Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz

Honorary Senior Lecturer

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Overview

I am a Polish-Australian biological anthropologist who joined the UQ School of Social Science as an Honorary Senior Lecturer in July 2021. I specialise in hard tissue histology. Over the last ~10 years I've worked with anthropological and archaeological collections of human skeletal remains, and post-mortem samples, to investigate skeletal plasticity (bone remodelling) in a variety of lifestyle contexts. I also collaborate with zooarchaeologists, palaeontologists, biomedical scientists, epidemiologists, and forensic scientists whenever bone/tooth histology is required for analyses.

In 2018, I was awarded an ARC DECRA fellowship (2019-2022) at the Australian National University (ANU). I was previously (2016-2021) a Senior Lecturer and Lecturer in Biological Anthropology at the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology. Between 2015 and 2016 I was a Research Assistant in medicine at Imperial College London. I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014. Until 2014, I had spent about eight years at the University of Kent School of Anthropology and Conservation (UK) completing a BSc (2010) and a PhD (2014) in Biological Anthropology, a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE, 2014), and working in various teaching roles, including tutoring, lab demonstration, sessional lecturing, and lecturing. Outside of academia, since 2008, I have held consultancy roles as an Assistant Osteologist, and Osteologist, for Kent Osteological Research and Analysis in the UK, and in a pro bono role for medical schools. These roles have ranged from assessing human remains from archaeological excavations for bioarchaeological projects, and those held in teaching/research collections supporting repatriation efforts.

I currently (2019-2021) serve on the executive committe of the Australasian Society for Human Biology as Treasurer. I have 43 peer reviewed publications as of Oct 2021. I have so far secured >$560k in research grants as a PI, and >$13k towards research travel. Including collaborative grants (as a CI/AI), I have featured on >$1.8 million worth of research grants.

Research Interests

  • The effect of socio-economic inequality on skeletal health
    I've been working in this area since completing my Honours thesis (2010) which is when I got introduced to a Medieval human osteological collection curated at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK. The collection, St. Gregory's Priory and adjacent cemetery, is composed of thousands of human skeletal remains that span juveniles and adults, and represents a very distinct division of Medieval feudal social status. This collection is an incredible source of bone and tooth biology data that I have been examinining in relation to human social structures. My representative publications in this space include Miszkiewicz & Cooke (2019) in Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism, Miszkiewicz et al (2019) "Bone Health: A Reflection of the Social Mosaic." book published by Springer Nature Medicine, Miszkiewicz & Mahoney (2016) in the Anatomical Record, or Miszkiewicz (2015) in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.
  • Remodelling of the human femur in relation to behaviour
    ​I've been interested in the biology of adult human limb bone remodelling since the completion of my PhD thesis (2014) as part of which I investigated femoral midshaft histomorphometric variation with bone size and morphology. I continue working on human femur histology in relation to biomechanical questions as I think there is still a lot we don't fully understand in this area, particularly how localised cortical bone remodelling relates to cross sectional geometry. This research has fed into my ARC DECRA fellowship covering various archaeological sites across the Asia-Pacific. Another site I am currently working on in relation to this research area is Chojnice in Poland - I am particularly excited about this one because of my Polish heritage. My representative publications in this space include Miszkiewicz et al (2021) in the Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology, Miszkiewicz et al (2021) in Scientific Reports, Miszkiewicz et al (2020) in the International Journal of Paleopathology, Miszkiewicz & Mahoney (2019) in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism, or Miszkiewicz (2016) in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism.
  • The effect of island living on skeletal physiology
    I have gotten interested in the evolutionary biology theory of island living since moving to Australia in 2016. Since my move here I've been working on human and non-human bone samples that derive from islands, which has made me identify several questions about how the vertebrate skeleton adapts to constrained environments. This is still a relatively new area of research for me, which has fed directly into my ARC DECRA fellowship because I mostly work on samples from Pacific or Southeast Asian islands. I am really enjoying learning about the complexity of ecological and biological relationships that impact skeletal growth. My current study samples relating to this research area are Candiacervus (dwarfed deer from Crete) and Hippopotamus creutzburgi and H. minor (dwarfed hippos from Crete and Cyprus). My selected representative publications in this space include Miszkiewicz et al (2020) in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, or Miszkiewicz et al (2019) in the Anatomical Record.

