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Wenner-Gren Dissertation Research Grantee in the News

February 19, 2008

Dr. Sharon N DeWitte , Assistant Professor, University at Albany, SUNY is a biological anthropologist with interests in human osteology, paleodemography, paleopathology, and infectious and epidemic diseases. She is currently studying the mortality patterns of the Black Death of 1347-1351 using large skeletal samples from England and Denmark.

Dr. DeWitte's is interested in infectious diseases in past human populations, particularly how individual variation affects risk of morbidity and mortality in epidemics. She received a Dissertation Research Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation (2004) to investigate the mortality patterns of the Black Death of 1347–1351 and answer several longstanding questions, including whether the Black Death was selective with respect to pre-existing health conditions or if it killed people indiscriminately, as is often assumed. She addre