Eugénia Cunha

Eugénia Cunha
University of Coimbra | UC · Centre for Functional Ecology

PhD

About

314
Publications
90,946
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
6,124
Citations
Citations since 2017
128 Research Items
3845 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800
20172018201920202021202220230200400600800

Publications

Publications (314)
Article
Full-text available
The first neutron diffraction study of in-situ anaerobic burning of human bones is reported, aiming at an interpretation of heat-induced changes in bone, which were previously detected by vibrational spectroscopy, including inelastic neutron scattering techniques. Structural and crystallinity variations were monitored in samples of the human femur...
Article
Full-text available
There is a high prevalence of rib fractures in human remains from archeological contexts, but these are seldom the focus in paleopathological studies pertaining skeletal trauma. This study aims to document rib fracture patterns in the Coimbra Identified Skeletal Collection, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra. Specific aims of this s...
Article
Full-text available
Bakeng se Afrika is an international project (2019-2022) co-founded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and had the main goal of developing a digital repository of human skeletal remains. This project was possible due to the association of six higher education institutions (Universiteit Leuven) and the South African Nuclear Energy Corpo...
Article
Full-text available
Age estimation is a paramount issue in criminal, anthropological, and forensic research. Because of this, several areas of research have focused on the establishment of new approaches for age prediction, including bimolecular and anthropological methods. In recent years, DNA methylation (DNAm) has arisen as one of the hottest topics in the field. M...
Article
Full-text available
The accurate age at death assessment of unidentified adult skeletal individuals is a critical research task in forensic anthropology, being a key feature for the determination of biological profiles of individual skeletal remains. We have previously shown that the age-related decrease of bone mineral density (BMD) in the proximal femur could be use...
Article
Full-text available
It has been repeatedly acknowledged that age‐at‐death estimation based on dental cementum represents a partial and time‐consuming method that hinders adoption of this histological approach. User‐friendly micrograph analysis represents a growing request of cementochronology. This article evaluates the feasibility of using a module to accurately quan...
Article
This study examined preservation of isotope ratio values by comparing isotope composition of bones before and after burning. We analyzed common geoprofiling isotope systems (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, and 87Sr/86Sr) and lesser studied systems (δ34S and δ88/86Sr) to evaluate if inferences about diet and residence history were altered by the burning process....
Article
Full-text available
Age-at-death is of paramount importance in forensic analysis of skeletal remains. In addition to sex, stature, and population affinity, it constitutes baseline information in the identification process of deceased individuals. Despite its long tradition, in anthropological research age-at-death estimation poses many challenges and unanswered questi...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this article is to present to the scientific and academic community the Unidentified Skeletal Collection of the Capuchos Cemetery. The skeletons, of contemporary individuals, were collected from the same cemetery as those of the 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection, but their identification is unknown. The collection is composed o...
Article
Full-text available
The development of age prediction models (APMs) focusing on DNA methylation (DNAm) levels has revolutionized the forensic age estimation field. Meanwhile, the predictive ability of multi-tissue models with similar high accuracy needs to be explored. This study aimed to build multi-tissue APMs combining blood, bones and tooth samples, herein named b...
Article
Full-text available
For identification of the unknown, the analysis of individualizing characteristics is a paramount procedure, which allows the reconciliation of antemortem with postmortem data. Worldwide, populations are commonly affected by tooth loss, leading to procedures of oral rehabilitation, such as dental prostheses. Although the potential of these devices...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to analyse human bones exposed to low/medium temperatures (200–650°C) under experimentally controlled conditions, both oxidizing and reducing, using complementary optical and neutron vibrational spectroscopy techniques. Clear differences were observed between the aerobically and anaerobically heated bones. The organic constituents d...
Article
Identified (documented) osteological collections represent an important resource in the development of forensic anthropology standards and methods as well as a precious tool for learning and training of practitioners. Even though the number of papers presenting identified collections worldwide increases, many of the collections have still not been...
Chapter
Knowing that current aging methods do not work for aging adult skulls, in particular for the elderly ones, there is a need to maximize the exploitation of the skull with this respect. This article analyzes a series of age indicators on the adult skull, to recommend or reject them as age indicators for the elderly. Seven potential indicators were an...
Article
Full-text available
Complementary optical and neutron-based vibrational spectroscopy techniques (Infrared, Raman and inelastic neutron scattering) were applied to the study of human bones (femur and humerus) burned simultaneously under either aerobic or anaerobic conditions, in a wide range of temperatures (400 to 1000 °C). This is the first INS study of human skeleta...
