About

My interest Biological Anthropology began during my Undergrad at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Archaeology. In 2005 I began working for that department as a technician and research assistant in the Archaeology Laboratories documenting ancestral remains for repatriation to the Haida, Nicomen, and Tsawwassen Nations. These endeavours nurtured a passion for radiography and digital imaging, and I was fortunate to explore these interests further in 2010 as a technician at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility operating high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) and micro-computed tomography (μCT) scanners for biomedical research. I was also introduced to 3D scanning technology, which inspired a master’s research project investigating sex-based shape differences in the human coxal (hip) bone. I took this research project to the University of Victoria and later to UBC as my PhD research in landmark analysis, where I developed a new method of determining skeletal sex that is over 99% accurate.

I am also an archaeologist. I have worked in consulting archaeology in the lower mainland, with and on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Twawwassen, Tsleil Waututh, Katzie, Semiamoo, Squamish, and Kwikwetlem Nations. I have also worked along the upper Fraser River with and on the traditional territories of the Spuzzum, Boston Bar, and Yale Nations.

 


Research

Research Interests

Quantitative methods, lifeways, sex and gender, race, forensic anthropology, human osteology, repatriation, archaeology

 

Broadly speaking, I am interested in shape analysis using three-dimensional imagery and geometric morphometrics. My primary research area is interpreting skeletal sex in the human os coxa (hip bone) of skeletonized individuals. As my dissertation research, I devised a method to evaluate coxal bone landmarks for sex-based shape analysis so only the most reliable landmarks can be applied to a highly accurate (99.7%) metric method of sex estimation. The metric method was most accurate when applied to complete coxal bones and ranged between 96-100% accurate when applied to partial coxal bone areas. My dissertation research can be applied to both biological archaeology and forensic anthropology. I also discovered that these metric methods can be applied independent of population classification. I would like to explore this outcome in greater detail by testing my sex estimation method on a variety of skeletal populations from around the world. There is great value in forensic anthropology for having a sex estimation method that can applied to any individual. Currently, forensic anthropology methods are largely routed in population specific methods of identifying sex and stature. A more accurate method that is population inclusive is by far the best option in fields that rely on metrics to identify partial and complete skeletons.

A secondary area of interest, related to the first, is to explore coxal bone shape as it relates to inter and intrapopulation variation. I would apply the same technique for evaluating landmarks, as I did during my dissertation research, to see if coxal bone landmarks can be used to interpret human variation that is independent of sex. The coxal bone is a unique feature of the skeleton that not only encompasses the biomechanical needs of parturition (childbirth) but also exhibits variations related to nutritional deficiencies and body size, that are imposed (external factors) or inherited (internal factors) from society.

 

A third area of interest is to apply the sex estimation methods devised during my dissertation, and landmarks that could interpret inter and intrapopulation variation, to paleoanthropological hominin fossils. I would like to explore the possibility that hominin fossil identification could be determined based on the stages of biomechanical evolution in the hip bone, femur, and/or foot.

 

Apart from hip bones, I am also interested in shape analysis of other bones that could lead to sex estimation (femur and humerus), that are related to latitudinal adaptation, human evolution, or pathologies. I have collaborated with collages on shape analysis of projectile points and could collaborate with others to explore the potential of shape analysis on pottery and other artefacts to generate or re-evaluate typologies. My broader research interests in shape analysis makes me an informative collaborator with many different disciplines within archaeology and bioarchaeology.


Publications

Publications:

Robertson HI.  2007.  Review of The Body as Material Culture: A Theoretical Osteoarchaeology, by Joanna R. Sofaer.  Canadian Journal of Archaeology.  31(1): 140-142.

Conference Presentations:

Robertson H. 2009. The feasibility of HR-pQCT for imaging and analysis of archaeological human bone. Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology. Vancouver, BC.

Robertson HI. 2013. What is Geometric Morphometrics? UBC Anthropology Graduate Student Association Talks. Vancouver, BC.

