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Lucia Elgerud

Ph.D. Candidate


Lucia is from Åkersberga outside of Stockholm, Sweden. She completed her bachelor’s degree in osteoarchaeology at Stockholm University in 2011 and her master’s degree in biological anthropology at New York University in 2015. During her time in NYC, Lucia taught forensic science in the anthropology department of Brooklyn College and later worked full time as a forensic logistic specialist at the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). Lucia moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to begin her anthropology PhD studies in the summer of 2016. Since this time, she has taught classes in human origins, biological anthropology, and dental anthropology as a TA and teaching associate alongside her forensic anthropology and human rights centered studies. Lucia has engaged in classes through the UTK Forensic Anthropology Center (FAC) where she has assisted as a volunteer and short course lecturer/team leader/assistant. She has also engaged in the Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights (DDHR) classes of UTK, and she has participated in DDHR focused research in Uganda where she mapped graves from the recent war and conducted interviews with survivors.


Lucia’s research focuses on forensic human rights anthropology, including mass grave exhumations and other human remains recovery operations after conflicts and disasters. Her research is biocultural in nature, i.e. concerned with the application of forensic methods as well as their broader impacts on families and survivor communities. Lucia completed her dissertation field work in Somaliland in the fall of 2019, during which time she engaged in ethnographic research amongst families of those who died under Somali president Siad Barre’s dictatorial regime. The goals of this research are to understand the transformative impacts of the forensic investigations that have been ongoing in Somaliland since 2012, and how forensic science can best respond to family and community needs after armed conflict. 


M.A. Biological Anthropology; Human Skeletal Biology track, New York University, New York, 2015

  • Master’s Thesis: Craniometric ancestry analysis of a modern Peruvian sample; Assessing ancestry proportions & the potential for Peruvian subgroups in ancestry estimation techniques

B.A. Osteoarchaeology, Stockholm University, Sweden, 2011

  • Bachelor’s Thesis: Sex estimations of the Sigtuna children; a case study of 16th century sub-adult individuals.

Awards and Recognitions

2019               Thomas Fellowship for dissertation research, UTK

2019               W.K. McClure Scholarship, for dissertation research, UTK

2018               Walter Leitner Award for preliminary dissertation research, the Forensic Anthropology Center, UTK

2018               Disaster Displacement and Human Rights (DDHR) Travel Award for preliminary dissertation research, Department of Anthropology, UTK

2013-2015      Fulbright Scholarship, Swedish Fulbright Commission graduate student category

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