Students in the MS in Forensic Anthropology program are required to complete a graduate level research project that culminates into either a full-length thesis or completed manuscript for submission to a recognized journal for publication.
The process of conducting the research projects and writing a thesis requires approximately 8-12 months to complete.
Resources at Boston University for student research projects include access to our Outdoor Research Facility, the Anatomical Sciences Laboratory and faculty in the department of Radiology, School of Dental Medicine. Additional research sites include skeletal collections at other Universities and museums (eg. University of Tennessee, Smithsonian) and on-line imaging databases.
Thesis Projects from Past and Current Students:
- Gender and Sex Estimation in Forensic Casework
- Stable Isotope Analysis of Oxygen, Carbon, and Strontium in Modern Tooth Enamel
- Effects of Quicklime on the Decomposition Process in a Tropical Climate
- Examination of the Effects of Household Corrosive Substances on the Dissolution of Complete Pig (Sus scrofa) Carcasses
- The Weathering Hypothesis in the Dentition and Its Impact on Positive Identification
- Metastatic Skeletal Lesions from Breast and Prostate Cancer and their Role in Positive Identification
- Modification and Dispersal of Bones in a Multi-Scavenger Environment
- 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.