Poster
Full-text available
Increasing requests from academic students of all levels and different backgrounds to have practical trainings during their studies motivated this project to be developed. After the identification of the need, the development of several workshops begun in 2016 as an additional hands-on approach to Forensic Anthropology. Through innovative and multi...
Article
Full-text available
The practice of cremation is often interpreted as an alternative to inhumation, taking place shortly after an individual’s death. However, cremation could be a final stage in complex mortuary practices, with previous steps that are obscured due to the heating process. This project reports on experimental scoping research on a set of experimentally...
Article
Full-text available
This short communication aims to provide the scientific community information on the new acquisitions of human identified skeletons for the CEAF Identified Skeletal Collection of the University of Pernambuco, Brazil. It comprises 188 skeletons from both sexes, with ages ranging from 0 to 106 years-old. The addition of the new skeletons makes this t...
Article
After the publication of the first article in 2014, 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection, housed in the Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, has been growing. Currently, the collection is composed of 302 complete adult skeletons of both sexes, which means that in 5 years it...
Article
Bones and teeth are valuable sources of information in forensic contexts. However, few studies have considered these tissues for DNA methylation (DNAm) analyses in age estimation. The main goal of the present study was to develop DNAm-based age prediction models (APMs) specific for bones and teeth. DNA samples from Portuguese individuals were evalu...
Article
Full-text available
Age at death estimation methods, when applied to skeletal remains of adults, have provided inaccurate results. These aging methods often depend on observations of the degenerative changes occurring at specific articulations, however, the effects of the aging process on the human skeleton are only partially known. Therefore a need exists to increase...
Article
In this position statement, the Board members of the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe (FASE) argue that forensic anthropology methods can be used as means of personal identification, particularly in situations with limited availability of traditional identification methods (i.e. dactyloscopy, odontology, and molecular genetic analysis). This...
Article
This article presents data on carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) isotopic composition of human hair collected throughout Mexico. The recorded values ranged from −18.3 ‰ to −12.8 ‰ for δ¹³C, 6.8 ‰ to 10.8 ‰ for δ¹⁵N and from 2.7 ‰ to 8.0 ‰ for δ³⁴S. The socioeconomic covariates explored in this study showed, in parts strong correlations with th...
Article
Objectives: Heat exposure can lead to apparently random osteometric changes that hinder the application of metric methods used for biological profiling. The impractical-ity of using objective and burn-specific osteometric methods reduces the chances of establishing the biological profiles of unknown individuals based on their skeletal remains. We i...
Article
DNA methylation analysis in a variety of genes has brought promising results in age estimation. The main aim of this study was to evaluate DNA methylation levels from four age-correlated genes, ELOVL2, FHL2, EDARADD and PDE4C, in blood samples of healthy Portuguese individuals. Fifty-three samples were analyzed through the bisulfite polymerase chai...
Article
Many studies in the forensic field have reported that analysis of DNA methylation is the most reliable method of predicting age. In a previous study, 5 CpG sites located in ELOVL2, FHL2, KLF14, C1orf132 and TRIM59 genes were tested for age prediction purposes in blood, saliva and buccal swab samples from Korean individuals using a multiplex methyla...
Raw Data
Micrograph catalogue as supplementary material for research paper Histological sections are obtained from femora of individuals from a recent and an archaeological osteological collection, both housed in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Coimbra, Portugal.
Article
The femur has been commonly employed for sex determination of human skeletal remains, and it is a suitable alternative to the more sexually dimorphic pelvis when this skeletal region is incomplete or fragmented. The purposes of this study include the evaluation of femoral sexual dimorphism and the generation of specific metric standards for the est...
Article
One of the many difficulties associated with identifying undocumented border crossers stems from an inability to narrow down the search area for the region of origin and family members to obtain family reference samples for DNA comparison. While the geography of regions of origins is wide, the biological profiles of the undocumented border crossers...
Chapter
The intention of this chapter is not to discuss the concept of ancestry or provide a history of its evaluation in the field: these topics can be already found in other publications. Instead, it seeks to explain how ancestry can be assessed in forensic anthropology, with the aim of providing insight into the statistical procedures that underlie the...
Chapter
The aim of this chapter is to introduce the extreme learning machine algorithm to construct single-layer feedforward neural networks for age-at-death estimation. The most relevant notation and machine learning concepts are approached in context focusing on the most efficient algorithms to train this type of neural network. Conformal prediction, a t...
