Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
ADVICE AND INSIGHTS FROM UBC FACULTY ON REACHING OUT TO SUPERVISORS
These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision
Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.
Metric methods of sex estimation are often less powerful than visual methods because linear measurements represent too may isometric measures of body size and lack sufficient allometric measures of body form (size and shape). This study uses geometric morphometrics to identify 17 landmarks that most effectively represent sex-based shape in right and left coxal bones (n = 394, f = 191, m = 203), these are: the anterior superior iliac spine; posterior superior iliac spine; posterior inferior iliac spine; iliac crest; apex of the auricular surface; greater sciatic notch; ischial spine; superior, inferior and distal points on ischial tuberosity; superior, inferior and midpoint on the symphyseal face; arcuate eminence; ischiopubic ramus; and posterosuperior and anterosuperior points on the acetabular rim. The first and second principal components (PCs) correctly predicted sex in 98.5% of cases; better than previous studies on whole coxal bone sex-based shape. Linear measurements from Langley et al. (2016) that correspond with the 17-landmarks were used to generate a reliable discriminant function (DF) equation and logistic regression model (LRM) for sex estimation. The DF equation correctly predicted sex 99.7% of the time in cross-validation, the LRM correctly predicted sex in all individuals. Both equations accounted for allometric size, isometric size, and fluctuating asymmetry to help discern sex from other variants of shape. When tested on an independent population (n = 120; f = 60/60, m = 60/60), the DF equation correctly predicted sex with 99.2% accuracy (f = 191/191, 100%, m = 202/203, 99.7%), and the LRM correctly predicted sex in all test specimens.Measurements and landmarks were further tested for use in fragmented coxal bones. The most successful DFs and LRMs accurately predicted sex between 98.7 – 99.2% for measurements representing coxal bones completeness between 50-25%. DF and LRM equations representing coxal bones no less than 25% complete predicted sex with similar accuracies (DF = 99.0%; LRM = 99.2%) and correctly assigned 100% of the test population. These equations excelled at sex estimation because the measurements account for variations in sex, size (allometry and isometry) and fluctuating asymmetry. These DF and LRM equations are recommended for forensic applications.
Master's Student Supervision
Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
This bioarchaeological study was undertaken in partnership with Stz’uminus First Nation and draws on forensic and osteological methodologies for the analysis of 153,386 cremated human bones found buried together in a mass grave. Archaeological context is integrated with the bioarchaeological results to understand the various dimensions of a mass cremation grave discovered during 2004 sewer line excavations in the traditional ancient Stz’uminus village of Kulleet Bay. Analyses of the thermally altered skeletal bone indicate fleshed bodies were intensely cremated with sustained temperatures. Vertical gradation of temperature altered matrices were observed in the stratigraphic profile. Archaeological and osteological evidence point to an in situ cremation event of fleshed corpses who suffered a mass death, radiocarbon dated to 2407 cal BP. Skeletal pathologies consistent with poor health and also potentially related to disease processes are perhaps indirect evidence of the agent of mass death. No evidence of conflict or natural environmental disaster is present to support alternative causes. This mass death event correlates precisely to the transition from Locarno to Marpole Phases ca. 2400 BP. Radiocarbon dated wood samples and a lack of artifacts dating from 2400 BP to the post contact period support a period of abandonment following the cremation event, when trees re-established in this locality within the village. Corpse treatment and mortuary processes related to the grave construction highlight social dimensions of the survivors’ attitudes, who possibly viewed the dead not as enemies or ‘foe’ but as contaminated, resulting in a mortuary treatment outside the norm of traditional Coast Salish funerary practice.
- Finding Mycenaeans in Minoan Crete? Isotope and DNA analysis of human mobility in Bronze Age Crete (2022)
- Slavery of Indigenous People in the Caribbean: An Archaeological Perspective (2020)
International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 24 (3), 517--545
- Potential adaptations for bipedalism in the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae of Homo sapiens: A 3D comparative analysis (2019)
Journal of Human Evolution, 137, 102693
- Testing landmark redundancy for sex‐based shape analysis of the adult human os coxa (2019)
American Journal of Physical Anthropology,
- Estimating body mass from postcranial variables: an evaluation of current equations using a large known-mass sample of modern humans (2015)
Archaeol Anthropol Sci,
- Estimating body mass from skeletal material: new predictive equations and methodological insights from analyses of a known-mass sample of humans (2015)
Archaeol Anthropol Sci,
- Intrinsic challenges in ancient microbiome reconstruction using 16S rRNA gene amplification (2015)
Sci. Rep., 5, 16498
- The ancestral shape hypothesis: an evolutionary explanation for the occurrence of intervertebral disc herniation in humans. (2015)
- Estimating fossil hominin body mass from cranial variables: An assessment using CT data from modern humans of known body mass (2014)
Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 154 (2), 201--214
- A review of the embryological development and associated developmental abnormalities of the sternum in the light of a rare palaeopathological case of sternal clefting. (2013)
Homo : internationale Zeitschrift für die vergleichende Forschung am Menschen, 64 (2), 129-141
- Life and death at precolumbian Lavoutte, Saint Lucia, Lesser Antilles (2012)
Journal of Field Archaeology, 37 (3), 209--225
- Nonspecific Infection in Paleopathology: Interpreting Periosteal Reactions (2011)
A Companion to Paleopathology, , 492--512
- Distinct Clones of Yersinia pestis Caused the Black Death (2010)
PLoS Pathog, 6 (10), e1001134
- Brief communication: Paleohistopathological analysis of pathology museum specimens: Can periosteal reaction microstructure explain lesion etiology? (2009)
Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 140 (1), 186--193
- Out of the North Sea: the Zeeland Ridges Neandertal (2009)
Journal of Human Evolution, 57 (6), 777--785
- Investigating the specificity of periosteal reactions in pathology museum specimens (2008)
Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 137 (1), 48--59
- Auricular surface aging: Worse than expected? A test of the revised method on a documented historic skeletal assemblage (2006)
Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 130 (4), 508--513
- The distal humerus--a blind test of Rogers' sexing technique using a documented skeletal collection. (2005)
- Skeletons and social composition Bahrain 300 BC?AD 250 Judith Littleton, BAR International Series 703, Archaeopress, Oxford, 1998. 154pp. ISBN 0 86054 886 4 (2002)
Int. J. Osteoarchaeol., 12 (4), 303--305