University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria (UP) is the coordinating institution of the Bakeng se Afrika consortium. UP is a research-intensive institution in Africa, recognised internationally for its quality, relevance and impact, and also for developing people, creating knowledge and making a difference locally and globally.


Forensic Anthropology Research Centre (FARC)

The FARC, established in 2008 as part of the Department of Anatomy, conducts both research on human skeletal variation and forensic anthropology laboratory work. The lab is equipped with facilities and staff to supervise and advise postgraduates for BSc Honours, MSc, PhD and postdoctoral levels, but also educates law enforcement and the private sector.

The FARC research expertise is focused on the application of the biological profile in forensic anthropology, with particular emphasis on non-metric and metric methods for estimating sex and ancestry, juvenile age estimation, the use of dentition in forensic applications, bone trauma analysis and facial approximation. While a substantial amount of our research is based on large skeletal collections in South Africa, we are also utilizing various virtual imaging modalities, such as CT/CBCT/micro-XCT scans, Lodox images, and radiographs. Data from these various imaging modalities allows us to increase our osteometric databases and to improve our understanding of human variation in South Africa and abroad. As a research team in South Africa, FARC members are using their databases and research collections to connect with the international community so as to bring the discipline of forensic anthropology on par with international standards regarding technological and statistical advances; international student exchange; workshops and social media. The FARC provides yearly workshops on advanced statistical analysis using R in biological anthropology and bone trauma analysis. They focus on experienced-based postgraduate education which creates excellent researchers who can continue to advance the discipline in their own countries. Postgraduate students at our facilities are involved in research, working with a human rights team in Zimbabwe (Ukuthula Trust), conducting forensic case analysis for the South African Police Service (SAPS) and forensic pathologists, as well as teaching and learning. 

More information

Contact person: Prof Ericka N. L'Abbé

University of Pretoria website
Forensic Anthropology Research Centre website



Published by Clarisa van der Merwe

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