Welcome to my webpage! I’m currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology and co-Director of the Centre for Forensic Research at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. I’m also Adjunct Professor at the University of Porto Medical School, Portugal. My research interests are united under the Juvenile Osteology Group – JUNO, and I’m responsible for the Forensic Osteology - FROST Lab, which provides forensic consulting services. As an educator, I teach Human Origins, Human Osteology, Forensic Anthropology, Paleopathology, Archaeology of Death and I run a Bioarchaeology Field School in Portugal.
I am a physical anthropologist with a specialization in human juvenile osteology, but I have a wide range of other research interests. My research program has been united under the JUNO – Juvenile Osteology Group, which examines fundamental questions about the growth, development, maintenance, use, abuse and ultimately death, degradation, transportation, burial and diagenesis of the juvenile skeleton, particularly for the development of theory and methods for forensic, bioarchaeological and paleontological applications.
My other research interests include the critical analysis and development of methods for osteological analysis in adults, including estimation of the biological profile, diagnosis of trauma and pathological conditions from the human skeleton, taphonomy and time since death, as well as epidemiology, anthropometric history, historical demography, human evolution and paleoanthropology, curation of human remains, ethics and professional practice.
I received my Bachelors Degree in Biology from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon in 1998 and my Masters degree in Biological Anthropology from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra in 2000, where I was supervised by Dr. Eugénia Cunha. During this time, the direction of my research was heavily influenced by the mentorship provided by Dr. Luis Lopes, Curator at the National Museum of Natural History, in Lisbon.
In 2005 I earned my PhD in Anthropology from the Department of Anthropology, McMaster University, Hamilton - Ontario, under the supervision of the late Dr. Shelley Saunders. My time at McMaster and under the mentorship of Dr. Saunders was very significant in shaping my future work and I was also greatly influenced by work of the members of my PhD supervisory committee, Dr. Ann Herring and Dr. Tina Moffat. On my doctoral research I examined the relationship between skeletal and dental growth and development and socioeconomic factors in a 20th century documented skeletal sample of children from Portugal. I was the recipient of the CAGS-UMI (Canadian Association for Graduate Studies - University Microfilms International) distinguished dissertation award in 2006.
Following my doctoral research I undertook a three-year postdoctoral fellowship (2006-8) which investigated historical, osteological and dental evidence for the impact of environmental insults on growth and development of 20th century Portuguese children. This was meant to explore how a better understanding of the ontogenetic environment for growth can provide new insights into the study of past populations and in forensic applications. My work focused on the collection of skeletal and dental evidence in the first half of my postdoctoral program while I was affiliated with the National Museum of Natural History in Lisbon. The second half of the program focused on historic antropometric and child health data while I was affiliated with the Department of Anthropology, University of Coimbra, and the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Porto. Three people where key mentors of my postdoctoral project at different stages. They are Dr. Barry Bogin, Dr. Cristina Padez and Dr. Henrique Barros.
In 2007 I joined the Medical School, University of Porto as part-time limited-term Assistant Professor, and at the same time started providing forensic anthropology consulting services to the Northern Delegation of the National Institute of Legal Medicine in Porto, by invitation and under the directorship of Dr. Teresa Magalhães. My work at the National Institute of Legal Medicine was heavily influenced by a close collaboration developed with the head of Forensic Pathology, Dr. Agostinho Santos. Between 2008 and 2011 I accepted a contract position as Faculty Researcher and Anthropology Curator at the National Museum of Natural History/Centre for Environmental Biology in Lisbon, which I accumulated with my part-time teaching obligations at the University of Porto Medical School. I obtained a full-time professorship at the University of Porto Medical School in 2011, at about the same time as I was awarded a major grant from the Portuguese government and became the principal investigator of the BoneMedLeg research project.
After my professorship at the University of Porto Medical School, I joined Simon Fraser University in British Columbia in 2013. At SFU I'm an Affiliated Faculty with the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures, and a Member of the SFU-Jilin University Joint Centre for Bioarchaeological Research. In Portugal, I'm also an Associate Researcher with the Research Centre for Anthropology and Health - CIAS and in the Centre for Forensic Studies - CENCIFOR, both in Coimbra.