Article
Full-text available
Ancestry assessment represents a major component of forensic anthropological analysis of recovered human remains. Interpretations of ancestry, together with other aspects of the biological profile, can help narrow the search of missing persons and contribute to eventual positive identification. Such information can prove useful to authorities invol...
Article
Full-text available
The first neutron diffraction study of human burned bone is reported, aiming at a comprehensive elucidation of the heat-induced bone diagenesis process. Chemical and crystallinity changes were probed in different types of bone (femur, humerus and tibia) upon heating to different maximum temperatures (from 400 to 1000 °C, under aerobic conditions)....
Poster
Full-text available
A estimativa do sexo constitui um dos pilares fundamentais no processo de determinação do perfil biológico em Antropologia Forense. O fémur tem sido amplamente utilizado no desenvolvimento de métodos para a estimativa sexual de restos esqueléticos humanos não identificados e afigura se uma alternativa relevante no caso de não serem recuperados regi...
Article
Due to the haploid nature of the human male determinant chromosome, Y chromosome Short Tandem Repeats (Y-STRs) are interesting genetic markers for the identification of potential suspects in certain forensic investigations. Furthermore, being a haploid chromosome, the presence of more than one fragment size in Y-STR analysis is often indicative of...
Article
Across Portuguese laboratories of forensic genetics, the 13 STRs from the CODIS system and at least four more STR’s (D2S1338, D19S433, Penta D and Penta E) are analyzed. Nevertheless, in complex cases it could be necessary the study of additional genetic markers. Given the lack of population studies regarding 10 new STR - D2S1360, D3S1744, D4S2366,...
Poster
Full-text available
Burned skeletal human remains pose challenging analytical problems to forensic anthropologists due to heat-induced changes. Chemometrics studies can help solving complex questions jeopardizing bioanthropological methodologies. At the microscopic level, understanding metabolites alteration, combustion and 3D dynamic crystal reorganization can help c...
Article
Age estimation using DNA methylation levels has been widely investigated in recent years because of its potential application in forensic genetics. The main aim of this study was to develop an age predictor model (APM) for blood samples of deceased individuals based in five age‐correlated genes. Fifty‐one samples were analyzed through the bisulfite...
Article
Full-text available
The paucity of identified skeletal collections that include fetuses entails the need to pursue unconventional ap-proaches and resources in order to investigate fetal anatomi-cal variation. Radiographic analyses are being considered as a good alternative to data obtained in osteological collections. In a previous work, we developed equations to esti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objectives: Burned human remains pose challenging analytical problems to forensic anthropologists due to heat-induced changes. The determination of the maximum temperature of exposure is also another question which is complex to solve. This research explores the potential of vibrational spectroscopy in determining the maximum temperature based on s...
Technical Report
Sex estimation through visual analysis of the distal humerus can contribute to establishing the biological profile of an unidentified skeletal individual. Using statistical shape modeling, the trochlear constriction open curves and olecranon fossa closed outlines of 151 humeri were digitized and analyzed. The shape configurations exhibited striking...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Cementochronology based on annual deposition of acellular cementum is acknowledged for its superior performance for estimating age-at-death but is also disregarded because of its suspicious effectiveness. This article aims to provide a standardized framework for the validation of the technique and to define and test cementochronology's...
Article
The aim of this work is to discuss the frequency of traumatic bone injuries in a quite unique skeletal assemblage of enslaved people from Valle da Gafaria, Lagos, Portugal (15th-17th centuries). In all, 30 males, 58 females, and 15 individuals of unknown sex were included in the study. The skeletal remains were macroscopically observed for traumati...
Article
Ancestry estimation from skeletal remains is a challenging task, but essential for the creation of a complete biological profile. As such, the study of human variation between populations is important for the fields of biological and forensic anthropology, as well as medicine. Cranial and dental morphological variation have traditionally been linke...
Article
Full-text available
The age-at-death estimation thresholds have recently been shifted towards a more objective assessment of the aging process. Such a non-subjective approach offers quantitative methods of age estimation; for instance, the method relating to the surfaces of pubic symphyses of males published by Stoyanova et al. (J Forensic Sci 62:1434–1444, 2017). A v...
Article
Full-text available
Surviving a gunshot wound to the head is a rare event, particularly in the past when medical treatment was much less advanced than it is today. Moreover, the finding of such a case as an identified specimen within a museum collection is even more uncommon. This led us to report on this unique case in this paper as it poses a challenge to forensic a...
