Islands. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 50(1), 158-177. doi: 10.1080/03036758.2020.1730414 Journal - Research Article

Clark, A. L. (2018). Physiological stress. In W. Trevathan (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of biological anthropology. John Wiley & Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781118584538.ieba0379 Chapter in Book - Research

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