Conference Posters:

Robertson HI. 2014. A correlation between non-metric sex traits and hip bone shape. American Association of Physical Anthropologists conferences. Calgary AB.

Robertson HI. 2014. A geometric morphometric study of sex-based shape differences in the human hip bone. UBC Anthropology Research Open House. Vancouver BC.

Zhang HG, Edinborough K, Fonseca S, Goldberg P, Mathewes R, Northey D, Robertson H, Skinner M, Speller C, Yang D. 2009. Origin of a suspected ‘trophy skull’ with dried soft tissue: multidisciplinary input. Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology. Vancouver, BC.


Awards

UBC Four Year Fellowships (FYF) For PhD Students, 2014

UBC Faculty of Arts Graduate Award, 2013


Additional Description

Anthropological ArchaeologyLinkedInhttp://ca.linkedin.com/in/heatherrobertson2Anthropological Archaeology

B.A. Archaeology, Simon Fraser University,  2004
Major: Archaeology, Minor: Criminology

M.A. Anthropology, University of Victoria, 2013
Master’s thesis title: “A Geometric Morphometric Approach to Sex Estimation”
Supervisor: Dr. Helen Kurki

PhD Supervisor: Dr Darlene Weston


Heather Robertson

Lecturer
location_on AnSo 153

My interest Biological Anthropology began during my Undergrad at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Archaeology. In 2005 I began working for that department as a technician and research assistant in the Archaeology Laboratories documenting ancestral remains for repatriation to the Haida, Nicomen, and Tsawwassen Nations. These endeavours nurtured a passion for radiography and digital imaging, and I was fortunate to explore these interests further in 2010 as a technician at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility operating high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) and micro-computed tomography (μCT) scanners for biomedical research. I was also introduced to 3D scanning technology, which inspired a master’s research project investigating sex-based shape differences in the human coxal (hip) bone. I took this research project to the University of Victoria and later to UBC as my PhD research in landmark analysis, where I developed a new method of determining skeletal sex that is over 99% accurate.

I am also an archaeologist. I have worked in consulting archaeology in the lower mainland, with and on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Twawwassen, Tsleil Waututh, Katzie, Semiamoo, Squamish, and Kwikwetlem Nations. I have also worked along the upper Fraser River with and on the traditional territories of the Spuzzum, Boston Bar, and Yale Nations.

 

Research Interests

Quantitative methods, lifeways, sex and gender, race, forensic anthropology, human osteology, repatriation, archaeology

 

Broadly speaking, I am interested in shape analysis using three-dimensional imagery and geometric morphometrics. My primary research area is interpreting skeletal sex in the human os coxa (hip bone) of skeletonized individuals. As my dissertation research, I devised a method to evaluate coxal bone landmarks for sex-based shape analysis so only the most reliable landmarks can be applied to a highly accurate (99.7%) metric method of sex estimation. The metric method was most accurate when applied to complete coxal bones and ranged between 96-100% accurate when applied to partial coxal bone areas. My dissertation research can be applied to both biological archaeology and forensic anthropology. I also discovered that these metric methods can be applied independent of population classification. I would like to explore this outcome in greater detail by testing my sex estimation method on a variety of skeletal populations from around the world. There is great value in forensic anthropology for having a sex estimation method that can applied to any individual. Currently, forensic anthropology methods are largely routed in population specific methods of identifying sex and stature. A more accurate method that is population inclusive is by far the best option in fields that rely on metrics to identify partial and complete skeletons.

A secondary area of interest, related to the first, is to explore coxal bone shape as it relates to inter and intrapopulation variation. I would apply the same technique for evaluating landmarks, as I did during my dissertation research, to see if coxal bone landmarks can be used to interpret human variation that is independent of sex. The coxal bone is a unique feature of the skeleton that not only encompasses the biomechanical needs of parturition (childbirth) but also exhibits variations related to nutritional deficiencies and body size, that are imposed (external factors) or inherited (internal factors) from society.

