Professor Judith Littleton

BAHons (Sydney); MA PhD (ANU)


PhD ANU (Biological anthropology and Archaeology) 1993; ARC Postdoctoral Fellow (1995-1998), Lecture University of Auckland 1998-; Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology (2008-).

Research | Current

  • Biological anthropology
  • Medical anthropology
  • Human osteology and health
  • Fieldwork in Middle East, Australia, Mongolia and New Zealand.

I am currently involved in two major research projects exploring the theme of health and demographic responses to culture and political economic change:

  • Regional Variation in Aboriginal Health, Burials and Burial Practices, Southeastern Australia. The investigation of pre-contact and contact biological and cultural variation among Aboriginal populations along the Murray River and in South Australia..
  • Transnational Pacific Health through the lens of TB. A cross-disciplinary project with J. Park, (Social Anthropology) and collaborators exploring the syndemic of TB and DM among Tuvaluans and Cook Islanders both in New Zealand and in their home islands.  The goal is to understand how transnationalism creates new challenges and buffers people's health.

Teaching | Current

ANTHRO 102 Introduction to Biological Anthropology

ANTHRO 235 Special Topic: The Archaeology of Human Remains

ANTHRO 324 Medical Anthropology

ANTHRO 367 Special Topic: The Archaeology of Human Remains

ANTHRO 748 Human Osteology

Areas of expertise

Human osteology, dental anthropology, medical anthropology

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Australasian Society of Human Biology Lifetime Member

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Spray, J., Floyd, B., Littleton, J., Trnka, S., & Mattison, S. (2018). Social group dynamics predict stress variability among children in a New Zealand classroom. HOMO, 69 (1-2), 50-61. 10.1016/j.jchb.2018.03.005
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julie Spray
  • Littleton, J. (2018). Hunter–gatherer dental pathology: Do historic accounts of Aboriginal Australians correspond to the archeological record of dental disease?. American Journal of Human Biology, 30 (2)10.1002/ajhb.23076
  • Littleton, J. (2017). Dental wear and age grading at Roonka, South Australia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 163 (3), 519-530. 10.1002/ajpa.23226
  • Littleton, J., Petchey, F., Walshe, K., & Pate, F. D. (2017). A preliminary redating of the Holocene Roonka burials, south-eastern Australia. Archaeology in Oceania, 52 (2), 98-107. 10.1002/arco.5126
  • Karstens, S. K., Littleton, J., Frohlich, B., Amgaluntugs, T., & Kristen, P. (2017). Palaeopathological Indicators of Mounted Pastoralism during the Mongolian Bronze Age. Paper presented at 86th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists (AAPA), New Orleans, LA. 19 April - 22 April 2017. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY. (pp. 2).
  • Mcfarlane, G., & Littleton, J. H. (2016). A stressful legacy: Childhood stress and longevity. Paper presented at 85th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Atlanta, GA. 13 April - 16 April 2016. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 10.1002/ajpa.22955
  • Smith, C. B., & Littleton, J. (2016). Experiencing Childhood at Roonka: An Analysis of Enamel Hypoplasia in the Permanent Dentition of Australian Aboriginal Hunter-Gatherers. Paper presented at 85th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Physical-Anthropologists, Atlanta, GA. 13 April - 16 April 2016. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 10.1002/ajpa.22961
  • Littleton, J. H., & Scott, R. M. (2016). Identifying Dietary Variability in Southern Australia from Scarce Remains. In J. Lee-Thorp, M. A. Katzenberg (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Diet (pp. ). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199694013.013.25


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 7, Room 721
New Zealand

Web links