Dr Heather Bonney

Heather Bonney
  • Human Remains Data Collection Project Manager
  • Earth Sciences department
  • Vertebrates and Anthropology Palaeobiology
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road


Forensic Anthropologist

Research interests

  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Archaeology
  • Skeletal trauma and tool marks
  • Human cadaver substitutes in forensic trauma studies

Current activities

  • Physical examination and collection of metric and non-metric data from human remains in the Natural History Museum collection
  • X-ray, CT, microCT and 3D laser imaging
  • Radiographic examination of mummified remains
  • Population diversity in Roman London: collaborative research project with Dr Rebecca Redfern (Museum of London) and Dr Margaret Clegg


PhD Forensic Science University of Lincoln

MSc Human Osteology & Funerary Archaeology University of Sheffield

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science University of Lincoln




2012 - present University of Oxford, Metric data, non-metric traits and estimation of ancestry. Introduction to Human Osteoarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology module, Institute of Human Sciences

2009 Cranfield University, Determination of Ancestry, MSc Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology

2005-2008 University of Lincoln, final year undergraduate unit in Forensic Anthropology


Consultancy  in Forensic Archaeology and Forensic Anthropology for UK police forces. Examination and reporting on human remains for other institutions.


Museum of Life, BBC2, Spring 2010

When Rome Ruled: Doomsday Pompeii, National Geographic Channel, 2011

Today, BBC Radio 4, July 2011

The Science Show, ABC Radio National (Australia), 2011

Saturday Live, BBC Radio 4, 20th July 2013


Experience in medieval and post-medieval osteoarchaeology


Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Member of the Forensic Science Society (MFSSoc)



Bonney, H. 2014. Richard III: skeletal evidence of perimortem trauma, The Lancet, Published online 17th September 2014. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61253-8

Bonney, H. 2014. An Investigation of the Use of Discriminant Analysis for the Classification of Blade Edge Type From Cut Marks Made by Metal and Bamboo Blades, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 154(4): 575-584. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22558

Redfern, R., Bonney, H. 2014 Headhunting and amphitheatre combat in Roman London, England: new evidence from the Walbrook Valley, Journal of Archaeological Science, 43: 214-226


Bonney, H.E., 2013 Sorcery and shipwrecks: Headhunting in the Torres Strait Islands In: Knüsel, C. and Smith, M. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of the Bioarchaeology of Human Conflict, Routledge, UK


Bonney, H., Colston, B.J., Goodman, A.M. 2011 Regional variation in the mechanical properties of cortical bone from the porcine femur,  Medical Engineering & Physics, 33(4):513-520

Bonney, H.E., Clegg, M. 2011 Heads as memorials and status symbols: the collection and use of skulls in the Torres Strait Islands In: Bonogofsky, M. (ed.) The Bioarchaeology of the Human Head: Decapitation, Deformation and Decoration, University Press of Florida, Gainsville FL


Bonney, H.E., Clegg, M. 2009 Friend or foe: Heads as memorials and status symbols in the Torres Strait Islands, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 138 pp. 109


Bonney, H., Goodman, A., Colston, B. 2007 Regional variation in the microhardness and mineral content of porcine long bones. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology, vol. 146 supp. 1 pp. S123

Goodman, A., Bonney, H., Haggis, L. 2007 Flexural properties of the equine hoof wall, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology, vol. 146 supp. 1 pp. S118