Andrea Waters-Rist

Associate Professor - Biological Anthropology

PhD 2011 (University of Calgary)
Office: Social Science Centre 3427
Tel: 519 661-2111  ext. 85091
E-mail: awaters8@uwo.ca

 

 

Research Interests

Dr. Waters-Rist is a Biological Anthropologist focusing on a range of research avenues within the subfield of Human Osteoarchaeology. Dr. Waters-Rist uses stable isotope and synchrotron-based trace element methods to reconstruct the diets of past populations, focusing in particular on infant feeding practices. Dr. Waters-Rist also analyses human skeletal and dental remains for evidence of a wide range of diseases and activity-induced modifications, and assesses patterns of growth and development. She is currently working on skeletal remains from various geographic areas and temporal periods, including post-Medieval Dutch rural and urban populations, Neolithic to Iron Age Siberian hunter-gatherers and pastoralists, and pre-Columbian Nicaraguan agriculturalists.

Selected List of Publications

in press. Waters-Rist A.L. Stable isotope evidence for infant feeding practice variables in past populations: Breastfeeding and weaning in ancient Siberian foragers. In: Exploring Human Behavior through Stable Isotope Analysis: Applications in Archaeological Research. Beasley M., Sommerville A. (eds). Springer Publishing Company.

in press. Waters-Rist A.L., McCafferty G. Ancient Peoples of Mesoamerica’s Southern Frontier: Osteological Markers of Health and Identity at the Site of El Rayo, Nicaragua (AD 600-1250). In: The Archaeology of Greater Nicoya. Steinbrenner L., Geurds A., McCafferty G., Salgado S (eds). University Press of Colorado.

in press. McCafferty G., McCafferty S., Waters-Rist A.L., Chilcote C. Raising the Dead: Mortuary Patterns in Pacific Nicaragua. In: ). In: The Archaeology of Greater Nicoya. Steinbrenner L., Geurds A., McCafferty G., Salgado S (eds). University Press of Colorado

2019. Veselka B., Brickley M., D'Ortenzio L., Kahlon B., Hoogland M.L.P., Waters-Rist A.L. Micro-CT assessment of dental mineralization defects indicative of vitamin D deficiency in two 17th to 19th century Dutch communities. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 169(1):122-131.

2019. Waters-Rist A.L. Breastfeeding and Weaning Practices in Ancient Siberian Foragers: Stable Isotope Reconstruction. In: Premiers Cris, Premières nourritures. Herrsher I., Seguy I. (eds). Editions des Presses Universitaires de Provence (PUP). pp. 275-284.

2019. Bartholdy B., Hoogland M.L.P., Waters-Rist A.L. How old are you now? A new ageing method for nonadults based on dental wear. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.2758.

2019. Palmer J., Waters-Rist A.L. Acts of life: Assessing entheseal change as an indicator of social differentiation in post-medieval Aalst (Belgium). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 29(2):303-313.

2018. Inskip S., Carroll G., Waters-Rist A.L., López-Costas O. 2018. Diet and food strategies in a southern al-Andalusian urban environment during Caliphal period, Écija, Sevilla. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-018-0694-7

2018. Schats R., Hoogland M.L.P., Waters-Rist A.L. A probable case of metastatic carcinoma in the medieval Netherlands. International Journal of Paleopathology 22: 181-188.

2018. Waters-Rist A.L., Hoogland M.L.P. The Role of Infant Feeding and Childhood Diet in Vitamin D Deficiency in a 19th Century Rural Dutch Community. Bioarchaeology International 2(2): 95-116.

2018. Carroll G., Inskip S., Waters-Rist A.L. Stable Isotope Fractionation: Assessing the Impact of Anemia on Enamel Apatite δ18O and δ13C Values and Bone Collagen δ15N and δ13C. Bioarchaeology International 2(2): 117-146.

2018. Amkreutz L., Verpoorte A., Waters-Rist A.L. Niekus M., van Heekeren V, van der Merwe A.E, van der Plicht H, Glimmerveen J., Stapert D., Johansen L. What lies beneath…Late glacial human occupation of the submerged North Sea landscape. Antiquity 90: 857–75.

2018. Colombo A., Dutour O., Coqueugniot H., Hoogland M.L.P., Waters-Rist A.L. Trabecular bone microarchitecture analysis, a way for an early detection of genetic dwarfism? Case study of a dwarf mother's offspring. International Journal of Paleopathology. 20: 65-71.

