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Stature, review of both whole bone and fragmentary stature equations in a modern cadaveric population

School of Science and Engineering

About the Project

When unknown human remains are found one of the biological identifiers that can help to identify the person is stature. There is debate within the current literature about methodologies for the determination of stature from skeletal remains. The most commonly used and researched methods for estimation of stature are mathematical methods and regression equations. However, there is variation between the bones used, the measurements used and the populations these are based on and suitable for. Measurements are often seen as less subjective than many morphological methods used by Forensic Anthropologists but these methods are often shown to have high inter-observer error. Using both manual and digital recording methods on dry bone and bequeathed remains, this project will test current methods for both accuracy, precision and inter-observer error. CAHID’s extensive adult bone collection will be used to assess fragmentary remains methods while our Thiel embalmed bodies will be used to assess cadaveric stature from whole bone metrics. New methods will then be created for specific populations where necessary and the overall use of stature estimation in biological profiling reviewed in light of its use in forensic anthropology casework. You should have a good knowledge of anatomy and/or forensic anthropology, dissection experience is desirable.

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Dr Helen Langstaff ()
For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact

Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK in a relevant discipline.

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s English language requirements are available online:


Step 1: Email Dr Helen Langstaff () to (1) send a copy of your CV and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Dr Langstaff, formal applications can be made via UCAS Postgraduate. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

Apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification: Select the start date and study mode (full-time/part-time) agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the ‘provider questions’ section of the application form:
- Write the project title and ‘’ in the ‘if your application is in response to an advertisement’ box;
- Write the lead supervisor’s name and give brief details of your previous contact with them in the ‘previous contact with the University of Dundee’ box.

In the ‘personal statement’ section of the application form, outline your suitability for the project selected.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses, via external sponsorship or self-funding.

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