J. Marla Toyne

I am a physical anthropologist who specializes in human skeletal biology, paleopathology, bioarchaeology, and stable isotope science. My primary area of investigation is Andean South America, where I engage in contextually-based research focusing on the analysis of ancient skeletal and mummified remains, in order to explore broader anthropological interests including: the biocultural identification of violence and warfare, ritual activities, ethnic identity, mortuary complexity in ancient civilizations, and Andean prehistoric and Contact period social interactions.

Working with Dr. Toyne:J Marla Toyne

My research with human skeletal remains and burials primarily takes place at archaeological sites in Peru including north coastal Túcume and eastern mountain Kuelap, but I also collaborate in the Laboratory for Bioarchaeological Sciences at UCF with a focus on stable isotope research of past human diet and mobility.  The work there is dependent on the exportation of bone and tooth samples from Peru and access to those materials can vary. But there are many different types of research projects that can develop based student interests and resources related to collected skeletal databases.

Looking for students interested in:

  • Bioarchaeology
  • Mortuary practices
  • Commingled burials
  • Ritual violence and warfare
  • Skeletal biology
  • Paleopathology – patterns in health and disease found in the skeleton
  • Skeletal trauma
  • Stable isotopes to reconstruct diet and mobility in ancient populations
  • Biomechanical changes in bone
  • Paleodemography
  • Intentional cranial and body modification
  • Andean, South America, and Central America

Looking for in graduate students:

  • Highly motivated and independent researchers
  • Broadly trained anthropology students who can integrate different lines of evidence
  • Some background in statistics, chemistry, GIS, digital drawing (or at least looking forward to learning one or all of these things)
  • Experience working or studying abroad (preferred)

Past research projects with graduate students:

  • Commingled mortuary contexts in the Ancient Andes – Chachapoya
  • Comparing antemortem and perimortem probability distributions of cranial skeletal trauma
  • Paleodemographic analysis of commingled ossuary remains
  • Stable isotope analysis of highland mortuary mausoleums – diet and geographic origins


  • Kuelap, Peru 2008

  • UCF graduate student mapping commingled cave context in Peru

  • Tucume artesan crafts

  • Dr. Toyne working in the lab at Tucume

  • PALP UCF Students 2013 - Peru

  • Accessing burial sites in Peru