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Personal profile


Dr Anna Williams read Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford University (1995-1998), and completed an MSc in Forensic Anthropology at Bradford University (1999). After working for West Yorkshire Police as a Forensic Mark Analyst from 2000-2001, she gained her PhD in Forensic Anthropology from Sheffield University in 2005. Her doctoral research used novel histological and immunohistochemical techniques to quantify bone fracture healing, which is of particular relevance to the investigation of child abuse and identification of unknown individuals.

From 2004-2006, Anna was engaged in post-doctoral research entitled ‘A Laboratory Based Analytical Technique to Determine ‘Age at Death’ For Forensic Purposes from Human Compact Bone’ at Cranfield University, and became a Lecturer in Forensic Anthropology there in 2006. She was instrumental in developing and delivering the MSc in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology at Cranfield, and was Head of the Centre for Forensic Anthropology Research. She also established a successful taphonomy research facility and was a CDS Teaching Fellow from 2010-11.

In October 2013, Anna joined the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Huddersfield as a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science. She leads the MSc in Forensic Anthropology and lectures on the BSc/MSci Forensic and Analytical Science degree. She leads the Forensic Aspects of Disaster Management module on the MSc Risk, Disaster and Environmental Management. She leads the Forensic Anthropology Research Group. In August 2015, she was promoted to Principal Enterprise Fellow.

Anna is an experienced Forensic Anthropologist, with considerable case work experience. She regularly undertakes consultancy work for national police forces, Forensic Engineering Solutions and Kenyon International Emergency Services.

Anna is Editor-in-Chief of a volume dedicated to Forensic Science Education, published in 2017 by Wiley Publishing. She has also acted as External Examiner for Kingston University, and has been External Examiner for doctoral candidates at Bournemouth University and University of Technology Sydney.

Anna is passionate about science communication. She was the winner of the Forensic Zone of the prestigious Wellcome Trust-funded I’m A Scientist competition in 2011. In 2014. Anna was awarded a British Science Association Media Fellowship and a placement at New Scientist. She has presented at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibitionthe British Science Festival and the Royal Institution.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Decomposition and Taphonomy
  • Artificial cranial deformation and craniosynostosis
  • Disaster Victim Identification and holistic disaster management approaches
  • Dominance of women in Forensic Anthropology education and practice
  • Trauma analysis of skeletal remains

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Taphonomy
  • Development Body Farm
  • Body Deposition
  • Psychology
  • DVI
  • Facial Recognition

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Anna Williams is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Burial Medicine & Life Sciences
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Research Output 2009 2019

Identification of decomposition volatile organic compounds from surface-deposited and submerged porcine remains

Irish, L., Rennie, S., Parkes, G. & Williams, A., 1 Sep 2019, In : Science and Justice. 59, 5, p. 503-515 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Volatile Organic Compounds
2 Citations (Scopus)

Metabarcoding to investigate changes in soil microbial communities within forensic burial contexts

Procopio, N., Ghignone, S., Williams, A., Chamberlain, A., Mello, A. & Buckley, M., 1 Mar 2019, In : Forensic Science International: Genetics. 39, p. 73-85 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

Why does the UK need a Human Taphonomy Facility?

Williams, A., Rogers, C. & Cassella, J. P., 1 Mar 2019, In : Forensic Science International. 296, p. 74-79 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
10 Citations (Scopus)

Forensic proteomics for the evaluation of the post-mortem decay in bones

Procopio, N., Williams, A., Chamberlain, A. T. & Buckley, M., 15 Apr 2018, In : Journal of Proteomics. 177, p. 21-30 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Bone and Bones

Forensic Science Education and Training: A Tool-kit for Lecturers and Practitioner Trainers

Williams, A., Cassella, J. P. & Maskell, P., 2017, Wiley-Blackwell. 344 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Activities 2001 2019

The case for a human taphonomy (body farm) facility in the UK

Anna Williams (Speaker)
11 Apr 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

The Case for a Human Taphonomy Facility in the UK

Anna Williams (Keynote speaker)
10 Apr 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

What Can Forensic Proteomics Tell Us About Biological Age and Postmortem Interval (PMI) Estimation?

Noemi Procopio (Speaker), Anna Williams (Contributor to Paper or Presentation), Andrew T. Chamberlain (Contributor to Paper or Presentation), Michael Buckley (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)
18 Feb 201923 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

The Case for a "Body Farm" in the UK: Rotting corpses, and what we can learn from them

Anna Williams (Speaker)
20 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

A Cross-Disciplinary Approach towards Post-Mortem Interval Estimation

Noemi Procopio (Speaker), Stefano Ghignone (Speaker), Anna Williams (Speaker), Andrew T. Chamberlain (Speaker), Antonietta Mello (Speaker), Michael Buckley (Speaker)
3 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Press / Media

UK to open first ‘body farm’ for forensic research

Anna Williams


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Britain’s first body farm is looking for volunteer corpse

Anna Williams


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

'Body farm' could help solve murders by leaving dead volunteers in a field

Anna Williams


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment