Learning Forensics in the Big City
PhD student Gail Elliott has recently returned from the United States where she was one of two visiting scientists at the forensic anthropology unit of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) in New York. Gail was accepted into the Visiting Scientist programme and spent much of November shadowing experienced forensic anthropologists as they went about their forensic work.
Dental Plaque Provides Clues to Prehistoric Diet
Research undertaken by PhD student Monica Tromp as part of her Masters studies at Idaho State University, and her supervisor Dr John Dudgeon, has helped clear up a puzzling mystery about what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before the arrival of Europeans in the 18th Century. Their previous research showed that the vast majority of phytoliths (plant microfossils) embedded within dental calculus came from palm trees, indicating that palm may have been a staple plant food for the Island's inhabitants. However no other line of archaeological or ethnohistoric evidence supported this, and in fact evidence points to the palm becoming extinct soon after colinization.
Congratulations to all our students who graduated at University of Otago graduation ceremonies in December. Particular congratulations go to Dr Maggie Corr-Evans, Dr Karen Reader and Dr Lisa Smith who were awarded their PhDs.