My research primarily aims to enhance our knowledge of diseases in children from archaeological contexts. This includes devising new diagnostic criteria (e.g. endocranial lesions, thalassaemia, TB etc.) and exploring social questions such as the impact or urbanisation, work and migration on child health. My work has focused on child health in Roman Britain (stemming from the Diaspora Project 2007-9) and the health and movement of medieval teenagers (Leverhulme Trust 2012-4), both previously neglected subjects. In addition, my research students and I have broadened osteological techniques used to explore aspects of the life course (infancy, childhood, adolescence and old age), including the development of a new method to identify the stages of puberty in skeletal remains.
Assessing puberty in past populations (2015-7): Work on medieval adolescence involved, for the first time, creating a set of criteria to assess the stage of puberty in skeletal remains. This has important implications for identity, fertility and health The age at which puberty is attained reflects environmental factors.