 

A third area of interest is to apply the sex estimation methods devised during my dissertation, and landmarks that could interpret inter and intrapopulation variation, to paleoanthropological hominin fossils. I would like to explore the possibility that hominin fossil identification could be determined based on the stages of biomechanical evolution in the hip bone, femur, and/or foot.

 

Apart from hip bones, I am also interested in shape analysis of other bones that could lead to sex estimation (femur and humerus), that are related to latitudinal adaptation, human evolution, or pathologies. I have collaborated with collages on shape analysis of projectile points and could collaborate with others to explore the potential of shape analysis on pottery and other artefacts to generate or re-evaluate typologies. My broader research interests in shape analysis makes me an informative collaborator with many different disciplines within archaeology and bioarchaeology.

Publications:

Robertson HI.  2007.  Review of The Body as Material Culture: A Theoretical Osteoarchaeology, by Joanna R. Sofaer.  Canadian Journal of Archaeology.  31(1): 140-142.

Conference Presentations:

Robertson H. 2009. The feasibility of HR-pQCT for imaging and analysis of archaeological human bone. Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology. Vancouver, BC.

Robertson HI. 2013. What is Geometric Morphometrics? UBC Anthropology Graduate Student Association Talks. Vancouver, BC.

Conference Posters:

Robertson HI. 2014. A correlation between non-metric sex traits and hip bone shape. American Association of Physical Anthropologists conferences. Calgary AB.

Robertson HI. 2014. A geometric morphometric study of sex-based shape differences in the human hip bone. UBC Anthropology Research Open House. Vancouver BC.

Zhang HG, Edinborough K, Fonseca S, Goldberg P, Mathewes R, Northey D, Robertson H, Skinner M, Speller C, Yang D. 2009. Origin of a suspected 'trophy skull' with dried soft tissue: multidisciplinary input. Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology. Vancouver, BC.

UBC Four Year Fellowships (FYF) For PhD Students, 2014

UBC Faculty of Arts Graduate Award, 2013

Anthropological ArchaeologyLinkedInhttp://ca.linkedin.com/in/heatherrobertson2Anthropological Archaeology

B.A. Archaeology, Simon Fraser University,  2004
Major: Archaeology, Minor: Criminology

M.A. Anthropology, University of Victoria, 2013
Master's thesis title: “A Geometric Morphometric Approach to Sex Estimation”
Supervisor: Dr. Helen Kurki

PhD Supervisor: Dr Darlene Weston

Heather Robertson

Lecturer
location_on AnSo 153

My interest Biological Anthropology began during my Undergrad at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Archaeology. In 2005 I began working for that department as a technician and research assistant in the Archaeology Laboratories documenting ancestral remains for repatriation to the Haida, Nicomen, and Tsawwassen Nations. These endeavours nurtured a passion for radiography and digital imaging, and I was fortunate to explore these interests further in 2010 as a technician at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility operating high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) and micro-computed tomography (μCT) scanners for biomedical research. I was also introduced to 3D scanning technology, which inspired a master’s research project investigating sex-based shape differences in the human coxal (hip) bone. I took this research project to the University of Victoria and later to UBC as my PhD research in landmark analysis, where I developed a new method of determining skeletal sex that is over 99% accurate.

I am also an archaeologist. I have worked in consulting archaeology in the lower mainland, with and on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Twawwassen, Tsleil Waututh, Katzie, Semiamoo, Squamish, and Kwikwetlem Nations. I have also worked along the upper Fraser River with and on the traditional territories of the Spuzzum, Boston Bar, and Yale Nations.

