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Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Bioarchaeology of Human Disease renewed

Megan Brickley of the the Department of Anthropology is one of a handful of Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) who have recently had their chairs advanced or renewed.

Nov 12, 2017

Recognized as leaders in their fields, 10 McMaster researchers have been awarded $8.6 million from the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program to further their work, improve Canada’s international competitiveness, and train the next generation of leaders.

Megan Brickley, Canada Research Chair in Bioarchaeology of Human Disease

Research involves

Exploring health and nutrition in past populations through bone research as seen through a bioarchaeological lens. 

Research relevance

This research will help establish accurate reconstructions of past human life and health, and has the potential to add to our understanding of current diseases. 

A Bone Detective, Tracking Down Abnormalities

Dr. Megan Brickley knows bones—especially human skeletal remains from the Old World communities of the past.
Brickley, Canada Research Chair in the Bioarchaeology of Human Disease, uses her background in bioarchaeology—a mix of biology and archaeology—to examine bone abnormalities caused by anything from age-related bone loss to vitamin deficiencies. 

Her innovative research is helping build an understanding of human health and nutrition in past societies. She also investigates how the health and nutrition of populations from the past may have been linked to the socio-cultural, economic and environmental conditions they faced. 

Brickley’s research on prehistoric to 19th-century human remains from the United Kingdom has helped reconstruct the daily life of people from that era, and to detail dietary problems and diseases found in the Old World. 

She is now using her work from the Old World as a springboard to the New World, to research previous North American societies.

Not only will Brickley’s research improve our understanding of past people and their lives, but it also has great potential to contribute to our understanding of current health problems, including the possible causes and extents of conditions such as vitamin D deficiency and diabetes.


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