Clinical Anatomy
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Clinical Anatomy

​Biological and Forensic Anthropology

Group Lead: Dr. Mandi Alblas 

Group Members: Prof. Nanette Briers, Mr. K Meiring 


Biological Anthropology 

Skeletal research helps in understanding biological and behavioural aspects of human beings, our extinct ancestors, and related non-human primates, especially in the context of evolution. The Biological Anthropology Research Group (BARU), encourages research on human skeletal variation and focuses on methods used to establish a biological profile, bone pathology and bone trauma. As part of the BARU team, postgraduate BSc Honours to PhD degrees are offered in the Division of Anatomy within the biological anthropology discipline. The BARU team focused their research on skeletal remains with known information and radiological research projects. This includes validation studies, pathological investigations, changes associated with age and sex (to strengthen biological profile estimations), and facial reconstruction.  


For more information on current projects, contact Dr. Mandi Alblas ( 


Forensic Anthropology 

The world experiences a humanitarian crisis of unidentified decedents that overwhelm their medic-legal systems. This is evident in South Africa as well. The Victim Identification Service (ViSUN) in the Division of Clinical Anatomy plays a critical role in the identification process through their work with the Victim Identification Centre (VIC) as part of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Forensic Pathology Services (FPS) to develop biological profiles for highly decomposed, burnt or skeletonised remains when other identifiers (DNA and fingerprinting) cannot be used. This service includes providing a skeletal report with a biological profile of the deceased, including sex, age-at-death, population affinity, stature, trauma, and pathology, as well as a 3D surface scan of the skull for facial reconstruction, that can be used to narrow the pool of missing persons within the Western Cape Province. 


For more information on current projects, contact Dr. Mandi Alblas ( ​