Skip to main content

Jennifer Austen – University of Reading

Show access keys
  • Archaeology Postgraduate Students

    Find out more about our current PhD community

Jennifer Austen

Cribra orbitalia, Cribra Humeralis and Cribra Femoralis: understanding their aetiology.

Examination of cribrous lesions has been a frequent and ongoing study in paleopathology. Current debates regarding aetiology suggest that these lesions are the result of marrow hyperplasia. This has given rise to the suggestion that cribrous lesions could be the result of acquired anaemia, but many argue that other conditions could be responsible. The introduction of cribrous lesions in the proximal humerus (cribra humeralis) and femur (cribra femoralis) in particular have reignited aetiological debates in what has been referred to as 'the cribrous syndrome'. Although not as frequently recorded as cribra orbitalia, patterns in postcranial cribrous lesion locations appear to correlate with locations of red bone marrow in childhood; however, this observed trend has yet to be rigorously tested. This PhD project explores the relationship between cribra orbitalia, cribra humeralis, and cribra femoralis in nonadults and young adults, in an effort to better understand the aetiology of cribrous lesions.


About Me:

I hold a BA in Anthropology from the University of Alberta (Canada), and an MSc (with Merit) in Anatomy & Advanced Forensic Anthropology from the University of Dundee (UK). I have experience working in a wide range of areas, including my time as a volunteer research assistant in Quaternary Paleontology at the Royal Alberta Museum (Canada), and as an archaeological field technician in Canada. Prior to the start of my PhD, I joined the Mogou Bioarchaeology Project, a collaborative project studying the history of health in the Chinese Bronze Age where I remain an active team member. I am currently the Fundraising Chair for the Student Group of the Paleopathology Association and hold memberships with the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO) and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA). Recipient of the University of Reading International Studentship (2017) and the Paleopathology Association Cockburn Student Prize (2019).

Research Interests:

  •  Paleopathology.

  • Childhood health.

  • Bioarchaeology.

Research Groups:

Diet, Health and the Life Course 

    Jennifer Austen


Twitter: @austen_jennifer  

Linked in


Professor Mary Lewis (University of Reading)

Dr Gundula MΓΌldner(University of Reading)

We use Javascript to improve your experience on, but it looks like yours is turned off. Everything will still work, but it is even more beautiful with Javascript in action. Find out more about why and how to turn it back on here.
We also use cookies to improve your time on the site, for more information please see our cookie policy.

Back to top