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Forensic Anthropology

Since my arrival at UCT I have begun a research program through student projects in Forensic Anthropology. I am interested in building demographic standards for southern African populations and specifically targeting ones that work well in the Cape. Additionally, I am exploring DNA degradation under different Taphonomic circumstances. This research is possible due to the work of PhD students Devin Finaughty and Belinda Speed whom are examining post mortem intervals in Cape Town terrestrial and oceanic environments. Forensic cases where bodies are washing up on shore we have a major problem with genetic analyses as it never works. Through this study we can explore at what point DNA is no longer viable and ways to reverse the processes. I am actively seeking students for these projects or projects along similar lines.