I study human skeletal remains from archaeological sites. As a bioarchaeologist I am interested in how oral health and disease, specific and nonspecific indicators of stress, pathology and behaviour play into our understanding of the general health, social identities and lifeways of prehistoric people within the context of their natural and cultural environment. My research area is Holocene Southeast Asia. I have been involved in research projects in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines and I received my PhD from The Australian National University in 2016.

Currently I am involved in a project in Myanmar as the bioarchaeologist for the Mission Archéologique Française au Myanmar. I have an interest in palaeohealth, palaeodietary reconstruction using stable isotopes and mortuary archaeology, in particular L'anthropologie de terrain. I also volunteer for the Australian Defence Force as a biological anthropologist.

I teach Forensic Archaeology and Hominin Evolution. My research interests and background directly complement my teaching, providing a broad range of experience that provides students a real life perspective and understanding of how the disciplines of archaeology, biological anthropology and forensic science including criminology are interconnected.

  • AR2407: Forensic Archaeology (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • AR2416: Ancient Ancestors to Digital Devices: Our Evolutionary Journey (Level 2; TSV)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 29+ research outputs authored by Dr Anna Willis from 2011 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Research Council - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Hidden histories of the teeth: The key to unlocking ancient secrets in prehistoric central Myanmar

Indicative Funding
$432,953 over 6 years
The aim of this project is to examine isotopes in the teeth of individuals from three sites in prehistoric central Myanmar to examine diet, the movement and migration of people, and potential patterns in post-marital residence, which are all intricately linked. Built on a strong conceptual framework this project seeks to generate new information in the field of archaeological science. The research outcomes of this project will expand our current archaeological knowledge of this focal but under-researched area, which will be of particular benefit in understanding Myanmar in relation to surrounding regions and the wider Southeast Asian context, and in fostering continued collegiality and collaboration with Myanmar scholars and communities.
Anna Willis (College of Arts and Society & Education)
Southeast Asia; Myanmar; Isotope analyses; Bioarchaeology

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Body size, health, and diet at Con Co Ngua, Vietnam: an isotopic assessment of diet and physiological assessment of skeletal remains (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The effects of aging on bone macro- and microstructure of two populations in the Asia-Pacific region (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Life of the Stone: Experimental approaches to megalith production (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Leprosy and Tuberculosis? A Southeast Asian Paleopathological Investigation (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Enhancing palaeopathological diagnostic techniques for osteoporosis through analysis of prehistoric and modern Southeast Asian skeletal collections (PhD , Primary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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