Working at dig

Forensic anthropology

Leading current trends within the scientific community

Working to strengthen the science by underpinning standards for the estimation of biological profile indicators such as sex, age and population affinity using a combination of traditional and cutting-edge methods.


Vampires in Venice: watch this episode of National Geographic featuring the work of Dr Matteo Borrini.


Members of the group are committed to the development of protocols and guidelines to increase the reliability of the recovery, documentation and analysis of human remains. The members also provide casework consultancy for forensic anthropological analysis, facial approximation and mass grave excavation. Other fields of study are represented by the analysis of skeletal trauma, pathological markers, taphonomic changes on human remains, DNA analysis of critical samples and biochemical estimators of age at death. We also promote interdisciplinary research, applying techniques borrowed from forensic anthropology to archaeological contexts. Bio-archaeology conducted with investigative and forensic techniques can generate more data for the identification of remains of contemporaneous public figures and, more generally, for the reconstruction of historical periods.

Researchers within the group are Associate Members of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Members of the British Association for Human Identification (BAHID) and the British Association for Forensic Anthropology (BAFA) and Members of the International Society of Forensic Genetics (ISFG).

Impact case study: Identifying human remains from mass graves

Research areas and current projects

  • Development of population-specific standards for sex determination and age estimation – Dr Eliopoulos
  • Forensic taphonomy and palaeopathology – Dr Eliopoulos
  • Health, growth and development, and commingling of skeletal remains (in collaboration with the University of Athens) – Dr Eliopoulos
  • Facial reconstruction – Dr Borrini
  • Forensic archaeology – Dr Borrini
  • Development of genotyping protocols for the study of critical samples – Dr Fernandez-Dominguez
  • Use of aspartic racemisation for the estimation of the age at death – Dr Fernandez-Dominguez

Facilities

Our osteology lab is equipped with anthropometric instruments, casting devices, digital X-ray and 3D laser scanning equipment.

We also collaborate with the Face Lab.

The new Life Sciences Building includes state of the art facilities for forensic biology analysis, including the Low Copy Number (LCN) laboratories for DNA work and the High Performance Liquid Chromatography Analytical and Prep Room.

Current collaborations

  • Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, School of Medicine, University of Athens
  • Department of Animal and Human Physiology, Faculty of Biology at the University of Athens
  • Dr Jose Eugenio Ortiz/Dr Trino Torres – Escuela Superior de Minas, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

Publications

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People

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