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Rebecca Kinaston PhD

Kia ora, I am a dedicated Anthropologist with over 15 years of experience excavating and analyzing human skeletal remains in the Asia-Pacific region. I am passionate about using my skills to help with the recovery, repatriation and reburial of kōiwi.


I received my PhD in Biological Anthropology and BA (Hons) in Anthropology from the University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand) and have held two Postdoctoral positions at the University of Otago and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (Jena, Germany). From 2017-2022, I was a Research Fellow in the Department of Anatomy,  University of Otago.


Since 2008, I have assisted with the recovery and reburial of kōiwi in Aotearoa. In 2018, I was hired as a Forensic Anthropologist for the New Zealand Defense Force operation Te Auraki (The Return). We successfully repatriated 36 New Zealand soldiers who died overseas between 1955 and 1971. I am currently an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University. I maintain active research collaborations with national and international researchers.

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