 

Research Interests

Quantitative methods, lifeways, sex and gender, race, forensic anthropology, human osteology, repatriation, archaeology

 

Broadly speaking, I am interested in shape analysis using three-dimensional imagery and geometric morphometrics. My primary research area is interpreting skeletal sex in the human os coxa (hip bone) of skeletonized individuals. As my dissertation research, I devised a method to evaluate coxal bone landmarks for sex-based shape analysis so only the most reliable landmarks can be applied to a highly accurate (99.7%) metric method of sex estimation. The metric method was most accurate when applied to complete coxal bones and ranged between 96-100% accurate when applied to partial coxal bone areas. My dissertation research can be applied to both biological archaeology and forensic anthropology. I also discovered that these metric methods can be applied independent of population classification. I would like to explore this outcome in greater detail by testing my sex estimation method on a variety of skeletal populations from around the world. There is great value in forensic anthropology for having a sex estimation method that can applied to any individual. Currently, forensic anthropology methods are largely routed in population specific methods of identifying sex and stature. A more accurate method that is population inclusive is by far the best option in fields that rely on metrics to identify partial and complete skeletons.

A secondary area of interest, related to the first, is to explore coxal bone shape as it relates to inter and intrapopulation variation. I would apply the same technique for evaluating landmarks, as I did during my dissertation research, to see if coxal bone landmarks can be used to interpret human variation that is independent of sex. The coxal bone is a unique feature of the skeleton that not only encompasses the biomechanical needs of parturition (childbirth) but also exhibits variations related to nutritional deficiencies and body size, that are imposed (external factors) or inherited (internal factors) from society.

 

A third area of interest is to apply the sex estimation methods devised during my dissertation, and landmarks that could interpret inter and intrapopulation variation, to paleoanthropological hominin fossils. I would like to explore the possibility that hominin fossil identification could be determined based on the stages of biomechanical evolution in the hip bone, femur, and/or foot.

 

Apart from hip bones, I am also interested in shape analysis of other bones that could lead to sex estimation (femur and humerus), that are related to latitudinal adaptation, human evolution, or pathologies. I have collaborated with collages on shape analysis of projectile points and could collaborate with others to explore the potential of shape analysis on pottery and other artefacts to generate or re-evaluate typologies. My broader research interests in shape analysis makes me an informative collaborator with many different disciplines within archaeology and bioarchaeology.

Publications:

Robertson HI.  2007.  Review of The Body as Material Culture: A Theoretical Osteoarchaeology, by Joanna R. Sofaer.  Canadian Journal of Archaeology.  31(1): 140-142.

Conference Presentations:

Robertson H. 2009. The feasibility of HR-pQCT for imaging and analysis of archaeological human bone. Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology. Vancouver, BC.

Robertson HI. 2013. What is Geometric Morphometrics? UBC Anthropology Graduate Student Association Talks. Vancouver, BC.

Conference Posters:

Robertson HI. 2014. A correlation between non-metric sex traits and hip bone shape. American Association of Physical Anthropologists conferences. Calgary AB.

Robertson HI. 2014. A geometric morphometric study of sex-based shape differences in the human hip bone. UBC Anthropology Research Open House. Vancouver BC.

Zhang HG, Edinborough K, Fonseca S, Goldberg P, Mathewes R, Northey D, Robertson H, Skinner M, Speller C, Yang D. 2009. Origin of a suspected 'trophy skull' with dried soft tissue: multidisciplinary input. Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology. Vancouver, BC.

UBC Four Year Fellowships (FYF) For PhD Students, 2014

UBC Faculty of Arts Graduate Award, 2013

Anthropological ArchaeologyLinkedInhttp://ca.linkedin.com/in/heatherrobertson2Anthropological Archaeology

B.A. Archaeology, Simon Fraser University,  2004
Major: Archaeology, Minor: Criminology

M.A. Anthropology, University of Victoria, 2013
Master's thesis title: “A Geometric Morphometric Approach to Sex Estimation”
Supervisor: Dr. Helen Kurki

PhD Supervisor: Dr Darlene Weston