Team members

Kirsten Bos – Former PhD Candidate

kirsti1I am a recent graduate of the PhD programme in the department of Anthropology. My research interests primarily include skeletal pathology and infectious disease in past human populations.

In 2001 I received my BSc with distinction from the University of Guelph with a specialization in Honours Bio-Medical Science. Later that year I enrolled in a pre-Master’s program in Physical Anthropology at the University of Manitoba.

I began graduate studies at McMaster University in 2002, working under Dr. Shelley Saunders at the Master’s level. Through my research I had the privilege of working with Dr. Luca Bondioli at the Pigorini Museum of Palaeoanthropology in Rome, Italy. In 2005 I received a Master’s degree in skeletal biology with an emphasis in palaeopathology and demography.

Currently I am conducting molecular work with human skeletal and dental material from the East Smithfield Black Death Cemetery in London, England to isolate and study the strain of Yersinia pestis implicated in the Black Death. Advances in molecular capture techniques have permitted us to both confirm the authenticity of ancient Y. pestis sequences from victims of the Black Death and to reconstruct 99% of the ancient pathogen’s genome.

Throughout my years as a graduate student I am grateful to have received government funding from two SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarships, one at the Master’s level and another at the PhD level.

At present, I have a SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellowship and will be working at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Laboratoire de Paléoanthropologie in Bordeaux, France. I’ll be working under Olivier Dutour in collaboration with Johannes Krause and Hendrik Poinar.