Madeleine Mant


Madeleine Mant is interested in bringing the past to life through the integrated study of human skeletal remains and historical documents. Using a historical lens, informed by medical anthropological theory, she explores the development and effects of disease and trauma on past populations within a biosocial theoretical framework, in which the effects of biology and environmental factors are themselves shaped by structural forces including socioeconomic status. Further, she is interested in how the past is interpreted and represented to stakeholders and seeks opportunities to perform public outreach.

She is currently employing a multi-proxy approach to understand the health and life histories of 18th- and 19th-century North Atlantic seafarers. This project draws together transatlantic bioarchaeological sources and uses archival hospital, prison, and death records from Newfoundland and the United Kingdom to investigate diachronic infectious disease transmission and patterns of trauma. She is using the Crew Agreements and Official Logbooks in the Maritime History Archive at Memorial to trace the health care and transatlantic journeys of merchant seafarers who sought treatment at the St. John’s General Hospital.


Mant’s doctoral research (funded by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship) was a biosocial examination of fracture experience and violence among the labouring poor of London, UK during the 18th century. The lives of individuals from marginalized populations such as the ‘working poor’ are underrepresented in bioanthropological studies. This work involved the interdisciplinary integration of skeletal, archival, and mortuary evidence to illuminate the lives of these individuals, ultimately allowing for examination of the intangible notion of human choice regarding health care in the past. She was a Lecturer in the Anthropology of Health stream at the University of Toronto Mississauga before taking up her Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Memorial in 2017.


University of Alberta, B.A. Hons (Anthropology)
Durham University, MSc (Palaeopathology)
McMaster University, PhD (Anthropology)


Mant, M. (2018). Time after time: Individuals with multiple fractures and injury recidivists in
long eighteenth-century (c. 1666-1837) London. International Journal of Palaeopathology 24: 7-18.

Mant, M. (2018). Children in the London: Inpatient Care in a Voluntary General Hospital.
Medical History. 62(3) 295-313.

Mant, M. & Holland, A. (Eds.). (2016). Beyond the Bones: Engaging with Disparate Datasets.
San Diego: Elsevier Academic Press.


Maritime Studies Research Unit

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000