Lesley Gregoricka, Ph.D.
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Office: HUMB 22
Ph: (251) 460-6901
Lesley Gregoricka, Ph.D.

Research Interests

  • Bioarchaeology
  • Stable Isotope Analysis
  • Residential Mobility
  • Paleo diet
  • Mortuary Archaeology
  • Social Organization and Identity
  • Near East, Arabia, and Poland



Dr. Lesley A. Gregoricka is a bioarchaeologist and an Assistant 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 and Arabia, and more recently has worked with questions of social identity and deviant “vampire” burials in Eastern Europe.

Her primary research program investigates prehistoric mortuary landscapes across the United Arab Emirates and seeks 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. Additionally, Dr. Gregoricka has worked with the NSF-funded Social, Spatial, and Bioarchaeological Histories of Ancient Oman (SoBO) project since 2011 as co-director and isotope specialist. Her research in the interior of northern Oman assesses changing patterns of residential mobility, social organization, and diet among local third millennium BC communities situated at the rural crossroads of emerging Bronze Age interregional trade networks with Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley.

Dr. Gregoricka’s interest in embodied social identity has also taken her to Poland, where she works 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.

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

Selected Publications

Gregoricka LA, Judd MA. In press. Isotopic evidence for diet among historic Bedouin of Khirbat al-Mudayna, Jordan. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. DOI: 10.1002/oa.2468

Gregoricka LA. In press. Human response to climate change during the Umm an-Nar/Wadi Suq transition in the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. DOI: 10.1002/oa.2409

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

Williams KD, Steimer-Herbet T, Gregoricka LA, Saliége J-F, McCorriston J. 2014. Bioarchaeological analyses of third millennium BC high circular tower tombs from the Arabian Human Social Dynamics (AHSD) Project in Dhofar, Oman. Journal of Oman Studies 18:153-173.

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.

Sheridan SG, Ullinger J, Gregoricka L, Chesson M. 2014. Bioarchaeological reconstruction of group identity at Early Bronze Age Bab edh-Dhra’, Jordan. In: Porter B, Boutin A, eds. Remembering the dead in the ancient Near East: Recent contributions from bioarchaeology and mortuary archaeology. Boulder: University of Colorado Press. p.133-184.

Gregoricka LA. 2014. Assessing life history from commingled assemblages: The biogeochemistry of inter-tooth variability in Bronze Age Arabia. Journal of Archaeological Science 47:10-21.

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.

Williams KD, Gregoricka LA. 2013. Social, Spatial, and Bioarchaeological Histories of Ancient Oman: The mortuary landscape of Dhank. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 24(2):134-150.

Gregoricka LA, Sheridan SG. 2013. Ascetic or affluent? Byzantine diet at the monastic community of St. Stephen’s, Jerusalem from stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes.  Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32(1): 63-73.

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.

Gregoricka LA, Sheridan SG. 2012. Food for thought: isotopic evidence for dietary and weaning practices in a Byzantine urban monastery in Jerusalem. In: Perry MA, ed. Bioarchaeology and behavior: the people of the ancient Near East. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. p.138-164.


  • AN 101: Introduction to Archaeology and Biological Anthropology
  • AN 210: Biological Anthropology
  • AN 250: Forensic Anthropology
  • AN 365: Human Osteology in Archaeology and Forensic Science
  • AN 470: Bioarchaeology and Behavior