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Foodways, Diet and Nutrition

Foodways, Diet and Nutrition

This cluster explores eating, nutrition and diet, but also how humans engage with their worlds and each other. 


Current research examines nutrition (and malnutrition), health and a wide range of practices including household dynamics, exchange and economics, religious practice, conquest and resistance, commercialization, and sustainable food systems.


Aubrey Cannon


Chester New Hall (CNH) 508 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23912 


My research on marine-based subsistence economies on the Pacific Northwest Coast and in the Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga has highlighted a high degree of local variability and long-term adaptability in the selection of food resources. Detailed research shows marked variability in the focus of fishing and shellfish gathering economies on the British Columbia coast, depending on resources available within local micro-environments. Similar variability has been shown for early Lapita fisheries in Tonga. Research in British Columbia has also stressed the highly adaptive nature of local and regional Indigenous subsistence economies in adjusting to changes in resource availability, including the capacities to cope with food shortages and to take advantage of periods of enhanced resource productivity.

Tina Moffat

Associate Professor and Chair 

Chester New Hall, Room 527 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23906  


Tina Moffat focuses on nutrition and food insecurity as it relates to social, cultural, and physical environments. Current research involves community-engaged research to support pregnancy diet, especially for vulnerable groups living in the City of Hamilton, part of the “Mothers to Babies” (M2B) project. She holds a SSHRC Research Engage Grant to critically evaluate youth food programming at the Hamilton Community Food Centre (HCFC), part of a growing movement of Food Centres across Canada that move beyond charity models of food banks to support food insecure populations to access nutritious food in a dignified manner. She has also studied food security and dietary change among immigrants and refugees in Canada, based on a CIHR-funded research project called Changing Homes, Changing Food (2012-2015).  Other research interests include vitamin D intake in North America, as well as the social and cultural determinants of child obesity. 

Shanti Morell-Hart

Associate Professor 

Chester New Hall, Room 534 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23909 


Shanti Morell-Hart studies the broad spectrum of foodways in the ancient past, from cultivation to collection; preparation to performance. Her research links microscopic food residues from archaeological materials to ancient gastronomic practices and activities. She is founding co-editor of the journal Archaeology of Food and Foodways, and co-editor of the book Mezquite Pods to Mezcal: 10,000 years of Oaxacan Cuisines.

Tracy Prowse

(she/her); Associate Professor; Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Social Sciences; Associate Editor, American Journal of Biological Anthropology 

Chester New Hall, Room 514 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 20191 (ADA Office) 


My research explores diet, health and mobility in past populations, using palaeopathological and isotopic analyses of human bones and teeth. My approach is interdisciplinary, combining skeletal, isotopic, and archaeological evidence embedded within the historical and archaeological context of the people I study. My ongoing research project is a bioarchaeological investigation of a rural Roman cemetery on an Imperial estate at Vagnari, south Italy. Learn more about the Bioarchaeological Field School at Vagnari here. I am also working on the following projects: 1) A SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2017-2019) entitled ‘Deadly Lead? An Interdisciplinary Study of Lead Production, Lead Exposure, and Health on an Imperial Roman Estate in Italy’. This research focuses on lead production, lead use, and associated lead exposure at the Roman period site of Vagnari (south Italy). My co-PI on this project is Dr. Maureen Carroll from the University of Sheffield, UK. Learn more about the Deadly Lead Project here. 2) A SSHRC Insight Development Grant led by Dr. Bonnie Glencross (Wilfred Laurier University) and Dr. Gary Warrick (Wilfred Laurier University) exploring the use of dogs as proxies for stable isotope analysis of diet in prehistoric populations from southern Ontario. 3) An integrated analysis of health, diet, and mobility in Roman Merovingian Michelet, France. My co-PIs on this project are Dr. Cecile Chapelain de Sereville-Niel and Dr. Christine De La Place (Caen, France). This research is funded through the France-Canada New Research Collaboration Program.

Kee Yong

Associate Professor 

Chester New Hall, Room 535 


Tel: (905) 525-9140, ext. 23907 


Kee Yong’s background is on the ethnography of the nation-state, with an emphasis on the memory literature, conflict, migration, and the legality and legitimation of the modern state. Drawing on these complementary theoretical currents, Kee has done research on communism and the sacrificed of the Chinese Hakkas in Cold and post-Cold War Sarawak and on the recurring conflict in Muslim majority provinces in Thailand’s far south. His research on Sarawak and Thailand’s far south focuses on the relationship between the construction of minorities – and thus majority – and on issues on violence, history, memory, forgetting, silencing, economics, and political formations. Kee Yong is currently working on a collaborative project, one that seeks to understand analytically the potential geopolitical and economic realignment under China’s Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI) across the World Of Ocean Shores, referring here to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean that encompasses parts of East Africa and the Middle East.


1AA3: Sex, Food and Death

2AN3: Food and Nutrition    

2EO3: Intro to Biological Anthropology

3CAC: Ceramic Analysis  

3CO3: Health and Environment  

3PP3: Paleopathology  

3XO3: Zooarchaeology  

3BB3: Paleoethnobotany  

3KO3: Archaeological Interpretation

4CC3: Archaeology of Foodways  

4CP3: Cultural Politics of Food and Eating  

4DN3: Diet and Nutrition  

4HF3: Archaeology of Hunter-Fisher-Gatherers  

4KK3: Archeology of Neanderthals and Other Early Hominids  

4RO3: Advanced Skeletal Biology

740: Biocultural Synthesis  

741: Metabolic Disease  

746: Bioarchaeology  

749: Gastronomic Heritage

Research Programs

Research Clusters

While the department covers four main Research Programs (sub-fields) in Anthropology, we also integrate these Research Programs in six key areas of expertise and investigation: Art and New Materialisms; Ecologies, Resilience and Change; Embodiment, Health and Wellbeing; Foodways, Diet and Nutrition; Heritage, History and Memory; and Migrations, Displacements and Violence. 


Art and New Materialisms 

Ecologies, Resilience and Change 

Embodiment, Health and Wellbeing

Heritage, History and Memory 

Migrations, Displacements and Violence