Research

Students in MS in Forensic Anthropology program are required to complete a graduate level research project that culminates into a full-length thesis.

DSCN0174The body of the thesis document must be a minimum of 65 double-spaced pages in length that includes an extensive literature review and data analysis. The process of conducting the research projects and writing a thesis requires approximately 8-12 months to complete.

Resources for student research projects include access to our Outdoor Research Facility and Anatomical Sciences Laboratory, faculty in the department of Radiology, & affiliated faculty at University of Tennessee and Skeletal Collections at other Universities and Museums.

Thesis Projects from Past and Current Students:

  • Modification and Dispersal of Bones in a Multi-Scavenger Environment
  • Distinguishing Homicidal and Suicidal Gunshot Trauma Based on Patterns of Skeletal Trauma
  • Using Strontium Isotope Analysis on Modern Populations to Determine Geolocation Reliability in a Forensic Context
  • Comparison of Decomposition of Carrion in Freshwater and Marine Environments
  • The Effects of Deep Thoracic and Abdominal Incisions on the Rate and Pattern of Decomposition in Eastern Massachusetts
  • Sex Estimation Through Discriminant Function Analysis of an Archaeological Population From Mistihalj, Montenegro
  • A Study of the Impact of Weathering Upon the Minimal Force Required to Fracture Bone
  • Examination of Osteoarthritis for Age-At-Death Estimation in a Modern Population
  • An Evaluation of Anthropological Skeletal Material versus Living Skeletal Material using DXA Bone Densitometry: Application for the Biological Profile
  • The use of craniometrics in the estimation of juvenile sex by means of discriminant function analysis: a revised method.
  • Biodistance Analysis of Hispanic Skeletons
  • Subaerial Bone Weathering and Other Taphonomic Changes in a Temperate Climate.
  • Time line of decomposition of porcine bone marrow.
  • Craniometric and nonmetric assessment of skulls of Hispanic decent.
  • Application of anthropological aging methods to three dimensional reconstructions of clinical CT-scans of the adult pelvis.
  • Macroscopic evidence of healing in Civil War specimens.
  • Detection of cadaveric remains by thermal imaging cameras.
  • Taphonomy and decomposition in a Massachusetts microenvironment.
  • Observance of rodent activity to determine post-mortem interval.
  • Collagen degradation in cadaveric bone as a function of time.
  • The reproducibility of incomplete skulls using FreeForm software.
  • Aquatic decomposition: an examination of factors surrounding porcine carcass decomposition in fresh water.
  • Use of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in conjunction with x-rays to positively identify individuals using frontal sinus.
  • Examination of the effects of obesity on weight-bearing extremities: CT scan analysis and comparison of modern Caucasian and African-American male populations.
  • Normal and taphonomic arthropod population survey in Holliston, Massachusetts.
  • Scavenging effects and scattering patterns on pig carcasses in Eastern Massachusetts.
  • Decomposition sequence in the forest environment of the Pacific Northwest.
  • A qualitative comparison of single and mass burial decomposition.
  • The influence of sharp-force thoracic trauma on the rate and pattern of decomposition.
  • Reburial of mass graves: a study of the resulting disturbed remains.