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The application of biochemical techniques to ancient human remains has revolutionized the archaeological sciences. Emery is interested in using both ancient DNA and isotopic methods to answer questions about population dynamics, human migration, and large-scale palaeodemographic changes in the archaeological past. His past research focused on deciphering the geographic origins of American and British soldiers who died during the War of 1812, using isotope and multi-criteria evaluation-GIS analysis. His more recent research obtained isotope and ancient whole-mitochondrial genomes from an Iron Age and Roman period skeletal assemblages from southern Italy. Currently, Emery’s research is focused on integrating ancient DNA extraction methods with those employed in modern forensic DNA laboratories. This project seeks to better understand the nature of DNA degradation of forensic human remains when subjected to high intensity thermal changes from the surrounding environment, such as fire.
Dr. Matthew Emery was awarded his BA (Hons.) Specialization in Anthropology with a minor in Earth and Planetary Sciences from The University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) in 2008. He received his MA (2012) and PhD (2017) in isotopic anthropology, bioarchaeology, and ancient DNA (McMaster Ancient DNA Centre) from McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.