Bioarchaeology Expert Presents on Co-Evolution of Humans and Infectious Pathogens for CDLS

National Academy of Sciences member Jane E. Buikstra discusses ancient human life through forensic scope

Jane E. Buikstra
Jane E. Buikstra

BATON ROUGE – On Oct. 26, LSU welcomed internationally renowned bioarchaeologist and forensic expert Jane E. Buikstra for the fall installment of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Lectureship Series.

Buikstra, author of bioarchaeology: The Contextual Analysis of Human Remains, and The bioarchaeologist of Tuberculosis: A Global View on a Reemerging Disease, gave a presentation titled Tombs of the Ancestors: An Interdisciplinary Approach.

She drew from her extensive study and field work to illustrate case studies exploring the manner in which bioarchaeological research enhances our knowledge of ancient Americans. Using forensic expertise, she led the audience through diet, gender and political relationships as seen through the study of tombs in South Central Andes region, and also explored the host-pathogen relationship for infectious diseases, specifically ancient American tuberculosis, as revealed through forensic study of skeletal changes and molecular biology. An audio recording of her presentation is available at

As part of Buikstra’s CDLS visit, she visited with faculty and students in order to answer questions, network and make connections with those pursuing similar avenues of study. She attended a graduate seminar taught by LSU professor Heather McKillop, where she had an active and engaging discussion with students.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Lectureship Series is a biannual event bringing scholars of international renown to Baton Rouge to engage LSU’s faculty, students and staff in discussion about the world’s most complex problems and concerns. Speakers are nominated by faculty on campus and then selected through a vigorous review process by an interdisciplinary committee. For more information about the CDLS, visit

Ashley Berthelot | Editor | Office of Communications & University Relations
October 2009