Lesley Gregoricka, Ph.D.

Research Interests

  • Bioarchaeology
  • Stable Isotope Analysis
  • Residential Mobility
  • Paleodiet
  • Mortuary Archaeology
  • Near East, Arabia, Nubia



Bioarchaeologist Dr. Lesley A. Gregoricka is a Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Social Work at the University of South Alabama. She also serves as Director of the USA Forensic Science Program. She received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and her M.A. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Dr. Gregoricka uses biogeochemical techniques to examine changing patterns of human mobility, mortuary practices, paleo diet, and social complexity in the Near East, Arabia, and beyond.

Her primary research program investigates prehistoric mortuary landscapes across the United Arab Emirates and Oman, seeking to evaluate how shifting mortuary traditions in southeastern Arabia reflect corresponding changes in sociopolitical complexity and subsistence strategies. From this, she explores how local identity was reinforced and negotiated through the construction of monumental tombs and treatment of the dead. 

Dr. Gregoricka’s interest in embodied social identity has also taken her to Poland, where she worked with skeletons buried at the post-medieval cemetery at Drawsko as part of the Slavia Project. The Drawsko cemetery is well-known for its deviant burials, and her research focuses on the radiogenic and stable isotope analysis of the skeletal tissues of those interred as “vampires” to better discern why certain individuals were selected for apotropaic burial rites when others were not.

Today, Dr. Gregoricka co-directs the NSF-REU Site: Bioarchaeology of Bronze Age Social Systems, which brings undergraduate students from across the country to USA each summer to learn to conduct bioarchaeological research. She is also currently involved with research on the movements of pastoralist groups in ancient Nubia.

Dr. Gregoricka enjoys working with students and involves undergraduates in her research, both in the field and in the lab.

Selected Publications

Robbins Schug, G., Buikstra, J.E., DeWitte, S.N., Baker, B.J., Berger, E., Buzon, M.R., Davies-Barrett, A.D., Goldstein, L., Grauer, A.L., Gregoricka, L.A., et al. (2023). Climate change, human health, and resilience in the Holocene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 120(4), e2209472120.

Buikstra, J.E., DeWitte, S.N., Agarwal, S.C., Baker, B.J., Bartelink, E.J., Berger, E., Blevins, K.E., Bolhofner, K., Boutin, A.T., Brickley, M.B., Buzon, M.R., de la Cova, C., Goldstein, L., Grauer, A.L., Gregoricka, L.A., et al. (2022). 21st century bioarchaeology: Taking stock and moving forward. Yearbook of Biological Anthropology, 178(S74), 54-114.
Gregoricka, L.A., & Ullinger, J.M. (2022). Isotopic assessment of diet and infant feeding practices among Ottoman-period Bedouin from Tell el-Hesi. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 32(2), 467-478.

Gregoricka, L.A. Ullinger, J.M., and Schrenk, A. 2021. Set apart from within: Articulated women in commingled tombs from Early Bronze Age Arabia. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, 32(S1), 243-255

Gregoricka, L.A. 2021. Moving forward: The bioarchaeology of mobility and migration. Journal of Archaeological Research, 29(4), 581-635. 

Baker, B.J., Crane-Kramer, G., Dee, M.W., Gregoricka, L.A., Henneberg, M., Lee, C., Lukehart, S.A., Mabey, D.C., Roberts, C.A., Stodder, A.L.W., Stone, A.C., & Winingear, S. 2020. Advancing the understanding of treponemal disease in the past and present. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 171(S70): 5-41.

Gregoricka, L.A., Ullinger, J.M., & Sheridan, S.G. 2020. Status, kinship, and place of burial at Early Bronze Age Bab adh-Dhra’: A biogeochemical comparison of charnel house human remains. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 171(2): 319-335.

Judd, M.A., Gregoricka, L.A., & Foran, D. 2019. The monastic mosaic at Mount Nebo, Jordan: Biogeochemical and epigraphical evidence for diverse origins. Antiquity 93(368): 450-467.

Gregoricka LA, Scott AB, Betsinger TK, Polcyn M. 2017. Deviant burials and social identity in a post-medieval Polish cemetery: An analysis of stable oxygen and carbon isotopes from the ‘vampires’ of Drawsko. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 163(4):741-758.

Gregoricka LA. 2016. Human response to climate change during the Umm an-Nar/Wadi Suq transition in the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 26:211-220.

Sheridan SG, Gregoricka LA. 2015. Monks on the move: Evaluating pilgrimage to Byzantine St. Stephen’s monastery using strontium isotopes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 158:581-591.

Gregoricka LA, Betsinger TK, Scott AB, Polcyn M. 2014. Apotropaic practices and the undead: A biogeochemical assessment of deviant burials in post-medieval Poland. PLoS ONE 9(11):e113564.

Gregoricka LA. 2013. Geographic origins and dietary transitions during the Bronze Age in the Oman Peninsula. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 152(3):353-369.

Gregoricka LA. 2013. Residential mobility and social identity in the periphery: strontium isotope analysis of archaeological tooth enamel from southeastern Arabia. Journal of Archaeological Science 40(1): 452-464.


  • AN 101: Introduction to Archaeology & Biological Anthropology
  • AN 121/L: Biological Anthropology
  • AN 250: Forensic Anthropology
  • AN 300: Thinking Anthropologically
  • AN 365: Human Osteology in Archaeology & Forensic Science
  • AN 370: Human Origins & Evolution
  • AN 470: Bioarchaeology & Behavior
  • AN 490: Answers from the Grave - The Archaeology of Death in Prehistoric Britain (USA in the UK study abroad)
  • AN 490: Cities of the Dead - Death & Burial in Historic Europe  (Grand Tour study abroad program)