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Bioarchaeology is the study of human skeletal remains from archaeological sites.
A university spokesman said Prof Halcrow was an internationally respected palaeopathologist specialised in interpreting child remains and had recently co-edited a book titled The Mother-Infant Nexus in Anthropology.
Prof Halcrow said that taking on the "professionally prestigious role" of co-editing the US-based journal had reminded her of how far she had come since she had been an archaeology honours student at Otago 20 years ago.