FASE Advanced Course and Symposium: Esteemed lecturers and practicals with human remains simulating real-life scenarios in a city with lots to offer

Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe (FASE) organises the Advanced Course - Anthropology and Migration, on September 14th and 15th in Milan, Italy. The Advanced Course is a combination of lectures delivered by renowned speakers and practical exercises simulating real-life scenarios related to migration fatalities, using human remains in different stages of preservation.  The practicals will include collection of postmortem data, which will then be discussed and matched with antemortem information provided in a role-play setting.

The one-day Symposium provides the opportunity to share your research in the form of oral or poster presentations. The abstracts will be published in the La Revue de Médecine Légale!

Advanced Course: Thursday, 14 September (8.45 am) to Friday, 15 September 2017 (6.30 pm)
FASE Symposium: Saturday,16  September 2017 (9 am to 5.30 pm).

Registration on site:  Thursday, 14 September (8 am-8.45 am), Saturday, 16 September (8.30 am-9 am)-for Symposium participants who did not attend the Course

Location: Aula Magna, Istituto di Medicina Legale, Via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133 Milan, Italy

Preliminary Programme of the Advanced Course:

Identification of Dead Migrants on Three Continents (14 September 2017)

Invited lectures, discussion of cases, practicals with simulated real-life scenarios pertaining to migrant fatalities (postmortem data collection)

Torture assessment and age estimation in migrants (15 September 2017)

Morning: practical: matching of antemortem information with postmortem findings from the previous day

Invited lectures on torture and age assessment and discussion of cases


FASE Symposium (16 September 2017)

Topics with a focus on migration, and identification are preferred, but all topics will be considered. Oral communications and posters will be accepted.

Registration form is available at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSda8epZl5sLRpyQc0un63CuWtt50nbdh157e-PNBSoowCRohQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Abstract submission: please email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (in the Subject: please type “FASE Symposium Abstract” and indicate clearly the preferred type of presentation (oral or poster))

Deadline for abstracts: 7 July 2017

Deadline for registration and payment of the registration fee (Symposium and Course): 31 August 2017
Registration fees including morning and afternoon coffee breaks, USB key with course material:
FASE members: 250 € Students: 150 € FASE non-members: 350 € Special fee for one-day Symposium:  50 €

Please transfer the registration fee to:

Account Holder: IALM: 269-860142.40A


IBAN: CH37 0026 926986014240A

Please indicate clearly your name and status (student, FASE member etc.) on the transaction

Disclaimer: All transaction fees must be carried by the participant. In case of any discrepancies in the amount of the transaction, the participant will be required to pay the difference at the registration counter in cash.



Short biographies of the guest speakers 

Dr Oran Finegan

Head of the Forensic Unit of the ICRC



Dr Oran Finegan had been working for International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) since 2008 and has been recently appointed as the Head of the Forensic Unit. Before working for ICRC, Dr Finegan worked for the United Nations as forensic anthropologist in Kosovo and Cyprus.

Dr Morris Tidball-Binz

Forensic coordinator for the Assistance Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)


 Dr Tidball-Binz is a specialist in the application of forensic sciences to human rights and humanitarian investigations, including the search for the missing. Before joining the ICRC,  he was, among others, as the co-founder and first director of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team  and the Director of the Human Rights Defenders Office of the International Service for Human Rights.


Assoc. Professor Dr Kate Spradley, PhD.

The University of Tennessee




Dr Spradley is a biological anthropologist with interest in human biological variation, forensic anthropology and quantitative methods. Her current projects include identification of remains of migrants in the south of Texas and developing identification methods for US/Mexico border crossing fatalities.

Professor Dr Douglas Ubelaker

the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History


Professor Ubelaker is a physical and forensic anthropologist with extensive experience in the identification of human skeletal remains.  Since 1978, he has served as a consultant in forensic anthropology for the FBI in the USA. In this capacity he has served as an expert witness, reporting on more than 900 cases and has testified in numerous legal proceedings. 

Professor Dr Maryna Steyn

University of Witwatersrand



Professor Steyn was appointed director of the Forensic Anthropology Research Centre of University of Witwatersrand in 2008. As a specialist in human skeletal remains, she acts as a consultant for the South African Police Service on decomposed and skeletonized human remains.

Professor Dr Andreas Schmeling

University of Münster


Dr Schmeling is a leading expert in forensic age estimation. He is the author of numerous publications and recommendations on this topic and is the President of the AGFAD (The Working Group of Forensic Age Diagnostics).  

Professor Dr Duarte Nuno Vieira

University of Coimbra


Professor Vieira is a forensic pathologists at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra. He holds  a number of roles, including as a Forensic Consultant of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Forensic Consultant of the International Committee of the Red Cross and forensic expert of the International Council for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture.

Professor Dr Eric Baccino

University Hospital of Montpellier


Professor Baccino is the Head of the Research Laboratory of Legal Medicine and Clinical Toxicology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Montpellier and the Head of the Medico-Legal Unit at the University Hospital of Montpellier. His research interests and activities include clinical forensic medicine, forensic anthropology and identification.

Dr Laurent Martrille

University Hospital of Nancy


Dr Martrille is the Head of the Service of Legal Medicine in the Hospital Centre of Nancy since 2011. He has extensive experience with forensic case work, including forensic pathology, age estimation and trauma analysis.

Dr Danilo De Angelis

Laboratorio di Antropologia
e Odontologia Forense (LABANOF)


Dr De Angelis works as a forensic odontologist in the LABANOF, University of Milan. Apart from the routine case work, he is actively involved in the identification efforts concerning the migrant mass fatalities in the Meditteranean Sea. He also consults and provides traning on behalf of  the ICRC.


