SHIFT collaborators conduct research in anthropology/archaeology, genetics (environmental, plant and animal) and entomology. However, they are also active in other areas such as toxicology, imaging, disaster victim identification, etc. with the support of agreed partnerships.
Virtual reassociation of fragmented human remains (FHR)
Management of Fragmented Human Remains - Improvement of Disaster Victim Identification Protocols (PhD supervisor: Pre Silke Grabherr, PhD supervisors: Dr. Negahnaz Moghaddam and Dr. Vincent Varlet - UNIGE: Lise Malfroy Camine)
The research aims at building a global protocol for a better management of fragmented human remains, especially in DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) situations. Innovative technologies of segmentation and virtual reassociation of the fragments of equipment will allow to improve their identification, to reduce the DNA analyses and the time necessary for their anthropological analysis. This multidisciplinary project is supported by DVI Switzerland, INTERPOL and the ICRC, and involves scientific collaboration with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Aix-Marseille University (France) and Materialise NV.
As CT scans and 3D surface scans become more accurate and readily available, researchers around the world are interested in using these technologies to test and improve current methodologies used in forensic anthropology. At CURML, we test how the "virtual environment" compares to macroscopic observation, and determine which methods are best suited to it. Students and researchers are working on a variety of topics, such as age and sex determination from 3D CT and surface scans, or computerized reconstruction of fragmented bone in DVI settings. We also mobilize these techniques in our services.
The health status of a population evolves according to the biological and socio-economic environment in which it lives. This is true for the past (archaeological) and modern (forensic) context. To understand why certain diseases and phenomena (infectious diseases, violence, etc.) affect our societies as they do today, we must understand them in their evolution, and thus study their frequency and manifestations in past and present populations. At CURML, we are conducting research on the health of the human population in the Lake Geneva region, from prehistory to the present day, and we are developing new protocols in this field by making good use of the imaging techniques at our disposal.