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Health Sciences staff profiles

Jade De La Paz

PositionPhD Student
DepartmentDepartment of Anatomy
QualificationsMS (Forensic Anthropology)
Research summaryAnatomy of human sexual dimorphism: A new approach to metric sex estimation in forensic anthropology
TeachingForensic anthropology, Biological anthropology, Archaeology, Bioarchaeology
MembershipsAmerican Academy of Forensic Sciences, Associate member
ClinicalForensic anthropology, skeletal trauma, biological profile estimation, taphonomy, sex estimation, parturition markers, fetal skeletal remains recovery, Norse archaeology


This doctoral research aims to determine if sexual dimorphism seen in the skeleton is similarly expressed in overlying soft tissues and if it is related to skeletal sexual dimorphism, entheseal robusticity, or both. It will focus on three areas of the skeleton that have demonstrated varying levels of sexual dimorphism in forensic anthropology and are also locations of muscle or ligament attachment. The nuchal crest and mastoid processes of a male are commonly more skeletally robust than those of a female, and this is often generally attributed to the robusticity of the muscles attached to these sites. Additionally, the presence of a rhomboid fossa on the clavicle at the attachment site of the costoclavicular ligament has been identified as a male characteristic, which may suggest it is also related to robusticity of an individual.

This research will test the relationship of muscular and skeletal robusticity in association with sexual dimorphism in these regions of the skeleton. It is hypothesised that a positive correlation will exist between sex and muscular robusticity at these sites and, with a clearly defined relationship between these variables, measurements from these sites will be used to derive a metric method for sex estimation. The newly developed metric method, as well as the standard morphological methods for these sites, will be tested on skeletal populations from New Zealand and Thailand. This will determine the accuracy and applicability of these sex estimation methods for these populations in both forensic and archaeological contexts.