Article
Full-text available
The Muge shell middens of Cabeço da Arruda, Cabeço da Amoreira and Moita do Sebastião (central Portugal) have been key sites of archaeological research for 150 years, possibly working as residential sites occupied by semi-sedentary communities during the final Mesolithic. The purposes of this article include the biocultural assessment of metacarpal...
Article
One of the goals of the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe (FASE) is to map the existing education and practice opportunities in the field of forensic anthropology in order to support the development of the discipline and to optimize the training courses provided by the Society. To address this goal, an online questionnaire was sent to Europea...
Poster
Full-text available
Les dents sont les pièces les plus résistantes du squelette humain et ont des caractéristiques spécifiques qui nous permet d’individualiser différentes personnes. Pour l’anthropologie dans le contexte de la médecine légale, cette procédure est très importante pour l’identification positive de cadavéres et de personnes vivantes. Depuis 2015, le Labo...
Chapter
Criminal dismemberments are increasingly entering the forensic anthropology laboratory, but the need for standardized approaches to assist in case resolution has been lacking in the literature. As experts in hard tissue, anthropologists can assist authorities in the interpretation of criminal motivation and patterning of dismemberments. Thus, the g...
Poster
Full-text available
A diáfise dos ossos longos são maioritariamente compostas por osso compacto, sendo das regiões mais mineralizadas do esqueleto logo mais resistentes (White e Folkens, 2005). No caso do fémur, este está preparado para grandes cargas, especialmente verticais. A sua fratura, sobretudo ao nível do meio da diáfise, é pouco frequente, quando comparativam...
Poster
Ancestry assessment is highly important in the establishment of the biological profile of an unidentified skeletal individual. Throughout a forensic enquiry, biogeographic affinity may lead the case into a new direction and help police investigators identifying individuals from the missing persons list. Nonetheless, estimating ancestry may be a cha...
Article
Full-text available
Complementary vibrational spectroscopic techniques – infrared, Raman and inelastic neutron scattering (INS) – were applied to the study of human bone burned under controlled conditions (400 to 1000 °C). This is an innovative way of tackling bone diagenesis upon burning, aiming at a quantitative evaluation of heat-induced dimensional changes allowin...
Poster
Full-text available
First fossil sites from the Urema Rift, central Mozambique, and their paleoenvironmental and paleoecological contexts
Article
The estimation of the maximum temperature affecting skeletal remains was previously attempted via infrared techniques. However, fossilization may cause changes in the composition of bones that replicate those from burned bones. We investigated the potential of three OH/P indices (intensity ratios of characteristic infrared bands for OH and phosphat...
Article
Full-text available
In forensic anthropology, the age-at-death of an adult individual is one of the most complex parameters of the biological profile to estimate. The present study aims to evaluate the reliability of the Calce (2012) method for the estimation of age-at-death through acetabulum changes in a sample of Portuguese origin. This method consists of the globa...
Article
There has been considerable progress in recent years in our understanding of the patterns of cortical bone loss in the second metacarpal in archeological skeletal samples. Nevertheless, cortical data from reference skeletal collections are insufficient and the possible connection of metacarpal cortical parameters with osteoporotic fractures has not...
Article
The East African Rift System (EARS) has played a central role in our understanding of human origins and vertebrate evolution in the late Cenozoic of Africa. However, the distribution of fossil sites along the rift is highly biased towards its northern extent, and the types of paleoenvironments are primarily restricted to fluvial and lacustrine sett...
Article
Extreme fragmentation can complicate the inventory of human skeletal remains. In such cases, skeletal mass can provide information regarding skeleton completeness and the minimum number of individuals. For that purpose, several references for skeletal mass can be used to establish comparisons and draw inferences regarding those parameters. However,...
Article
Full-text available
Two different deproteination and defatting processes of human bone were investigated, by combined infrared and neutron techniques: a previously reported hydrazine extraction and a newly developed multi-enzymatic treatment. Complementary Fourier transform infrared total attenuated reflectance and inelastic neutron scattering spectroscopies were appl...
Article
The hip bone (os coxae) is the skeletal element that presents the greatest level of sexual dimorphism. Therefore, methods involving the analysis of the os coxae provide the most accurate sex estimation, and DSP2 (Diagnose Sexuelle Probabiliste v.2) is one of the most accurate tools used in this identification. The goal of this study is to apply and...