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Department of Archaeology




2010-2014: BA Honours in Anthropology and BSc in Life Sciences, McMaster University, Canada

2014-present: Doctor of Medicine, University of Alberta, Canada


Research Interests

My research interests are in health and disease throughout human evolution. My PhD research is focused on parasitic infection in the past and the impact of parasitic infection on humans as well as the impact of humans on the spread and evolution of parasites. This research uses techniques including light microscopy and biomolecular identification of parasites from archaeological samples, particularly in the Roman Empire. I have also been involved with excavations of the rural Roman cemetery on the Imperial Estate at Vagnari, Italy since 2011.


Key publications: 

Ledger, M.L., Grimshaw, E., Fairey, M., Ballantyne, R., Knight, M., Mitchell, P.D. (2019) Intestinal parasites at the Late Bronze Age settlement of Must Farm, in the Fens of East Anglia, UK (920-790 BC). Parasitology, 1-12 

Knorr, D., Smith, W., Ledger, M.L., Peña-Chocarro, L., Pérez-Jordà, G., Clapés, R., Palma, M., Mitchell, P.D. (2019) Intestinal parasites in six Islamic period latrines from 10th-11thcentury Córdoba (Spain) and 12th-13thcentury Mértola (Portugal). International Journal of Paleopathology 26, 75-83.

Lockau, L., Atkinson, S., Mays, S., Prowse, T., George, M., Bondioli, L., Sperduti, A., Wood, C., Ledger, M.L., Brickley, M. (2019). Vitamin D deficiency and the ancient city: Skeletal evidence across the life course from the Roman period site of Isola Sacra. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 55, 101069.

Ledger, M.L., Anastasiou, E., Shillito, L.-M., Mackay, H., Bull, I., Haddow, S. D., Knüsel, C., Mitchell, P.D. (2019) Parasite infection at the early farming community of Çatalhöyük, Turkey (7100–6150 BC). Antiquity, 93(369), 573–587.

Ledger, M.L., Mitchell, P.D. (2019) Tracing zoonotic parasite infections throughout human evolution. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 1-12,

Ledger, M.L., Stock, F., Schwaiger, H., Knipping, M., Brückner, H., Ladstätter, S. and Mitchell, P.D. (2018) Intestinal parasites from public and private latrines and the harbour canal in Roman Period Ephesus, Turkey (1st c. BCE to 6th c. CE). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 21: 289–297.

Williams, F., Arnold-Foster, T., Yeh, H.-Y., Ledger, M.L., Baeten, J., Poblome, J., Mitchell, P.D. (2017) Intestinal parasites from the 2nd-5thcentury AD latrine in the Roman baths at Sagalassos (Turkey). International Journal of Paleopathology 19: 37-42.

Prowse, T.L., Nause, C., Ledger, M. (2014) Growing Up and Growing Old on an Imperial Estate: Preliminary Paleopathological Analysis of Skeletal Remains from Vagnari, in Beyond Vagnari: New Themes in the Study of Roman South Italy, edited by A. Small. Bari: Edipuglia.

Teaching and Supervisions



  • BAN8: Health and Disease

Other Professional Activities

Job Titles

PhD Student in Biological Anthropology
Marissa Ledger

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Human Population Biology and Health
Biomolecular Archaeology

Contact Details


Archaeological Science
Biological Anthropology