Deanna Smith

MA Student, Hugo Cardoso

Areas of interest

Human Osteology, Bioanthropology, Age Estimation, Humanitarian Archaeology, Forensic Anthropology


  • BA (Hons. with distinction): Simon Fraser University, 2020


I am broadly interested in age estimation methods, particularly those pertaining to juvenile human remains. I also have an interest in human rights violations and how archaeology plays a role in these kinds of investigations. Juvenile human remains are common in mass graves investigation involving human rights violations in developing nations, my research explores how often, in what circumstances, and what ages estimation methods are used and the limitations in their application when investigating child deaths in human rights abuse situations.

Honours Thesis 

Age estimation of immature human skeletal remains from mandibular and cranial bone dimensions in the postnatal period.

My project examines the morphological growth of juvenile cranial bones in two European samples of known sex and age. Changes in size across ages are modelled using simple linear regression and classical calibration to devise sex-combined formulae for age estimation from the size of the cranial bones. The data and methods developed during this project help to fill an important gap in literature by providing alternative means for age estimation, that do not rely on standard diaphyseal lengths of the long bones and dental maturation.

Research Group

MA Research

My research examines dental maturation as an age indicator in the analysis of both forensic juvenile remains and living children under forensic investigations. This research will explore differences in dental maturation between populations and will provide the foundation that is necessary to understand how teeth develop in children from marginalized populations, such as those in developing nations or Indigenous communities. My project examines how dental age estimations are conducted in human rights violations investigations, and how these methods can improve. This research will also explore who are the children commonly found in human rights violations investigations, and how their growth differs from other children in the population, and what are the challenges in identifying them.


Conference Presentations:

2019. (Meyers, J., Spake, L., Gooderham, E., Cervantes, M., Figura, K., Smith, D., & Cardoso, H.F.V.) Early Mortality and Developmental Stress Reflected in Fluctuating Asymmetry of Crown Dimensions of Deciduous Dentition. [Poster Presentation]. 47th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology. Banff, Alberta.