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The Australian National University

Ms Catherine Fitzgerald

Position: PhD Candidate in Archaeology and Paleoanthropology

School or Centre:

School of Archaeology & Anthropology


Thesis title: Modelling Decomposition as a Taphonomic Process
Current models of early decomposition processes are limited, in that they tend to provide qualitative descriptions rather than quantified data on the processes of decomposition. As a result they have limited ability to provide estimations of time-since-death, and are unable to incorporate environmental variability within the models. The proposed research aims to improve decomposition models by examining the environmental variables which have the greatest impact on rate and degree of decomposition, then incorporating those into the modelling process. This research has benefits for forensic anthropology, in that it will improve estimations of time-since-death. It will also provide information on early taphonomic processes that will aid in understanding and interpreting both modern and archaeological human remains.


Updated: 10 July 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher