LSU FACES brings human remains back to life

by Troy Gaulden

The Louisiana State University Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory provides a unique perspective of the human face.

LSU FACES Imaging Specialist Eileen Barrow works on a clay facial reconstruction | Photo by Troy Gaulden

LSU FACES assists law enforcement agencies with the recovery and identification of human remains while running a Louisiana missing and unidentified database.

The lab consists of seven women and several graduate assistants.  The imaging specialists use the actual skulls from victims, tissue markers and clay to reconstruct faces.  In addition, Photoshop is used to give the faces a more realistic look.

According to Mary Manhein, Director of LSU FACES Laboratory, you do not need a degree in forensic science specifically to get a job as a forensic investigator.  Manhein suggests that students who are interested in the field should get a graduate degree, because forensic science is a very popular and competitive field.

LSU currently offers forensic science courses to graduate students and graduating seniors, but that is about to change.  According to Manhein, the LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology will offer a general education course in forensic anthropology (ANTH 2014) in the Spring 2012 semester.

For a timeline of other FACES lab events click here.

Mary Manhein on facial reconstruction:
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