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The Australian National University

Ms Clare McFadden

Position: PhD candidate in Archaeology

School or Centre:

School of Archaeology & Anthropology


Location: LG24 A D Hope Building 14

BA (Hons), PhD Candidate


For my Honours thesis I evaluated the validity of so-called "scars of parturition" using meta-analytic techniques. The results, published in the Journal of Forensics Sciences, indicated no significant relationship exists between scars and parity, but that a significant relationship exists between scars and sex. It is hypothesised that the weak relationship between scars and parity may be a product of the relationship between scars and sex, due to parity being a subcategory of sex.

My PhD research aims to evaluate the methodologies bioarchaeologists and palaeoanthropologists use to examine relationships between diet, health and stress, and to explore how these methods relate to one another. Further, the research will aim to apply these methods to fossil populations to further evaluate their effectiveness, limitations, and the information that can be gained. Finally, the research aims to document the occurrence of pathologies in Pleistocene Australian mammals and identify population-level stress indicators. Outcomes are expected to have implications for bioarchaeology, palaeoanthropology, palaeontology and zooarchaeology.

Research Interests

Biological Anthropology; Palaeopathology; Forensic Anthropology; Bioarchaeology


McFadden, C. and Oxenham, M. F. (2017), Sex, Parity, and Scars: A Meta-analytic Review. J Forensic Sci. doi:10.1111/1556-4029.13478

McFadden, C. and Oxenham, M. F. (2016), Revisiting the Phenice technique sex classification results reported by MacLaughlin and Bruce (1990). Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 159: 182–183. doi:10.1002/ajpa.22839


The Australasian Society for Human Biology Student Travel Award (2016)


Teaching Assistant: BIAN2015 Human Skeletal Analysis; BIAN3125 Ancient Health and Disease.

Updated: 10 July 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher