Skip navigation
The Australian National University

Ms Allison Drake

Position: PhD candidate in Biological Anthropology


Phone: 02 6125 3557

Thesis Title: Health and disease in a 12th – 17th century Norwegian population: the effects of latitude on past population health

Very few studies have focused specifically on the effects of differing latitudes on disease loads and health in past populations. Climatic and temperature variables in the environment play an important role in disease maintenance and survival. My research aims to analyse levels and types of infectious disease and health in the sample excavated from the 12th-17th century Library Site (St. Olav’s Church) in Trondheim, Norway within the context of climatic, environmental and economic change. This sample will then be compared to other European sites from differing latitudes.
A number of other factors can have a major influence on disease loads and health, such as sanitation and demographic changes. There is also a link between climate change (such as the Little Ice Age) and the success of agriculture and thus, the potential for food restrictions which could adversely affect health. The influence of these factors, along with climate and climate change form an important contextual basis for discussions of Trondheim and European health and disease.


Drake, A & Oxenham, M. 2012. Disease, climate and the peopling of the Americas. Historical Biology (Accepted September 2012).

Drake, A. 2011. Health and disease in a 12th – 17th century Norwegian population: the effects of climate on past population health (Poster). At: Human Biology: Through the Looking Glass, 25th annual ASHB International Conference at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

Updated: 25 October 2012/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher