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Crime-solving forensic department at Dundee University set to expand

Experts from Dundee have helped solve murders and reconstruct the faces of historical figures.

Dundee University expands world-leading forensic and medical art department. Pic from Dundee University. Uploaded on March 11 2015.
Dundee University

A Scots university which offers world-leading expertise on forensic facial reconstruction is expanding.

Dundee University has played a key role solving crimes around the world as well as reconstructing the faces of historical figures such as Richard III, Johann Bach and Robert Burns.

It was the first to offer courses in forensic and medical art in 2007 in collaboration with the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

The pioneering department is set to expand with the introduction of a new postgraduate course aimed specifically at artists.

Students on the anatomy for artists course will study cadavers and images from prosecutions along with life drawing, facial anatomy sculpture and anatomical illustration.

Facial reconstruction at Dundee University.
Dundee University

The masters course in forensic art, facial identification and medical art has also been updated.

Caroline Erolin, course co-ordinator for the masters in medical art, said: "We are already one of the world’s leading centres for education in the field of forensic and medical art.

"What we are offering them now is an updated and refreshed set of courses, taking into account the latest developments in technology which are impacting on the field, which will help us maintain our international position."

The expertise of Dundee University's staff and students has helped to aid identification of both suspects and victims in crimes around the world.

Using forensic art techniques and facial reconstruction they have helped to secure convictions and trace missing persons.

The university's professor of anatomy and forensic anthropology, Sue Black, helped to solve the murder of Phyllis Dunleavy, whose body was found dismembered on Corstorphine Hill in Edinburgh in 2013.

Led by Prof Black, a team of cranial identification experts used CT scans to reconstruct a virtual image of Mrs Dunleavy in order to help identify her.

The picture was recognised by a member of her family and her son was later convicted of her murder.

Prof Black has also led teams in Kosovo, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Grenada, and helped identify victims in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

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