BABAO Student Talks Series 

Following the 2021 conference BABAO will be hosting a series of free talks by our student members showcasing some of their fascinating research. Each talk starts at 7pm, lasting for roughly an hour plus time for questions.

Details and links to registrations of each talk can be found below:

Talk 1 -
Talk 2 -
Talk 3 -
Talk 4 -

Talk 1 - Date: Fri 4th February – 7pm

Title: A Survey of Ancestry Estimation Method Preferences and Utilisation in Forensic Anthropology: An Update (Marion Davidson)

Description: In this study, an anonymous online survey was developed to determine the most preferred and most frequently utilised ancestry estimation methods and techniques among forensic anthropologists. Analysis of the results reveal that the cranium is reported as both the most preferred skeletal element and the most examined skeletal element, and a combination of metric and non-metric assessments is the most preferred and the most utilised technique. Furthermore, a trait list is both the most preferred and the most utilised type of ancestry estimation analysis. Further analysis has also revealed that technique preferences and utilisation differ by location, year of degree completion, and degree discipline. These insights can help to ensure that further research into ancestry estimation is applicable to the practicing forensic anthropologist.


Talk 2 - Date: Fri 11th February – 7pm

Title: For Richer or Poorer: Did Wealth Influence Human Health in the Past? (Maia Casna)

Description: Our wealth has deep implications on our life: it provides material benefits, such as healthier living conditions and access to health care, and protects us from chronic stress. Today many societies have put a lot of effort into building wealth among people who have long lacked opportunity, but how was this in the past? In my research, I investigate the link between health and wealth in several post-medieval cities in the Netherlands, to see whether greater disposable income favourited better health.


Talk 3 - Date: Fri 18th February – 7pm

Title: The Kids Aren’t Alright: Tracking Stress Throughout Childhood (Mandi Curtis)

Description: A novel method for incremental dentine collagen micro-sampling was developed and used to analyse stress indicators during the childhoods of medieval, post-medieval, and modern individuals. The carbon and nitrogen isotopic data acquired using the novel method allows for observing nutritional and physiological stress that previous dentine collagen sampling methods could not detect.


Talk 4 - Date: Fri 25th February – 7pm

Title: Primate bones and other body parts: Researching the zoological specimen collection of W.C. Osman Hill (Carina Phillips)

Description: W.C. Osman Hill (1901-1975) is considered one of the founders of modern primatology.  Throughout his career he collected hundreds of zoological specimens of bones as well as soft tissue stored in preservative fluid.  Several of these specimens are linked to his ground-breaking research on primate anatomy.  The collection is today housed at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.  This talk will present some initial findings from interdisciplinary PhD research on the collection, exploring how Hill created the collection and why, how it can continue to contribute to biological research today and some of the challenges faced by a museum curator when looking after these specimens.