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Laurie Reitsema

UGA Arch
Director, Bioarchaeology and Biochemistry Laboratory

My research seeks to explain how human beings come to physically embody the biological and social aspects of our environments. In varying sites across Europe, my work encapsulates the challenges of bioarchaeological analysis as the most direct indicator of human behavior. I examine diet change from the time of Greek colonization to the Medieval period, and I also helped geochemically assess archaeological human remains to test early written history. With a research team in Ethiopia, we studied wild Ethiopian geladas to generate the largest wild nonhuman primate gut microbiome data set to date. My research uniquely and advantageously incorporates human skeletal populations as well as extant non-human primates to clarify synergistic relationships between environmental impacts at multiple scales. 

Research Areas:
Research Interests:
  • Bioarchaeology 
  • Adaptation 
  • Stable isotope biogeochemistry 
  • Colonization 
  • Culture contact 
  • Gut microbiome 
  • Graminivory 
  • Seasonality 
  • Thermoregulation 
  • Primates 
  • Migration 
Selected Publications:

2017     Reitsema, L. J., Kozłowski, T., Crews, D. E., Katzenberg, M. A., Chudziak, W. Resilience and Local Dietary Adaptation in Rural Poland, AD 1000-1400. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 45:38–52.

2016     Reitsema, L.J., Vercellotti, G., Boano, R.. Subadult Dietary Variation at Medieval Trino Vercellese, Italy, and Its Relationship to Adult Diet and Mortality. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 160:653–664.

2016     Reitsema, L.J., Partrick, K. A., Muir, A. B. Inter-Individual Variation in Weaning among Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta): Serum Stable Isotope Biomarkers of Suckling Duration and Lactation. American Journal of Primatology 78:1113–1123.


PhD, Anthropology, Anatomy minor, The Ohio State University, 2012  


Articles Featuring Laurie Reitsema

Dr. Laurie Reitsema's research has been highlighted in Nature Italy, a digital magazine that reports on scientific research, and issues of science policy, in Italy.

PhD candidate, Katherine Reinberger, and Dr. Laurie Reitsema recently had an article published in PLOS One. The article is titled, "Isotopic evidence for geographic heterogeneity in Ancient Greek military forces" and can be found on the…

The University of Georgia has joined the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium to facilitate scholarly exchange and academic collaboration. 

The study abroad classes are underway, and the UGA archaeology field schools begin soon.

Professor Brosius' "Bali and Beyond" Maymester program is in full swing and we look forward to catching up with their new experiences any day.

The Office of Research recognizes Laurie Reitsema’s work with the 2018 Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award. Named in honor of the University of Georgia’s 20th president, this award recognizes outstanding accomplishment and evidence of potential…

Several faculty members and an alumnus were featured in UGA's fall issue of Georgia Magazine.

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