2017. Bosman A.M., Dediu D., Moisik S.R., Waters-Rist A.L. Talking Heads: Morphological variation in the human mandible over the last 500 years in the Netherlands. HOMO – Journal of Comparative Human Biology 68(5): 329-342.

2017. Krap T., van de Goot F., Oostra R-J., Duijst W., Waters-Rist A.L. Temperature estimations of heated bone: a questionnaire-based study of accuracy and precision of interpretation of bone colour by forensic and physical anthropologists. Legal Medicine 29: 22-28.

2017. Veselka B., van der Merwe A., Hoogland M.L.P. Waters-Rist A.L. Gender-related vitamin D deficiency in a Dutch post-Medieval farming community. International Journal of Paleopathology 23: 69-75.

2017. Vikatou I., Hoogland M.L.P., Waters-Rist A.L. Osteochondritis Dissecans of skeletal elements of the foot in a 19th century rural farming community from The Netherlands: These clogs were made for walking, and working. International Journal of Paleopathology 19:53-63.

2017. Waters-Rist A.L., Jeneson K., Halbertsma R. New Insights about the Lady of the Roman Simpelveld Sarcophagus, The Netherlands. BABESCH 92:187-207.

2017. Saers J.P.P., Hoogland M.L.P., van Rijn R.R., Schats R., van der Merwe L., Waters-Rist, A.L. Habitual activity in pre-industrial rural and urban Dutch populations: a study of lower limb cross-sectional geometry. Bioarchaeology International 1(3-4): 131–147.

 

Selected List of Conference Presentations

2019. van Spelde, A-M, Waters-Rist, A.L. Orthopaedic Healthcare Practices in Late Medieval and Early Modern Dutch Infirmaries. Podium presentation at the European Association of Archaeologists, held in Bern, Switzerland.

2019. McKenzie, H.G., Lieverse A.R., Novikov A.G., Goriunova O.I., Waters-Rist A.L. Spatial differences in Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age hunter-fisher-gatherer diet in Lake Baikal’s Little Sea micro-region, Siberia. Poster presentation at the American Association for Physical Anthropologists, held in Cleveland, Ohio.

2019. Chilcote C., Agarwal S.C., Waters-Rist A.L., Hoogland M.L.P. As the World Churns: Changing Activities and Identities in a Historic Dutch Dairy Farming Community. Podium presentation at the American Association for Physical Anthropologists, held in Cleveland, Ohio.

2019. Waters-Rist A.L., Hoogland M.L.P. Absent to Limited Breastfeeding in 19th Century Dairy Farmers from the Netherlands. Podium presentation at the American Association for Physical Anthropologists, held in Cleveland, USA.

2018. Waters-Rist, A.L. Creating a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Bioarchaeology: Reflections on Two Years of Experience with “Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones”. Poster presentation at the Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology, held in London, Canada.

2018. Bartholdy B., Hoogland M.L.P., Waters-Rist A.L. Barking up the wrong tree? Searching for sexual dimorphism in deciduous enamel thickness and density. Poster presentation at the American Association of Physical Anthropology, held in Austin, USA.

2018. Veselka B., Hoogland M.L.P., Waters-Rist A.L., Brickley M. Bioarchaeological interpretations of vitamin D deficiency prevalence in two 17th – 19th century populations from Beemster and Hattem, the Netherlands. Symposium on Mortuary Archaeology Today: Approaches, Methods and Ethics, held in Groningen, the Netherlands.

2017. Waters-Rist A.L., Hoogland. M.L.P. Dietary Effects of the 19th Century Potato Blight in a Rural Dutch Population. Poster presentation at the Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology, held in Edmonton, Canada.

2017. Bosman A., Moisik S., Dediu D., Waters-Rist A.L. Talking Heads: Morphological variation in the human mandible over the last 500 years in the Netherlands. Poster presentation at the European Society for Human Evolution, held in Leiden, Netherlands.

2017. Deckers K.P, Hoogland M.L.P., Waters-Rist A.L. Trabecular Bone Ontogeny in the Human Talus of a 19th Century Dutch Population. Poster presentation at the European Society for Human Evolution, held in Leiden, Netherlands.

2017. Palmer J.L.A., Waters-Rist A.L. Constant change: evidence for socioeconomic stability in post-medieval Aalst. Podium presentation at the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, held in Liverpool, UK,

2017. Blom A., Waters-Rist A.L. Waisted diagnosis. Beauty standards or treatment of spinal deformations: overlooked cases of corsetry by males in 16th-19th-century Europe. Poster presentation at the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, held in Liverpool, UK.