Qualifications

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Kent
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Kent
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Kent

Publications

  • Mahoney, Patrick, McFarlane, Gina, Smith, B. Holly, Miszkiewicz, Justyna J., Cerrito, Paola, Liversidge, Helen, Mancini, Lucia, Dreossi, Diego, Veneziano, Alessio, Bernardini, Federico, Cristiani, Emanuela, Behie, Alison, Coppa, Alfredo, Bondioli, Luca, Frayer, David W., Radovčić, Davorka and Nava, Alessia (2021). Growth of Neanderthal infants from Krapina (120–130 ka), Croatia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288 (1963). doi: 10.1098/rspb.2021.2079

  • Cooke, Karen M., Mahoney, Patrick and Miszkiewicz, Justyna J. (2021). Secondary osteon variants and remodeling in human bone. The Anatomical Record: advances in integrative anatomy and evolutionary biology ar.24646. doi: 10.1002/ar.24646

  • Vlok, Melandri, Buckley, Hallie R., Miszkiewicz, Justyna J., Walker, Meg M., Domett, Kate, Willis, Anna, Trinh, Hiep H., Minh, Tran T., Mai Huong T Nguyen, , Lan Cuong Nguyen, , Matsumura, Hirofumi, Wang, Tianyi, Nghia, Huu T. and Oxenharn, Marc F. (2021). Forager and farmer evolutionary adaptations to malaria evidenced by 7000 years of thalassemia in Southeast Asia. Scientific Reports, 11 (1), 5677. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-83978-4

View all Publications

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Walker, Meg M., Street, Emma M., Pitfield, Rosie, Miszkiewicz, Justyna J., Brennan-Olsen, Sharon L. and Mahoney, Patrick (2019). Ancient Human Bone Microstructure Case Studies from Medieval England. Bone Health. (pp. 35-52) Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-7256-8_3

  • Miszkiewicz, Justyna J. (2019). Medieval English Social Inequality and Bone Health: What Lessons are There to be Learnt for the Living?. Bone Health. (pp. 3-15) Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-7256-8_1

  • Miszkiewicz, Justyna J., Stewart, Tahlia J., Deter, Chris A., Fahy, Geraldine E. and Mahoney, Patrick (2019). Skeletal Health in Medieval Societies: Insights from Ancient Bone Collagen Stable Isotopes and Dental Histology. Bone Health. (pp. 17-34) Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-7256-8_2

  • Wyatt, Bronwyn and Miszkiewicz, Justyna J. (2019). Skeletal markers of health and disease in the Northern Moluccas. The Spice Islands in Prehistory: Archaeology in the Northern Moluccas, Indonesia. (pp. 201-209) edited by Bellwood, P. Canberra, ACT Australia: Australian National University. doi: 10.22459/TA50.2019

  • Brennan-Olsen, Sharon L., Riancho, Jose A. and Miszkiewicz, Justyna J. (2019). The Social Context of Bone Health: Conclusions and Future Directions. Bone Health. (pp. 177-181) Singapore: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-7256-8_10

  • Kinaston, Rebecca, Willis, Anna, Miszkiewicz, Justyna J., Tromp, Monica and Oxenham, Marc F. (2019). The dentition. Ortner's Identification of Pathological Conditions in Human Skeletal Remains. (pp. 749-797) London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-809738-0.00021-1

  • Miszkiewicz, Justyna J. and Mahoney, Patrick (2017). Human Bone and Dental Histology in an Archaeological Context. Human Remains: Another Dimension The Application of Imaging to the Study of Human Remains. (pp. 29-43) London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-804602-9.00004-7

  • Mahoney, Patrick and Miszkiewicz, Justyna (2015). Formation Times in Thermally Altered Enamel. The Analysis of Burned Human Remains: Second Edition. (pp. 355-363) London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-800451-7.00020-6

Journal Article