I have taught human anatomy and bioarchaeology to Certificate, Undergraduate and Postgraduate students at Birkbeck College (University of London) since 2004.
I taught bioarchaeology to B.A./B.Sc. and M.A. students at the University of Winchester, and have taught a number of short courses (including field training) in London, Egypt, South Africa and Peru (including lecturing at the Universidad de la Villareal, Lima).
I am also a research fellow of the University of Winchester, and a research associate of the University of South Africa (UNISA)
Dr. Owens is sessional lecturer in bioarchaeology, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Winchester, and a research associate at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He trained at the universities of Durham (B.A. 1996), Liverpool (M.Sc. 1998) and University College London (Ph.D. 2004), and specialises in the analysis of human bones, teeth and mummies in order to understand ancient lifestyles and behaviour.
He has worked in the UK, Spain, Israel, South Africa, Egypt, Peru, Qatar, Bolivia and the USA. His current research focuses on the analysis of interments from the Peruvian site of Pachacamac (one of the Americas’ largest and most important sites), Quesna (Northern Egyptian Ptolemaic/Roman) and interments from the ancient site of Merimde Beni Salama in the Egyptian Delta (c. 4500 BC). He also directs the Kafr Hassan Dawood Research Project, investigating the genesis and biological effects of Egyptian state formation in the 4th millennium BC. He is head bioarchaeologist for the Iron-Age Ntshekane Research Project in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, and works in Spain as a forensic anthropologist in the excavation, analysis and repatriation of genocide victims from Franco’s dictatorship (1936-1975).
He has published widely on osteology, mummies, dental anthropology, trauma analysis, funerary archaeology and environmental archaeology, and has coauthored/coedited several volumes on Egyptian cultural heritage management, Peruvian funerary behaviour (Cambridge University Press 2015) and archaeological methodology. He is a board member for the Egyptian Cultural Heritage Organisation (ECHO).
He has taught bioarchaeology at Birkbeck since 2004, at the Certificate, B.A. and M.A. levels, and also taught the Environmental Archaeology module. Several of his students have worked on his projects in South Africa and Peru, and have gone on to doctoral studies and professional careers in the field. He takes a very wide approach in his teaching, incorporating human and primate evolution, archaeology, genetics and palaeopathology.
Dr. Owens' Birkbeck Overview / Supervision and Teaching Information
"Perfect in every way!"
"Enthusiastic, engaging with authoritative teaching...motivational in providing an opportunity to learn at a good pace, about an interesting topic."
"Clear structure with aims. Hands on Practical, as well as the study. Approachable & available lecturer. Passionate. Provided with plenty of information/handouts that personalised and streamlined our learning. Constantly prepared us for our exam. Lecturer was able articulate complex pieces of information in a way we could understand. Felt encouraged and able to learning further."
"From the first Dr Owens put students at ease. He is very attuned to the particular needs of adult learners, and brought the subject to life (as it were!) Dr Owens is an entertaining, erudite and
knowledgeable speaker who seems to have no need to have recourse to notes. His slides and lectures are always stimulating and informative, never dry or intimidating. The handouts he prepares and provides each week are clearly the product of a huge amount of careful and detailed work. They are beautifully presented, include a wide variety of illustrations from many sources, and are meticulously footnoted, researched and referenced. His love for his subject is evident, and his enthusiasm infectious. His clear visual explanations and practical demonstrations ensure that knowledge, once imparted, is never forgotten."
"...appreciated Dr Owens going the extra mile in a number of ways to support my learning, and the learning of others in the group. On one occasion when I said that I was struggling to learn and understand the complexities of the hand and foot bones, he produced an immensely helpful, clear and detailed three-page additional handout for the group. On another occasion when I had missed a class through illness, Dr Owens spent a great deal of time going over the material with me in person to enable me to catch up. He makes himself available during very generous office hours for an additional five hours a week, and I know that many other members of the class have benefited from this generosity which has enabled them both to learn and to consolidate their learning."
"Having spent a great deal of my life studying, including my first degree at Trinity College Cambridge...it is no exaggeration to say that the teaching and support I have received at Birkbeck are of the absolutely highest quality, both in academic and practical terms. I would unhesitatingly recommend this course to others in the medico-legal field and elsewhere."