Rebecca Gilmour, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor
B 349T
Phone: 403.440.8713



Ph.D. Biological Anthropology
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
Dissertation: Resilient Romans: Cross-sectional Evidence for Long-Term Functional Consequences of Extremity Trauma

MSc Palaeopathology
Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom
Thesis: Broken Romans: Long Bone Trauma in a Civilian Population at Aquincum, Budapest, Hungary

B.A. Honours Archaeology
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia
Thesis: Forensic Scatology: A Preliminary Study of Carnivore Scat

Research Interests

Bioarchaeology, palaeopathology, trauma and fractures, bone biomechanics, bone loss, impairment and disability, human variation and adaptation, Roman period and frontier zones, non-destructive imaging techniques.

Current Research:

Dr. Gilmour’s research uses bone biomechanical methods to study how people respond to and recover from injuries and other pathological conditions in order to improve our understanding of human resilience, risk, and adaptation, past and present.

Her largest project to date investigates the long-term consequences of limb trauma on mobility and activity at Roman sites in Italy, Britain, Austria, and Hungary. By questioning presumed links between pathology and impairment in the Roman Empire, these studies speak to human experiences and resilience; contribute to the growing bioarchaeological discourse on diversity, adaptation, disability, and care; and provide insight into life in (Roman) peripheral regions. Building on this project, her recent research addresses problems in preservation of archaeological skeletal remains, exploring methods for bone quantification using a post-medieval skeletal collection from the Netherlands. Future projects are in development that will continue to explore the intersections of pathology (e.g., trauma and arthritis), post-cranial biomechanics, and human functional experiences in archaeological and modern humans.

To learn more about Rebecca’s research and teaching, please visit her website at:

Teaching Interests:

Bioarchaeology, Palaeopathology, Biomechanics, Human Adaptation & Activity, Forensic Anthropology, Quantitative Methods

Selected Publications:

Hirst, C.S., Gilmour, R.J., Plomp, K.A., Alves Cardoso, F. (Eds.). (2023). Behaviour in Our Bones: How Human Behaviour Influences Skeletal Morphology. Elsevier.  

Schneider, M.A. & Gilmour, R.J. (2023). Exploring radiogrammetry beyond the second metacarpal: Using the third, fourth, and fifth metacarpals to quantify cortical bone. American Journal of Human Biology.  

Gilmour, R.J. & Plomp, K. (2022). The Changing Shape of Palaeopathology: The Contribution of Skeletal Shape and Form Analyses to Investigations of Pathological Conditions. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 178(S74): 151-180. (Open Access).

Battles, H.T. & Gilmour, R.J. (2022). Beyond mortality: Survivors of Epidemic Infections and the Bioarchaeology of Impairment and Disability. Bioarchaeology International, 6(1-2):23-40. (Open Access).

Gilmour, R.J., Brickley, M.B., Hoogland, M., Jurriaans, E., Prowse, T.L. (2021). Quantifying cortical bone in fragmentary archaeological second metacarpals. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 174(4):1-10.

Gilmour, R.J., Brickley, M., Jurriaans, E., Prowse T. (2019). Maintaining Mobility after Fracture: A Biomechanical Analysis of Fracture Consequences at the Roman Sites of Ancaster (UK) and Vagnari (Italy). International Journal of Palaeopathology, 24:119-129.

Gilmour, R.J., Gowland, R., Roberts, C.A., Bernert, Zs., Kiss, K.K., Lassanyi, G. (2015). Gendered Differences in Accidental Trauma to Upper and Lower Limb Bones at Aquincum, Roman Hungary. International Journal of Paleopathology, 11:75-91.

Lockau, L., Gilmour, R.J., Menard, J-P., Narayanaswamy, B., Dragomir, A-M., Mant, M., Watamaniuk, L., Brickley, M., (2015). “Buck and Ball”: Identification and Interpretation of Buckshot Injuries to the Pelvis from the War of 1812. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 6:424-433.

Lockau, L., Dragomir, A.M., Gilmour, R., Mant, M., & Brickley, M. (2013). Bioarchaeological investigation of sharp force injuries to the ribs and lower leg from the battle of Stoney Creek in the War of 1812. Anthropological Science, 121: 217-227.

Gilmour, R.J., & Skinner, M.F. (2012). Forensic Scatology: Preliminary Experimental Study of the Preparation and Potential for Identification of Captive Carnivore Scat. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 160-165.