Ben Wigley

BA (Hons), MSc

Department of Archaeology

Research Student

Thesis- A bioarchaeological examination of the impact of early-life stress on later health outcomes using procrustean assessments of dental fluctuating asymmetry

pra07brw@sheffield.ac.uk

Full contact details

Ben Wigley
Department of Archaeology
Minalloy House
Regent Street
Sheffield
S10 2TN
Qualifications
  • 2019 – Present- PhD Candidate – The University of Sheffield.
  • 2017 – 2018- MSc Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology – The University of Sheffield (Distinction)
    • Dissertation- An Evaluation of Ancestral Diversity in 19th Century South Shields
  • 2007 – 2010- BA (Hons) Archaeology – The University of Sheffield
Research interests

Thesis- A bioarchaeological examination of the impact of early-life stress on later health outcomes using procrustean assessments of dental fluctuating asymmetry

My research interests include-

  • Bioarchaeology
  • Dental Anthropology
  • Quantitative Archaeology
  • Anatomy/Osteology
  • Biological Stress/Palaeopathology

Thesis Abstract

Early-life development is vulnerable to environmental stressors, such as nutritional deprivation, which can cause a cascade of epigenetic alterations to phenotype that influence life-course trajectories in growth, health and longevity. Attempts to assess early-life stress are, however, problematic: non-adult remains survive poorly and adult skeletons largely reflect later-life stressors.

Teeth though, develop early and do not remodel, preserving a record of stress experienced during the earliest years of life. In paired teeth, biological stress manifests as subtle deviations to symmetry, known as fluctuating asymmetry. This study will utilise advances in geometric morphometric techniques to develop and evaluate a procrustean approach to the quantification of dental asymmetries.

Relationships between fluctuating asymmetry and osteological variables that reflect growth, disease susceptibility and lifespan will then be explored to infer the role that early-life stress played in shaping life-courses in past populations.

Grants
  • 2019 – 2022- White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) AHRC Studentship, UK.
  • 2018- Postgraduate Dissertation Prize – The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA)
Teaching activities
  • AAP683 Human Anatomy – Laboratory demonstrator (postgraduate)
  • BMS352 Forensic Anatomy – Laboratory demonstrator (undergraduate)
Professional activities

Memberships

  • British Association of Biological Anthropologists and Osteoarchaeologists (BABAO).
  • The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA)
Publications
  • Wigley, B. R. [Forthcoming]. An Evaluation of Ancestral Diversity in 19th Century South Shields. Post-Medieval Archaeology