Laure SpakeLaure Spake

BA (McGill) MA PhD (SFU)

Research Fellow
Religion Programme
Room: Richardson 4S10
Tel: 64 3 471 XXXX

Laure is a Research Fellow working with Dr. John Shaver on the Templeton-funded project “The Evolutionary Dynamics of Religion, Family Size, and Child Success.” The project involves the collection of demographic and social data from over 6000 participants in five different societies in collaboration with an international team of evolutionary anthropologists and demographers. More information is available on the project at:

Laure’s background is in biological anthropology. Her research interests center around children and childhood, and include questions related to health, growth, and demography. She has previously worked as a forensic anthropologist and a bioarchaeologist, and has written on topics such as secular trends, age and body mass estimation, and population variation.


Journal Articles

2020. Gooderham E, Marinho L, Spake L, Fisk S, Prates C, Sousa S, Oliveira C, Santos AL, Cardoso HFV. Severe skeletal lesions, osteopenia and growth deficit in a child with pulmonary tuberculosis (mid-20th century, Portugal). International Journal of Paleopathology. 40: 315-324.

2020. Spake L, Meyers J, Blau S, Cardoso HFV, Lottering N. A simple and software-independent protocol for the measurement of post-cranial bones in anthropological contexts using thin-slab maximum intensity. Forensic Imaging 20:200354. DOI:10.1016/j.fri.2020.200354.

2019. Spake L, Cardoso HFV. Indirect evidence for biological mortality bias from two temporo-spatially distant samples of children. Anthropologischer Anzeiger 76:379.390. DOI: 10.1127/anthranz/2019/0957.

2019. Cardoso HFV, Spake L, Wasterlain S, Ferreira MT. The impact of social experiences of physical and structural violence on the growth of African enslaved children recovered from Lagos, Portugal. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 168:209-221. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa/23741.

2018. Spake L, Cardoso HFV. Are we using the appropriate reference samples to develop juvenile age estimation methods based on bone size? An exploration of growth differences between average children and those who become victims of homicide. Forensic Science International 282:1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.10.041.

2017. Cardoso HFV, Spake L, Humphrey LT. Age estimation of immature human skeletal remains from the dimensions of the girdle bones in the postnatal period. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 163:772-783. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23248.

2016. Cardoso HFV, Spake L, Liversidge HM. A reappraisal of developing permanent tooth length as an estimate of age in human immature skeletal remains. Journal of Forensic Sciences 61:1180-1189. DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.13120.

Edited volumes

In production. Meloche M, Spake L, Nichols K. Working with and for Ancestors: Collaboration in the care and study of ancestral remains. Routledge: New York.

Chapters and Conference Proceedings

In production. Spake L, Cardoso HFV, Nicholas GN. Ethical and intellectual property considerations in the digital recording of ancestral remains. In: Meloche M, Spake L, Nichols K. (Eds). Working with and for Ancestors: Collaboration in the care and study of ancestral remains. Routledge: London.

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University of Otago Religious Studies Programme