Michelle Cameron

Assistant Professor
AP 528
416-978-4004

Campus

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Research Keywords: bioarchaeology, human evolution, skeletal biology, adaptation and plasticity

Research Region: Africa, North America, Europe

Biography

Michelle Cameron (she/her) joined the Department of Anthropology in 2018. Dr. Cameron specializes in skeletal biology and bioarchaeology. Her research explores human plasticity and adaptability, looking at how diverse environmental and cultural contexts shape the human body.

Dr. Cameron integrates skeletal, archaeological, and ecological lines of evidence to understand how human behaviours and biology were impacted by environmental conditions in the past. She uses a range of methods including 3D modelling, biomechanical analyses, and spatial analyses to examine how people negotiated environmental challenges.

Dr. Cameron also examines how subsistence transitions, such as economic intensification and the introduction of herding practices, impacted past populations. Her bioarchaeological work is primarily based in South Africa and Namibia, however, she also has research interests in eastern Africa and North America.

She also researches skeletal biology among living humans to better understand how our skeletons respond to biocultural stressors. By looking at skeletal morphology in past and present groups, Dr. Cameron seeks to bring together our knowledge of the human skeleton in the living and the deceased.

Dr. Cameron also enjoys science communication and co-hosts the YouTube series Humans in 5.

Education

PhD, University of Cambridge, 2017

Awards

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant
  • Connaught New Researcher Award

Publications

2021 Cameron, M. E., Pfeiffer, S., Stock, J. Small body size phenotypes among Middle and Later Stone Age Southern Africans. Journal of Human Evolution, 152, 102943. 

2019 Sawchuk, E. A., Pfeiffer, S., Klehm C. E., Cameron M. E., Hill A. C., Janzen A., Grillo K. M., Hildebrand E. A. The bioarchaeology of mid-Holocene pastoralist cemeteries west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11, 6221–6241. 

2019 Pfeiffer S., Cameron, M. E., Beresheim, A., Sealy, J. Diet and adult age-at-death among mobile foragers: A synthesis of bioarchaeological methods. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 170, 131–147.

2019 Cameron, M. E., Stock, J. T. Biomechanics, habitual activity, and resilience among southern African hunter-gatherers and herders. In D. Temple & C. Stojanowski C (Eds.), Hunter-Gatherer adaptation and resilience: A bioarchaeological perspective. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 

2019 Cameron, M. E. The Riet River sites: Positioning regional diversity in the introduction of domesticated livestock to southern Africa. Journal of Archaeological Sciences: Reports, 23, 72–79. 

2018 Cameron, M. E., Pfeiffer, S. An additional person from “Diaz Street Midden,” Saldanha Bay, Western Cape. South African Archaeological Bulletin, 73, 138– 142. Cameron, M. E., Lapham, H., Shaw, C. N. Examining the influence of hide processing on Native American upper limb morphology. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 28, 332–342. 

2018 Cameron, M. E., Stock JT. Environmental variation in southern African Later Stone Age biomechanical properties. Journal of Archaeological Sciences: Reports, 17, 125–136. 

2014 Cameron, M. E., Pfeiffer, S. Long bone cross-sectional geometric properties of Later Stone Age foragers and herder-foragers. South African Journal of Science, 110 (9/10), 2013-0369.

Graduate Students

Dr. Cameron is currently seeking graduate students. Prospective students should contact Dr. Cameron directly via email.