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Leslie Lea Williams

Leslie Lea Williams
Office phone: x2605


General Interests
Dr. Williams is a bioarchaeologist, an anthropologist who studies human skeletal remains from archaeological sites. As someone interested in human health, past and present, she uses the wealth of information that can be learned from bones to reconstruct disease, nutritional deficiencies, physiological stress, traumatic injury, activity patterns, and degenerative conditions, all within the cultural context of the people she is studying. However, her research does not only focus on physical remains, but also looks at population dynamics as gleaned from historical records. She is fascinated by the resilience of humans and their ability to adapt both biologically and culturally to environmental pressures. This interest has guided her previous research into long and short term disasters, like health in the European Little Ice Age and vulnerability in the Johnstown, PA flood of 1889.  In addition to these research interests, Dr. Williams has conducted meta-analyses of anthropological data as presented in publications and the media as a way to investigate how anthropology produces and communicates knowledge.

Professor at Beloit Since: 2014

Ph.D., Anthropology. 2013. The Ohio State University
MSc., Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology. 2004. University of Sheffield
B.A., Anthropology. 2002. University of California, Berkeley

Research interests
Bioarchaeology, mass disasters and human populations, human health and disease, climate change and health, mortuary archaeology, gender archaeology, forensic anthropology

The Human Animal, Archaeology and Prehistory, Quantitative Theory and Technique, Human Osteology, Paleopathology, Mortuary Archaeology

Selected Professional Accomplishments:

Larsen C.S., Williams L.L. (2012) Internationalizing Physical Anthropology: A View of the Study of Living Human Variation from the Pages of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Current Anthropology 53 (S5): S139-S151.

Smith M.O., Betsinger T.K., and Williams L.L. (2011). Differential visibility of treponemal disease in pre-Columbian stratified societies: Does rank matter? American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144 (2): 185-195.

Vercellotti G., Williams L..L, and Stout S.D. (2010). Two possible cases of mastoidectomy from a recent Italian ossuary. Paleopathology Newsletter (Sept 2010) 151:13-18.

Williams L.L. (2009). "The Dam is Becoming Dangerous and May Possibly Go”: The Paleodemography and Political Economy of the Johnstown Flood. In Eric C. Jones and Arthur D. Murphy, eds. The Political Economy of Hazards and Disasters. Lanham and New York: Altamira Press. Pp. 31-57.