Caroline in the BioArCh labs



Bioarchaeology has a unique concentration of expertise in human palaeoecology and environmental archaeology, with internationally recognised strengths in proteins, lipids, DNA and stable isotopes, human and other mammal and bird bones, molluscs, soils, microscopic remains of plants and animals. 

BioArCh is a collaborative research facility formed by the Archaeology, Biology, and Chemistry Departments and is located in the Environment Building on the Heslington West campus.

Research has been conducted in protohistoric and historic contexts, with new staff appointments adding biomolecular, prehistoric and historic themes, forging stronger and more diverse links between laboratory and field.

The Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences adds skills in primate and human anatomy to our range of expertise, ably supported by three Emeritus Professors. It is also setting up new challenges for our understanding of the interplay of ontogenetic patterning and physical loading in skeletal morphology.


Academic Staff

  • Prof. Geoff Bailey
  • Prof. Terry O'Connor
  • Prof. Matthew Collins
  • Phil Cox
  • Oliver Craig
  • Malin Holst
  • Nicky Milner
  • Michelle Alexander specialises in the use of stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S, δ16O) applied to human and animal remains to understand diet and economies in historic societies. She is particularly interested in exploring the interface of socio-cultural and economic transitions in the Medieval Mediterranean, especially in relation to faith (Islam and Christianity). 
  • Kirsty Penkman
  • Paola Ponce's research interests include health and disease in past populations, particularly British, European, and Amerindians; history of medicine, and funerary archaeology of human remains.
  • Kevin Walsh
  • Nathan Wales is the head of the ancient DNA laboratory. He specializes in DNA from archaeobotanical remains, and addresses questions about domestication, ancient agriculture, and past diets. 

Research Staff