Room 5-9, Tswelopele, Prinshof campus
Prof EN L’Abbé is a Professor of Physical Anthropology in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Pretoria. She is board certified with the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (D-ABFA, 84) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. She actively manages a forensic anthropology laboratory in FARC, supervises postgraduate anthropology research, teaches undergraduate (human osteology, human evolution), and is involved in forensic anthropology casework. The centre receives between 60 and 90 cases of unidentified persons per year from forensic pathologists and the South African Police Service.
Every year, in Gauteng alone, approximately 1200 bodies are incinerated without a known identity, many of whom may be rural migrant labourers from other provinces and/or illegal immigrants. As many rural migrants are unlikely to access dental care or to return to a hospital for follow-up treatment, the task of identification of an unknown person discovered in the veldt in Gauteng is difficult, and, at times, impossible. The current situation of unidentified persons in urban areas requires research into human variation of South Africans groups, with the intention of creating accurate and reliable osteobiobgraphic profiles from skeletal remains. A biological profile, with assistance from the SAPS, provides basic information to family members who are seeking their missing relative; in doing so, other aspects of formulating a positive identification, namely antemortem dental records, fingerprints and DNA can be performed. Her research focus is on the estimation of ancestry, sex, juvenile age and bone trauma. Her current h-index is 18. From 2003 to present, she has published a total of 44 articles and book chapters, with approximately 800 citations.
- Symes, S.A., L’Abbé, E.N., Chapman, E.N., Wolff, I., Dirkmaat, D.C. 2012. Interpreting traumatic injury from bone in medicolegal investigations. In: Dirkmaat, DC, editor. A Companion to Forensic Anthropology. DC Dirkmaat, editor. London: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 540-590.
- Symes SA, L’Abbé EN, Stull KE, La Croix M, Pokines JT. 2014. Taphonomy and the Timing of Bone Fractures in Trauma Analysis. Manual of Forensic Taphonomy. Pokines JT, Symes SA, eds. CRC Press. Pp. 341-365.
- Symes SA, L’Abbé EN, James T. Pokines, Taylor Yuzwa, Diana Messer, Amy Stromquist, and Natalie Keough. 2014. Thermal Alteration to Bone. Manual of Forensic Taphonomy. Pokines JT, Symes SA, eds. CRC Press. Pp: 367-402.
- Krüger, G.C., L’Abbé, E.N., Stull K.E., Kenyhercz M.W. 2015. Sexual dimorphism in cranial morphology among modern South Africans. International Journal of Legal Medicine 129 (4): 869-875.
- Liebenberg, L., Stull, K.E., L’Abbé, E.N., Botha, D. 2015. Evaluating the accuracy of cranial indices in ancestry estimation among South African groups. Journal of Forensic Sciences 60(5): 1277-1282.
- McDowell, J.L., Kenyhercz, M.W., L’Abbé, E.N. 2015. An evaluation of nasal bone and aperture shape among three South African populations. Forensic Science International 252:189.e1-189.e7.
- L’Abbé, E. N. et al. Evidence of fatal skeletal injuries on Malapa Hominins 1 and 2. Sci. Rep. 5, 15120; doi: 10.1038/srep15120 (2015).
- Liebenberg L, L’Abbé EN, Stull KE. 2015. Population differences in the postcrania of modern South Africans and the implications for ancestry estimation. Forensic Science International: 257:522-9. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2015.10.015. Epub 2015 Oct 25.
- Oettlé AC, Demeter F, L'Abbé EN. 2017. Ancestral variations in the shape and size of the Zygoma. The Anatomical Record, 299:1611–1615.
- Stull KE, L’Abbé EN, Ousley SD. 2017. Subadult Sex Estimation from Diaphyseal Dimensions in Subadults up to 12 years old. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 163(1):64-74.
- Krüger GC, L'Abbé EN, Stull KE. 2017. Sex estimation from the long bones of modern South Africans. International Journal of Legal Medicine 131:275-285.