Portrait of Dr Chris Deter

Dr Chris Deter

Lecturer in Biological Anthropology
Director of KORA (Kent Osteology Research Analysis)
Senior Tutor

About

Dr Chris Deter received her PhD in Biological Anthropology from UCL in 2005. She also holds an MSc in Osteology, Palaeopathology and Funerary Archaeology from the University of Sheffield (1999) and a BSc in Archaeology from Kansas State University (1996). She has participated in several archaeological fieldwork projects in the United States, Namibia, Israel, Nicaragua, Belize and Greece. She is currently  programme convenor for the MSc in Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods at the University of Kent.

Research interests

Dr Chris Deter’s research focuses on dietary reconstruction of ancient human populations. Currently, she is working on reconstructing diet during the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods in Kent, using chemical signatures retained in bones, known as stable isotopes. She uses stable isotopes combined with dental wear and pathology to investigate population social hierarchy, sexual differences within the community and weaning dietary changes in medieval children.

Chris is also interested in funerary practices in ancient populations. She explores differences between social structure, biological sex, age at death, burial placement and location within the cemetery.

Some of her previous research investigated the change in diets of North American and Near Eastern hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists, looking at how different environments affected the rate at which teeth wear.  She also looked at how tooth wear can give insight on the eruption sequence and timing of dentition.

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • SE609: Forensic Anthropology (module convenor)
  • SE570: Current Issues in Evolutionary Anthropology
  • SE566: Human Osteology (module convenor)
  • SE533: Project in Anthropological Science
  • SE302: Foundations of Biological Anthropology
  • SE308: Skills for Anthropology and Conservation

Postgraduate

Dr Deter is the programme convenor of the MSc Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods.

  • SE814: Advanced Human Osteology and Anatomy (module convenor)
  • SE813: Dissertation Project (module convenor)
  • SE816: Forensic Methods of Identification
  • SE817: Growth and Disease of the Human Skeleton
  • SE818: Field Excavation and Recovery Methods
  • SE992: Advanced Topics in Evolutionary Anthropology

Dr Deter also supervises MSc Dissertation students.

Supervision

Dr Deter is interested in supervising PhD students in the fields of human osteology and dietary reconstruction.

Current students

  • Christopher Aris: Enamel growth variation in modern history and its impact on ageing juvenile skeletal remains
  • Jessica Dolding-Smith: Researching human life history and the link to an underlying biological rhythm (secondary supervisor)
  • Rosie Pitfield: Microscopic markers of biorhythms in human juvenile hard tissue (secondary supervisor)
  • Jessica Small: The forensic anthropology of burnt human juvenile teeth: a histological and scanning electron microscope approach (primary supervisor)
  • Thomasina White: Health analysis of Medieval Canterbury's St. Gregory's and Cemetery (primary supervisor)

Professional

Dr Chris Deter is the manager of Kent Osteological Research and Analysis unit (KORA), which is based in the School of Anthropology and Conservation.  This unit offers commercial osteological services to a range of public sectors, and works closely with the regional archaeological units, especially Canterbury Archaeological Trust, The Trust for Thanet Archaeology and SWALE.

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