2017. Veselka B., Waters-Rist A.L. Friend or Foe: bioarchaeological analysis of individuals from a Spanish War (1568 – 1648 AD) mass grave from Boksum, the Netherlands. Poster presentation at the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, held in Liverpool, UK.

2017. Waters-Rist A.L., Palmer J.L.A. Isotopic Determination of a Non-Local Birthplace of a Well-Known Roman Soldier from Velsen. Podium presentation at the European Association of Archaeologists, held in Maastricht, Netherlands.

 

Recent Research Funding

2017-2022 Granting Agency: European Research Council, Starting Grant. Project Title: “Breastfeeding and Weaning in the Past and Present: Implications for Health, Demography, and Social-Cognition”. Role: Leader, €1,498,393.

2014-2017 Granting Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Grant. Project Title: “The Deep History of Humans and Their Dogs in the North”. Role: Collaborator. CAN $241,299.

2013-2015 Granting Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Grant. Project Title: "Small Places of Large Importance: A Bioarchaeological Exploration of Small Prehistoric Sites in the Lake Baikal Region of Siberia, Russia”. Role: Collaborator. CAN $75,000.

2013-2014 Granting Agency: Gerda Henkel Stiftung Foundation, Research Projects. Project Title: “The Osteoarchaeology of Pastoralism in Cis-Baikal, Russia (Southern Siberia)”. Role: Collaborator. €25,000.

2012-2014 Granting Agency: Marie Curie Research Grant, European Research Council, International Incoming Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Project Title: “Osteoarchaeology of the Dutch Middenbeemster post-Medieval Cemetery: Lifeways of a Colonizing Farming Community during the Little Ice Age”. Role: Principal Investigator. €192,724.

2011-2018 Granting Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Major Collaborative Research Initiative Grant. Project Title: “Holocene Hunter-Gatherers of Northeast Asia”.Role: Co-investigator with circa 25 international scholars. CAN $2,500,000.

Teaching and Graduate Supervision

In 2019-2020 I will be teaching these courses:

1) Anthropology 1022: Introduction to Archaeology & Biological Anthropology

2) Anthropology 2238: Reading Life and Death through the Human Body

3) Anthropology 3338: Human Skeletal Biology

4) Anthropology 9101: Research Methods in Archaeology and Bioarcheology

5) Anthropology 9118: Advanced Human Skeletal Biology

Other Course I teach at Western are:

6) Anthropology 4498B: Special Topics in Anthropology: Research in Paleopathology and Paleodiet

7) 9108B: Special Topics in Anthropology: Advanced Research in Paleopathology and Paleodiet

 

In 2016 while at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and still running throughout 2017 & 2018, I created a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled “Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones”. This course is about what we can learn from examining the human skeleton, and how we can use this knowledge to reconstruct the lives of people who lived in the past. In archaeology and anthropology, human skeletal remains can provide unique insights into the past and the present; insights that cannot be gained otherwise.

Anyone, at any skill level, can take the course (for free!), consisting of 5 modules covering the topics of 1) Bones to Biography and Demography, 2) Bones to Disease and Trauma, 3) Bones to Diet, 4) Bones to Activity, and 5) Bones to Mobility and Migration.

The course start date reoccurs monthly. We’ve had over 17,000 users to date! Visit this Coursera Homepage to learn more and register: https://www.coursera.org/learn/truthinourbones-osteoarchaeology-archaeology

 

At Western, I am currently supervising three PhD students.

Amanda James, whose research will explore the role of diet in ameliorating or exacerbating fluoride toxicity in three different archaeological sites in the Mt. Vesuvius region of the Bay of Naples (Pompeii, Aeclanum, and Pollena Trocchia) which span the first to sixth century AD.

Taylor Smith, whose research will improve reconstructions of breastfeeding and weaning practices in ancient individuals using recent and new methods (i.e. stable isotope analysis of serial dentine sections; synchrotron-based x-ray fluorescence). Such data will then tell us about the infant feeding practices of post-Medieval rural and urban Dutch communities and its impact on health and survival. 

Hana Salahuddin, whose research will use novel chemical methods (compound-specific individual-amino -acids) to disentangle the influence of diet, growth, and stress on the stable isotope values of breastfeeding infants. Using hair samples from infant-mother dyads of known diet and health, and hair samples from archaeological mummies, her findings will permit improved understanding of infancy in the past.