I am a lesbian and I am a bioarchaeologist.//
I’m currently pursuing my masters in Human Bioarchaeology and Paleopathology, which means I study health and disease in the past using skeletal remains. I’m especially interested in infectious diseases like tuberculosis and syphilis, and human-bacterial co-evolution. I eventually want to study the DNA of ancient pathogens that are left behind on skeletons in order to learn how bacteria, viruses, etc. have evolved under different conditions, and how we can use this information to inform modern medical care.
I moved to the UK from Chicago last year for my masters, which was a huge step for me. It’s been difficult to find time to connect with other queer people at university and in the community, both because I’m very busy with school work, and because I tend to be older than many of the other people I encounter. The campus-run LGBTQ organizations are primarily made up of undergraduates, and while they’re friendly and welcoming, I’m a good 6-10 years older than many of them, and I tend to feel out of place. I’m also not naturally a very outgoing person when I’m around people I don’t know well.
As I continue in my education and career, I’d like to meet more queer people who are around my own age that are also interested in archaeology and the history of human health. I’m also very interested in collaboration across disciplines, as well as science communication and public engagement. I want to make archaeology an accessible field of study for people who aren’t just straight, white, able-bodied, cisgender men.