I have a long-standing interest in the practice of forensic anthropology, the frameworks in which practitioners work, and the way it is taught. My first publication, back when I was a PhD student full of righteous indignation, explored the ethics and legality of using skeletal remains in forensic anthropology research. This is a theme I have come back to throughout my career, although it has evolved a little to focus more on practice in the field. I have been fortunate enough to work with colleagues on a couple of book chapters to tease apart the tensions of applying forensic anthropology in contexts around the world, and how the clash of different philosophies and paradigms can result in a more sensitive approach to practice.

I also really like teaching – and I’ve wanted to teach for as long as I can remember. The only thing that’s changed is the age group that I wanted in my classes. The great thing about working in a university like ours, is that you get to create a pedagogical linkages – my field work gives me questions for my research which feeds into my teaching which gives me new ideas and directions for further research and how to approach case work. I have a bit of an issue with many learning and teaching publications, in that they can be a bit navel gazey or lack a genuine means of determining the effectiveness of a given intervention, so more recently I have been putting my money where my mouth is and undertaking some detailed pedagogical research within a full evaluation framework.

In addition to classroom-based teaching, I also co-deliver a hugely successful Future Learn course on Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology, which has been supported by the ICRC. This has developed from a short course we have run in the region which has supported police and crime scene officers from across the globe. And a number of artists and authors! I’ve also traveled around Europe delivering CPD. This ability to tailor my teaching for a multitude of audiences and learners is partly what led to me being awarded a National Teaching Fellowship for excellence in teaching and support for learning in 2014.

My teaching has also led directly to the creation of my spin-out company, anthronomics ltd, which aspired to develop incredible teaching and study aids for people like us. I’m proud of the work it achieved.

Check out the details:

  • Thompson, T.J.U. (2020) Choose your own murder: Non-linear narratives enhance student understanding in forensic science education. Forensic Science International: Synergy 2: 82-85. [This one is totally open access, so you can follow the link here to read it]
  • Nakhaeizadeh, S., Morgan, R.M., Olsson, V., Arvidsson, M. and Thompson, T.J.U. (2019) The value of eye-tracking technology in the analysis and interpretations of skeletal remains: A pilot study. Science & Justice 60: 36-42.
  • Errickson, D. and Thompson, T.J.U. (2019) Sharing is not always caring: Social media and the dead. In: Squires, K., Errickson, D. and Marquez-Grant, N. (eds.) Ethical approaches to human remains: A global challenge in bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. Springer: Switzerland. pp299-313.
  • Thompson, T.J.U., Jiménez Gaytan, D., Bedoya Sánchez, S. and Ninel Pleitez Quiñónez, A. (2018) Forensic anthropology: Whose rules are we playing by? – Contextualising the role of forensic protocols in human rights investigations. In: Waterlow, J. and Schuhmacher, J. (eds.) War crimes trials and investigations: A multidisciplinary introduction. Palgrave Macmillan: UK. pp59-80.
  • Thompson, T.J.U. (2015) Deconstructing the ‘ideal’ of standardisation. In: Crossland, Z. and Joyce, R. (eds.) Disturbing bodies: Perspectives on forensic anthropology. SAR Press. pp63-84.
  • Fowler, G. and Thompson, T.J.U. (2015) A mere technical exercise? Challenges and technological solutions to the identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context. In: Anstett, E. et al (eds.) Search and identification of corpses and human remains in post-genocide and mass violence contexts. pp117-141.
  • Butler, M., Thompson, T.J.U. and Bel, É. (2014) Exploring the implementation of head mounted camera technology in Volume Crime Scene Investigation. In de Guzman, Das and Das (ed.) The evolution of policing: worldwide innovations and insights. CRC Press, Inc.: Florida, USA. pp281-297.
  • Gowland, R. and Thompson, T.J.U. (2013) Human identity and identification. Cambridge University Press.
  • Rankin B.W.J., Taylor G. and Thompson T.J.U. (2012) Should Higher Education respond to recent changes in the forensic science marketplace? New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences 8: 27-32.
  • Thompson, T.J.U. (2008) The role of the photograph in the application of forensic anthropology and the interpretation of clandestine scenes of crime. Photography & Culture 1(2): 163-182.
  • Thompson, T.J.U. and Black, S.M. (eds.) (2007) Forensic human identification: an introduction. CRC Press, Inc.: Florida, USA.
  • Thompson, T.J.U. (2003) The quality and appropriateness of forensic anthropological education in the UK. Public Archaeology 3(2): 88-94.
  • Thompson, T.J.U. and Evison, M.P. (eds.) (2003) Forensic anthropology in the United Kingdom – Current trends, problems and concerns. Science and Justice 43(4).
  • Thompson, T.J.U. (2003) Supply and demand: Shifting expectations in forensic anthropology. Science and Justice 43(4): 183-186.
  • Thompson, T.J.U. (2001) Legal and ethical considerations of forensic anthropological research. Science and Justice 41(4): 261-270.