I am a biological 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 evidence 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:

Marla Toyne

I am dedicated to engaging with students both inside and outside the classroom and helping them learn the skills they will need for their future careers. While developing and completing guided research projects play a key role in our program, I also believe that it is important that students broaden their horizons and understand the role we can play in our communities. Life beyond graduate school may lead in many directions and I seek to mentor students to those possibilities.

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. Students may contact me j.marla.toyne@ucf.edu to discuss the opportunities.

For more information please see my biography.

Looking for students interested in:

  • Bioarchaeology
  • Mortuary practices
  • Commingled burials
  • Ritual violence and warfare
  • 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
  • Intentional cranial and body modification
  • Andean, South America, and Central America, also Croatia, Guatemala

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:

  • Zooarchaeological stable isotopes – Chachapoya
  • Patterns in activity stress in joints – Croatia
  • Body proportion estimates and health status – Chachapoya
  • Dental pathology and health status – Chachapoya
  • Commingled mortuary contexts in the Ancient Andes – Chachapoya
  • Comparing antemortem and perimortem probability distributions of cranial skeletal trauma


Kuelap, Peru 2008
Tucume artesan crafts
Lab at Tucume
PALP UCF students 2013
Burial Sites Peru