Katherine Eaton

Katherine Eaton

PhD Candidate

McMaster Ancient DNA Centre


Katherine Eaton is a PhD candidate at McMaster University and she studies the infectious disease “The Plague”. Her dissertation focuses on reconstructing the spread of this disease across the globe, using clinical samples and ancient DNA recovered from archaeological victims of ancient outbreaks.

By investigating past and present incidents of the plague, her work contributes to a better understanding of which populations were affected, why it went extinct in certain geographic regions, and how it has managed to persist throughout human history.


  • Anthropology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Infectious Disease
  • Digital Humanities
  • Software Development


  • PhD in Anthropology, Current

    McMaster University

  • BA in Anthropology, 2009

    University of Alberta




Efficient and comprehensive metadata acquisition from the NCBI databases.

Plague Phylogeny

Phylogeography of Yersinia pestis.


Presenting “The Plague”: Digital Exhibits as Interdisciplinary Method

A digital exhibit of plague, combining networks of disease, maps, and narrative text.

Plagues, Pipes, and Genotypes

Template Attribution: Free Google Slides Template


Template Attribution: Free Google Slides Template


NCBImeta: efficient and comprehensive metadata retrieval from NCBI databases

NCBImeta is a command-line application that downloads and organizes biological metadata from the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

A Black Death mass grave at Thornton Abbey: the discovery and examination of a fourteenth-century rural catastrophe

This site represents the first Black Death mass grave found in Britain in a non-urban context, and provides unique evidence for the devastating impact of this epidemic on a small rural community.

Genetic resiliency and the Black Death: No apparent loss of mitogenomic diversity due to the Black Death in medieval London and Denmark

This study uses ancient DNA (aDNA) isolated from skeletal remains to examine whether evidence for large‐scale population movement can be gleaned from the complete mitochondrial genomes of 264 medieval individuals from England (London) and Denmark.













Graduate Resident

Lewis & Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship

Oct 2019 – Apr 2020 Hamilton, ON
Enhance interdisciplinary research connections and engage in digital scholarship initiatives and communities.

Research Assistant, Computational

McMaster University, Ancient DNA Centre

Sep 2019 – Apr 2020 Hamilton, ON
Bioinformatic Analysis, Manuscript Preparation

Research Assistant, Labwork

McMaster University, Ancient DNA Centre

Jun 2014 – Aug 2014 Hamilton, ON
DNA Extraction, NGS Library Preparation, Bacterial Genome Sequencing


University of Toronto Mississauga, Dept. of Anthropology

Sep 2013 – Aug 2014 Mississauga, ON
Annotation of genes associated with pigmentation in East Asian populations.

Summer Student

University of Alberta, Dept. of Surgery

May 2012 – Jul 2012 Edmonton, AB
Immunodetection of genes involved in skeletal development.


University of Alberta, Dept. of Surgery

Sep 2011 – Jan 2013 Edmonton, AB
Molecular biology assays and cell tissue culture, DNA sequence analysis.