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Dr. Michael B. C. Rivera
Lecturer Michael B. C. Rivera


BSc Kent; MPhil, PhD Cambridge


Email Address

Office: TBC


Current Research Project | Publications


Dr. Michael B. C. Rivera is a Filipino-Chinese researcher, writer, public speaker and biological anthropologist. Obtaining his PhD in 2019 from the University of Cambridge, his main research focuses on how humans have evolved and adapted biologically and culturally over the last six million years. His main research methods include osteobiographical reconstructions of diet, disease, physical activity and body shape/size. Through human skeletal analysis, he is most interested in how active and healthy the lifestyles and diets were of ancient peoples living in coastal environments - particularly in East and Southeast Asia, and in the Baltic region of northeastern Europe.

Other interests include heritage and museums, culture and food, ethnographic documentary-making and visual anthropology, decolonial theory and praxis, the history of race and racism, social media and digital technologies, public engagement and science communication, and the decolonization of archaeology/anthropology.




Current Research Project


Dr. Rivera is currently working on establishing a greater presence of bioanthropological science in Hong Kong, in terms of research, teaching, laboratory and field projects, and public engagement projects. This involves the establishment and bringing together of various areas of academic inquiry, including human genomics, human skeletal/dental studies, biology and anatomy, geology and isotopic chemistry, primatology, ecology and environmental studies, as well as history, archaeology and museum studies.

He is also the lead archaeologist managing the excavation of the remains of a US Navy plane that crashed in Hong Kong in 1945. He has worked in/has other active bioarchaeology/bioanthropology projects in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Pacific. Finally, Dr. Rivera has also worked extensively in making scientific work and research ideas accessible through various forms of teaching, social media and public engagement.








Cheung, C., Ko, J. and Rivera, Michael B. C. (accepted - forthcoming July 2022). A multi-disciplinary approach to understanding Hong Kong's past: bioanthropological, biomolecular, and zooarchaeological methods. The Journal of the Hong Kong Archaeological Society.


Book Chapters


Rivera, M. B. C. (2020). Race and Human Variation. In: Explorations: An Open Access Introduction to Biological Anthropology. Shook, B., Aguilera, K., Nelson, K. and Braff, L. (eds).


Press and public engagement


Lam, N. (2021) 'Most violent day' in Hong Kong's history: expert team ready to dig up wreckage of US warplane shot down in WWII. South China Morning Post.


呂凝敏 (2021). 復仇者計劃|團隊成員跨三大專業 法醫人類學家首研戰機感興奮. 香港01.


What on Earth?! Podcast (2020) Episode 6: Michael Rivera and the bone to pick with the Arch and Anth Community! What on Earth?! Podcast.