Currently accepting graduate students - yes

  • Master's
  • PhD


  • ANTH 1210 - Human Origins and Antiquity
  • ANTH 2240 - Plagues and Peoples
  • ANTH 2680 - Evolution and Human Diversity
  • ANTH 2820 - Human Osteology
  • ANTH 2880 - Human Evolution
  • ANTH 3470 - Demography of Past Populations
  • ANTH 4860/7930 - Growth, Development, & Plasticity in Human Health
  • ANTH 4470/7470 - Scientific Methods and Applications in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology


I am a bioarchaeologist and dental anthropologist whose research has focused on populations from medieval Europe (United Kingdom, Denmark, Austria). I also offer my skills as a biological anthropologist and archaeologist towards active engagement in rematriation & reconciliation efforts. I was trained in Canadian archaeology and biological anthropology through my undergraduate degree, and my research developed as a bioarchaeologist and dental anthropologist through my graduate studies. My field experience includes work in England, Wales, Denmark, and Greece. Following completion of my PhD at the University of Manitoba, I spent time at the University of Toronto where I enjoyed working with students in the biological (evolutionary) anthropology program, and taking students on field excursions to Denmark over the course of two summers. 

I joined the University of Manitoba faculty in 2018 and have been actively building a dental anthropology program of research at the university, as well as expanding our capacity for digital analysis of teeth. Work includes 3D scanning of teeth for digital records, surface microscopy of dental enamel microstructures (showing periods of growth disruption) using a laser microscope, and palaeoproteomic work for sex estimation from dental enamel peptides (in collaboration with colleagues at the Manitoba Centre for Proteomics and Systems Biology). I continue to work with colleagues at McMaster University and the University of Southern Denmark on pathogen ancient DNA research, and have developed a research program with colleagues in Vienna looking at Avar population (early medieval) bioarchaeology.

I remain an avid teacher, with teaching interests spanning bioarchaeology (human osteology, past health and demography), evolutionary anthropology (evolution and human diversity, human evolution), and medical anthropology. My time at the University of Manitoba has also increasingly involved service towards reconciliation involving rematriation work and assisting communities moving forward with the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. 


  • PhD (Anthropology), University of Manitoba, 2015
  • MA Research (European Historical Archaeology), University of Sheffield, 2006
  • BA Honours (Anthropology), University of Winnipeg, 2005


Research interests

  • Dental anthropology
  • Stress and health across the human life course
  • Developmental origins of health and disease
  • Palaeodemography
  • Palaeopathology

Research summary

My research takes a life course approach to the investigation of past health. I am interested in understanding the interactions between early life experiences (as represented by periods of developmental disruption captured in dental tissues) and later life health (as seen in human skeletal remains). This investigation incorporates a microscopic approach to dental growth markers with examination of indicators of 'health' and stress from the human skeleton. I am also interested in a contextual approach to all of my work, and to understanding diverse aspects of population health and demography through different methodologies. This has led to work on pathogen DNA in medieval Denmark and to proteomics work for sex estimation from dental enamel. Most recently, I have been collaborating with colleagues at the Naturalhistorisches Museum (Vienna) on a bioarchaeological project involving Avar period populations. This represents an activ e program of research that will offer ongoing opportunities for students.

Research affiliations/groups

  • Principle Investigator, Life course and social dimensions of early medieval Austria (SSHRC Insight Grant funded)
  • Co-Principle Investigator, A Long Walk: Repatriation, Decolonization, and Reconciliation
  • Affiliated Faculty, Earth Materials and Archaeometry Centre (EMAC)

Selected publications

  • Vilgalys P, Klunk J, Demeure CE, Cheng X, Shiratori M, Madej J, Beau R, Elli D, Patino MI, Redfern R, DeWitte SN, Gamble JA, Boldsen JL, Carmichael A, Varlik N, Eaton K, Grenier J-C, Golding GB, Devault A, Rouillard JM, Yotova V, Sindeaux R, Ye CJ, Bikaran M, Dumaine A, Brinkworth JF, Missiakas D, Rouleau GA, Steinrücken M, Pizarro-Cerdá J, Poinar HN, Barreiro LB. 2023. "Reply to Barton et al: signatures of natural selection during the Black Death." bioRxiv preprint doi:10.1101/2023.04.06.535944
  • Eaton K, Sidhu RK, Klunk J, Gamble JA, Boldsen JL, Carmichael AG, Varlık N, Duchene S, Featherstone L, Grimes V, Golding GB, DeWitte SN, Holmes EC, Poinar HN. 2023. "Emergence, continuity, and evolution of Yersinia pestis throughout medieval and early modern Denmark." Current Biology 33(6): 1147 – 1152. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2023.01.064
  • Klunk J, Vilgalys, TP, Demeure CE, Cheng Z, Shiratori M, Madej J, Beau R, Redbern R, DeWitte SN, Gamble JA, Boldsen JL, Carmichael A, Varlik N, Eaton K, Grenier J-C, Golding GB, Devault A, Rouillard J-M, Yotova V, Sindeaux R, Dumaine A, Brinkworth JF, Missiakas D, Rouleau GA, Steinrüken M, Pizarro-Cerdá J, Poinar HN, Barreiro L. 2022. "Black Death shaped the evolution of immune genes." Nature 611: 312–319. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05349-x
  • Gamble J. "A life history approach to stature and body proportions in medieval Danes." 2020. Anthropologischer Anzeiger 77(1): 27–45. doi: 10.1127/anthranz/2019/0951
  • Klunk J, Duggan AT, Redfern R, Gamble J, Boldsen JL, Golding B, Walter BS, Eaton K, Strangroom J, Rouillard J-M, Devault A, DeWitte S, and Poinar H. 2019. "Genetic resiliency and Black Death: no apparent loss of mitogenomic diversity due to the Black Death in medieval London and Denmark." American Journal of Physical Anthropology 169(2): 240-262. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.23820
  • Gamble J and Milne S. Brooke. 2018. "Using LEXT laser-scanning confocal microscopy to identify enamel surface defects in archaeological caribou dentition: A pilot study from Southern Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada." Journal of Archaeological Sciences: Reports 18: 847-857 (Special volume “Explorations at the Microscale, ed. D. Macdonald, A. Evans, and J. Stemp). doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.12.033
  • Gamble J, Boldsen J, Hoppa R. 2017. "Stressing out in medieval Denmark: An investigation of dental enamel defects and age at death in two medieval Danish cemeteries." International Journal of Paleopathology 17: 52-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpp.2017.01.001
  • Gamble J and Milne S Brooke. 2016. "Explorations in LEXT image and profile capture for dental enamel surface morphology." Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 10: 454–463. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.11.004


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