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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Dr Jonny Geber

PositionLecturer in Biological Anthropology
DepartmentDepartment of Anatomy
QualificationsMA (Stockholm) MA (Uppsala) PhD (Belfast) Docent (Uppsala)
Research summaryBiological anthropology, famine studies, palaeopathology, social bioarchaeology
Teaching
  • BIOA 101 Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • BIOA 201 Biocultural Human Skeletal Biology
  • BIOA 301 Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton
  • BIOA 401 Advanced Biological Anthropology
  • ANAT 250 Functional Anatomy
Memberships
  • The Australian Society for Human Biology (2016–)
  • Irish Isotopes Research Group (2015–)
  • Society for American Archaeology (2015–)
  • European Association of Archaeologists (2014–)
  • Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (2006–)
  • British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (2005–)

Research

Dr Geber's research involves broad biocultural and contextual approaches to the study of life in the past from archaeological and historical human remains. He has a particular interest in social bioarchaeology focusing on the experience of poverty and social marginalisation, health and disease, and conflict in the past. In recent years, his research has focused on the bioarchaeology of the Great Irish Famine (1845–52), based on nearly 1,000 skeletons of victims from a mass burial ground discovered in Kilkenny City, Ireland, in 2005. Other research interests involve the bioarchaeology of prehistoric funerary practices and mortuary rites; the study of cremated human remains; weapon trauma and violence; palaeopathology and the experience of disease in the past; burial taphonomy and thanatology.

Dr Geber was appointed as Docent in Archaeology at Uppsala University, Sweden in April 2018. He has received funding from the Irish Research Council, the Royal Irish Academy, the Johan and Jakob Söderberg's Foundation, the Gunvor and Josef Anér Foundation, the Magnus Bergvall's Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the University of Otago, the Emily Sarah Montgomery Scholarship (Queen's University Belfast), Kilkenny County Council, MacDonagh Junction Developments, and Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd.

Additional details

Research featured in the radio documentary We Had Names, KCLR96FM, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

https://kclr96fm.com/documentary/we-had-names/

Publications

Geber, J. (2015). Victims of Ireland's Great Famine: The bioarchaeology of mass burials at Kilkenny Union Workhouse. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 282p.

Holbrook, N., Wright, J., McSloy, E. R., & Geber, J. (2017). The western cemetery of Roman Cirencester: Excavations at the former Bridges Garage, Tetbury Road, Cirencester, 2011-2015 (Cirencester excavations Vol. VII). Cirencester, UK: Cotswold Archaeology, 170p.

Geber, J., Hensey, R., Meehan, P., Moore, S., & Kador, T. (2017). Facilitating transitions: Postmortem processing of the dead at the Carrowkeel passage tomb complex, Ireland (3500–3000 cal B.C.). Bioarchaeology International, 1(1-2), 35-51. doi: 10.5744/bi.2017.1001

Geber, J. (2017). Interring the 'deserving' child: The archaeology of the deaths and burials of children at the Kilkenny Workhouse during the Great Famine in Ireland, 1845-52. In E. Murphy & M. Le Roy (Eds.), Children, death and burial: Archaeological discourses. (pp. 249-262). Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books.

Geber, J. (2016). Mortality among institutionalised children during the Great Famine in Ireland: Bioarchaeological contextualisation of non-adult mortality rates in the Kilkenny Union Workhouse, 1846-1851. Continuity & Change, 31(1), 101-126. doi: 10.1017/S0268416016000096

Authored Book - Research

Holbrook, N., Wright, J., McSloy, E. R., & Geber, J. (2017). The western cemetery of Roman Cirencester: Excavations at the former Bridges Garage, Tetbury Road, Cirencester, 2011-2015 (Cirencester excavations Vol. VII). Cirencester, UK: Cotswold Archaeology, 170p.

Geber, J. (2015). Victims of Ireland's Great Famine: The bioarchaeology of mass burials at Kilkenny Union Workhouse. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 282p.

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Chapter in Book - Research

Geber, J. (2018). "Wretched in the extreme": Investigating child experiences of the Great Hunger through bioarchaeology. In C. Kineally, J. King & G. Moran (Eds.), Children and the great hunger in Ireland. (pp. 75-94). Cork University Press.

Geber, J. (2017). Suffering the Great Hunger: Scurvy and tuberculosis as reflected in skeletons of victims of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852). In V. R. Preedy & V. B. Patel (Eds.), Handbook of famine, starvation, and nutrient deprivation: From biology to policy. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-40007-5_84-1

Geber, J. (2017). Interring the 'deserving' child: The archaeology of the deaths and burials of children at the Kilkenny Workhouse during the Great Famine in Ireland, 1845-52. In E. Murphy & M. Le Roy (Eds.), Children, death and burial: Archaeological discourses. (pp. 249-262). Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books.

