Dr Julieta Gómez García-Donas
Part of Women in STEM
Introduce yourself - who are you and what is your job?
My name is Julieta Gómez García-Donas and I am a lecturer in Forensic Anthropology at the Center for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) in the School of Science and Engineering at the University of Dundee.
What do I do at the University of Dundee?
My roles at the University include teaching students both lectures and laboratory practicals related to Forensic Anthropology; I also supervise students for their research projects and conduct research myself.
What do you research, why and how does this help people?
The main goal of forensic anthropology is to identify individuals using the information that we gather from their skeletons. We want to know who the person is. Bones can give us a lot of information about the person that we are trying to identify, and the pieces of information that the forensic anthropologist try to gather are, among others, sex, age and stature. I conduct research on those different pieces of information. In my research, I have developed techniques to identify unknown individuals that are of Southern European origin.
Tell us about your career journey so far
Before moving to Dundee, I did my master’s and completed my PhD at the University of Edinburgh. My PhD research was about identification of individuals through the observation of the patterns that we see inside bones, specifically ribs.
What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?
If you want to become forensic anthropologist, you need to know very well the skeleton. More knowledge about skeletal muscles, how the skeleton can respond to, for example, diseases, is needed to understand the changes that we see on bones. Studies focusing on biology, anatomy, related biomedical sciences, among others, will give you the necessary background to become a forensic anthropologist.
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