School of History, Classics & Archaeology

One Health Archaeology Research Group

The One Health Archaeology Research Group provides a forum to support interdisciplinary approaches for the study of past human, animal and environmental health and the contribution of these long-term records to current global health challenges.

Logo for the One Health Archaeology research group

The One Health approach explicitly acknowledges that the wellbeing of humans, animals and environments are linked. In the past, as in the present, health experiences were shaped by complex social, ecological and biological interactions. Archaeology is uniquely placed to deliver long-term integrated and contextualised biological and cultural records. These can provide powerful insights into the complexity of these past interactions. In doing so, archaeology also has the potential to offer long view perspectives to current global health challenges.

The research group

One Health Archaeology Research Group

This research group is concerned with the investigation of the diverse relationships between humans, animals and their environments that shaped past health in its broadest sense. Our work combines evidence and proxies generated through different disciplinary approaches to understand the influences, contexts and outcomes of these interactions. It is represented by a range of ongoing fieldwork and laboratory projects, combining contextual, osteological, biomolecular, palaeodietary, and modelling approaches. Example projects include:

  • ArchaeoFINS - medieval archaeology of fishing around the Irish and North Seas – Sam Leggett
  • The Bioarchaeology of the Great Irish Famine: The Kilkenny Union Workhouse Mass Burials – Jonny Geber
  • Population changes in health, diet and demography in the prehistoric Danube Basin – Kath McSweeney
  • Never Done: A bioarchaeological study of women’s work, task, and occupation in medieval Scotland (PhD project) – Lauren Ide
  • Enamel hypoplasias, stress and dietary markers in a medieval Croatian population (PhD project) – Emma Smith
  • An investigation of health and disease in Mesambria, Bulgaria through physiological stress markers and dietary reconstruction (PhD project) – Monique De Pace
  • A comparative analysis of the evolution of stable isotope dietary data and oral health pathologies through the historic period in two contrasting populations: Scotland and Ibiza, Spain (PhD project) – Laura-Kate Girdwood
  • Reconstructing Human-Animal-Relationships in Eastern Mongolia and Beyond through integrating Zooarchaeology and Stable Isotope Analysis (PhD project) – Sarah Pleuger


This group provides an interdisciplinary forum for research supported by a seminar series, workshops, and excellent laboratory facilities. We provide an interdisciplinary research community for students on the MSc in Human Osteoarchaeology, and we also support Archaeological Science Summer Internships. We have ongoing rich collaborations with a range of external research groups and organisations, such as:

  • National Museum of Scotland
  • Croatian Academy of Sciences
  • Scottish Universities Environment Research Centre (SUERC)
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh
  • The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh

Example publications

One Health Archaeology Events

We organise a seminar series, a regular research meeting and a journal club.

Seminar series

Research Group Conveners

Robin Bendrey

Linda Fibiger

Jonny Geber


Sam Leggett


Catriona Pickard

Sarah Pleuger

Emma Smith