Geber, J. (2015). Famine. In K. B. Metheny & M. C. Beaudry (Eds.), Archaeology of food: An encyclopedia. (pp. 155-157). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. [Encyclopaedia/Dictionary Entry].

Geber, J. (2014). Reconstructing realities: Exploring the human experience of the Great Famine through archaeology. In M. Corporaal, C. Cusack, L. Janssen & R. van den Beuken (Eds.), Global legacies of the Great Irish Famine: Transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives. (pp. 139-156). Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang.

Geber, J. (2012). Burying the famine dead: Kilkenny Union workhouse. In J. Crowley, W. J. Smyth & M. Murphy (Eds.), Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-52. (pp. 341-348). Cork, Ireland: Cork University Press.

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Journal - Research Article

Geber, J., & Hammer, N. (2018). Ossification of the ligamentum flavum in a nineteenth-century skeletal population sample from Ireland: Using bioarchaeology to reveal a neglected spine pathology. Scientific Reports, 8, 9313. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27522-x

Tromp, M., Buckley, H., Geber, J., & Matisoo-Smith, E. (2017). EDTA decalcification of dental calculus as an alternate means of microparticle extraction from archaeological samples. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 14, 461-466. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.06.035

Carlyle, S., Geber, J., & Armitage, P. L. (2017). Medieval and later activity in the former precinct of St John’s Hospital, Northampton. Northamptonshire Archaeology, 39, 181-196.

Geber, J., Hensey, R., Meehan, P., Moore, S., & Kador, T. (2017). Facilitating transitions: Postmortem processing of the dead at the Carrowkeel passage tomb complex, Ireland (3500–3000 cal B.C.). Bioarchaeology International, 1(1-2), 35-51. doi: 10.5744/bi.2017.1001

Geber, J. (2016). Mortality among institutionalised children during the Great Famine in Ireland: Bioarchaeological contextualisation of non-adult mortality rates in the Kilkenny Union Workhouse, 1846-1851. Continuity & Change, 31(1), 101-126. doi: 10.1017/S0268416016000096

Hart, J., Geber, J., & Holbrook, N. (2016). Iron Age settlement and a Romano-British Cemetery at The Cotswold School, Bourton-on-the-Water: Excavations in 2011. Transactions of the Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 134, 77-112.

Geber, J. (2016). 'Children in a ragged state': Seeking a biocultural narrative of a workhouse childhood in Ireland during the Great Famine (1845-1852). Childhood in the Past, 9(2), 120-138. doi: 10.1080/17585716.2016.1205344

Geber, J., Hensey, R., Meehan, P., Moore, S., & Kador, T. (2016). Reassessing the age, sex and metric variation of commingled human remains from a 1911 excavation of a neolithic passage tomb complex in north-west Ireland. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. doi: 10.1002/oa.2521

Geber, J. (2015). Comparative study of perimortem weapon trauma in two early Medieval skeletal populations (AD 400-1200) from Ireland. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 25(3), 253-264. doi: 10.1002/oa.2281

Geber, J. (2014). Skeletal manifestations of stress in child victims of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852): Prevalence of enamel hypoplasia, Harris lines, and growth retardation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 155(1), 149-161. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22567

Beaumont, J., Geber, J., Powers, N., Wilson, A., Lee-Thorp, J., & Montgomery, J. (2013). Victims and survivors: Stable isotopes used to identify migrants from the Great Irish Famine to 19th Century London. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 150(1), 87-98. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22179

Geber, J., & Murphy, E. (2012). Scurvy in the Great Irish Famine: Evidence of vitamin C deficiency from a mid-19th century skeletal population. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 148(4), 512-524. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22066

Mudd, A., Brett, M., Anderson-Whymark, H., Black, S., Cobain, S., Geber, J., … Young, T. P. (2012). A Neolithic and Bronze Age monument complex and its early Medieval reuse: Excavations at Netherfield Farm, South Petherton, Somerset, 2006. Archaeological Journal, 169(1), 3-86. doi: 10.1080/00665983.2012.11020911

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Journal - Research Other

Geber, J. (2015). [Review of the book Charity and the Great Hunger in Ireland]. Journal of the Cork Historical & Archaeological Society, 120, 158-160. [Book Review].

Geber, J. (2015). [Review of the book Growing pains: Childhood illness in Ireland 1750-1950]. Childhood in the Past, 8(2), 175-176. doi: 10.1179/1758571615Z.00000000038

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