Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Meet Diana Moreiras, PhD candidate in Anthropology

“In the Anthropology department, there is a really strong sense of community between faculty and students. While we all have our specializations in the sub-fields of anthropology, students and faculty alike are genuinely interested in learning and discussing everyone’s research -- we are all Anthropologists in the holistic sense of the term.”

Supervisors: Dr. Fred Longstaffe and Dr. Jean-Francois Millaire

Why did you come to Western for your graduate degree?
The Anthropology department has a specialization in Bioarchaeology and the Laboratory for Stable Isotope Science (LSIS) is a really well-equipped facility where I can carry out my doctoral research.

Describe your research in 100 words or less.
My doctoral research focuses on obtaining dietary and geographical information, through stable isotope analysis, about individuals who were sacrificed by the Aztecs as an offering to their gods during the Late Postclassic period. This will allow me to identify the life histories and social personae of the sacrificed individuals, and answer questions about who was chosen as an Aztec sacrificial offering and how these religious practices were tied to cultural, economic, and political practices within the Aztec empire.

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
The extremely supportive Anthropology faculty, administrators, peers, and the overall positive and supportive departmental environment.

What is your “dream” career?
Getting hired as a bioarchaeology professor to be able to teach and continue to carry out research on the Aztecs (which, in fact, has been my “dream” research since I was in high school!).

Where is “home” for you?
I am originally from Mexico, and my parents still live there so every time I go back I feel at home. My husband and I live in Vancouver, so that is home for me as well. My academic family is here in London and I spend a lot of time on campus (especially in the lab!) so I would say that’s my third home.

What are you most passionate about?
Since I was 18, I have had two passions in my life: Mesoamerican Archaeology and Dance.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Christine Wall (
Graduate Program Coordinator

Department of Anthropology

Western University
Social Science Centre Rm 3324
London, Ontario N6A 5C2

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 85080
f. 519-661-2157

Anthropology is dedicated to documenting and understanding human beings. It takes as its starting proposition the idea that we can only reach such an understanding by studying people wherever and whenever they have occurred and from both a cultural and biological perspective. As such, it is one of the most diverse academic disciplines and draws its inspirations from the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities.

The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program will help you become a career-ready graduate with the skills necessary to excel in your studies and achieve your future goals. By participating in the program, you will assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth, choose what skills you want to enhance during your time at Western, and learn how to articulate the skills you gained in your degree to optimize your future career opportunities. To learn more, visit

Program Length

  • 12 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Thesis-based

Funding Information

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the following scholarships (if eligible):

Admission Requirements

  • Masters degree in anthropology or in a related field (as relevant to the proposed research).
  • An average of at least 78% or a B+ for all available graduate level courses.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum acceptable score is 550 for the paper and pencil version, 213 for the computer version, or 86 for the internet version with no individual score below 20. [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].
  • The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS Academic). Minimum acceptable score is 6 out of 9.
  • The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) of the University of Michigan. Students must have at least 80 on each of the sections and an overall score of at least 85. Arrangements to write MELAB may be made online. Please note: The MELAB is no longer being offered by Michigan Language Assessment. However, Western University will continue to accept MELAB test reports that are newer than two years old as sufficient proof of English language proficiency.
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL Assessment). Minimum acceptable score is 60.
  • Fanshawe College's ESL Program. The requirement is graduation from Level 10, English for Academic Purposes, with a minimum 80% in all components.

Application Deadline

  • International applicants: December 15
  • Domestic applicants: January 15
Acceptance notification in mid-March.

Fields of Research

  • Archaeology and Bioarchaeology
  • Sociocultural Anthropology