My name is Rhian Dunn. I am a fourth year doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology, specializing in Forensic Anthropology. My research focuses on improving methods of the biological profile by looking at human skeletal variation through metric and macromorphoscopic trait analyses. My dissertation will focus on bias in skeletal collections, which I plan to start working on after completing my comprehensive exams this year!

My background so far has been very focused in biological anthropology, including more lab-based trainings in osteology and forensic anthropology methodology, so I am extremely excited to start my fellowship at CHI and see how I can translate some of my background into a more digital realm. I have taken one digital methods course so far at MSU (HIST 812) where I was introduced to digital cultural heritage and how we can use digital platforms to reach across our discipline. I think digital cultural heritage is an essential avenue for biocultural perspectives in forensic anthropology, as online exhibits can help inform research across the field as they design new research projects or ask new research questions.

My project for CHI will focus on skeletal samples used in biological anthropology, as a way to understand how skeletal collections are used historically and currently in the field, and how this has affected the creation and dissemination of research. I hope by creating such an online resource, other researchers in forensic anthropology can more easily access information on skeletal collections, biological profile methods, and the relationship between the two.

I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to digital cultural heritage and I’m beyond excited for this opportunity!