The organiser: Professor Cristina Cattaneo and the Laboratorio di Antropologia e Odontologia Forense  (LABANOF)

LABANOF was founded in 1995 by Professor Cristina Cattaneo. The Laboratory is part of the Section of Legal Medicine of the Department of Biomedical and Health Sciences of the University of Milan. The staff of LABANOF includes anthropologists, pathologists, biologists and forensic odontologists, who are involved in forensic research and the routine practice of the recovery and study of the human remains and the identification of living persons in the forensic context. LABANOF is also home to one of the largest modern identified collections in the world consisting of more than 2000 skeletons. Professor Cattaneo and LABANOF act in Italy as coordinators in the process of identification of the migrants deceased in the Mediterranean Sea. For more information please check the following websites:





What to do and see in Milan, Italy


Shop till you drop (but do not forget to attend  the Course :))

As one of the world’s fashion capitals, Milan is home to some of Italy’s most renowned designer brands as well as a wealth of independent boutiques and international stores. Via Montenapoleone  is home to many big designer brands, from Gucci to Prada to Valentino. Corso Vittorio Emanuele II offers many high-street and mid-range brands, making it one of the best places in Milan to shop for young fashion and international labels. The street is also home to La Rinascente, one of the city’s biggest department stores (eight floors featuring everything from luxury women’s clothing to fine perfume and accessories). Corso Buenos Aires is reputed to be Europe’s longest shopping street and is comparable to London’s Oxford Street or Paris’s Avenue des Champs-Élysées.





Foodie’s paradise:

Gelato, pizza, pasta, wine and coffee… Yum :)




Milano is the home to Duomo, La Scala Opera House and Sforzesco Castle. Walk the streets of Brera and enjoy a drink at Collone di San Lorenzo. History lovers can admire the many works of Leonardo da Vinci, including the canals and the famous Last Supper.

Milano also hides a number of anthropologists’ delights, for example the San Bernardino Alle Ossa Church and the anatomical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.


For sports fans, the soccer season commences in September and the San Siro Stadium is the home of both FC Inter Milano and AC Milano.

Want to explore farther? Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona or Brescia are easily reachable by train (for example, by Freccia Rossa 3h to Rome, or by Freccia Bianca 2h to Venice).


How to get here

Milano is well connected to Europe and the world.


There are three airports: Linate, Malpensa and Bergamo Orio al Serio. The Linate Airport is located close to the city centre and easily accessible by public transport. Malpensa and Bergamo Orio al Serio are located within an hour drive from the city centre.

When arriving to the Bergamo and Malpensa airport buses are awaiting in front of the arrivals to take you to Milano Centrale, the main railway station for the price of 5 Euro (Bergamo) and 8 Euro (Malpensa).When arriving to Linate airport bus number 73 will take you directly to Duomo with one way ticket (1.50 Euro).

Malpensa airport is the only airport connected to the city by train - the Malpensa Express.

Bergamo airport is the base for low-cost airlines like Ryanair and Wizzair. Other airlines, including Alitalia, Eurowings and others fly to Malpensa and Linate.  Easyjet has its own Terminal (2) at Malpensa Airport.


Milano is connected by train to many European cities. The main railway station is called Centrale. There is a Metro station directly within the building and there are a number of buses and trams in front of the station, connecting many different parts of the city.

The tickets for public transport can be bought in Tabacchi (newsagents) or automatic machines at every metro station.


Parking can be a little complicated – always make sure you park within the blue lines or no lines, and pay the parking fee. Information about the prices can be found on every street, they differ depending on the location (and some streets are free). The city centre is limited by Congestion Charge, operational on weekdays 07.30-19.30 hours (Thursday till 18.00 hours), but not on Saturday and Sunday. Only hybrid, bi-fuel and electric cars are exempt of the Congestion Charge so please buy and activate your entrance ticket.  When parking in residential areas always check when the weekly street market takes place since strict no parking rules apply on these days!

Where to stay

The choices of accommodation are numerous. The best advice is to use one  of the hotel search engines and you will surely find a place to stay that caters to your needs.

The public transport in Milano is good. There are several buses and trams that bring you within 5 minutes walking distance to the venue (circular buses 91/90 stop to L.go Rio De Janeiro; bus 93 to P.le Gorini Istituto Dei Tumori; bus 61 to Via Botticelli Via Saldini). The Metro station is 10-15 minutes by foot – green line stop Piola.


Scientific Programme of Advanced Course

Day 1 Identification of Deceased Migrants on Three Continents (14 September 2017)

08:00 Registration
08:45 Welcome notes and greetings:

Professor Santo Davide Ferrara, President of IALM 
Professor Riccardo Zoja, Head of the Section of Legal Medicine, University of Milan and President of SIMLA, Società Italiana di Medicina Legale
Professor Francesco Auxilia, Director of the Department of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Milan
Professor Cristina Cattaneo, President of FASE, Head of LABANOF

09:15 The role of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Identification of Dead Migrants, Dr Oran Finnegan, Head of Forensic Unit, ICRC, Geneva, Switzerland
09:45 The international migration scenario, Prof Morris Tidball Binz, ICRC, Geneva & University of Milan
10:15 The complex juridical scenario of deceased migrants, Prof Marilisa D’Amico, University of Milan
10:45 Discussion
11.00 Coffee break
11:30 Overview of identification methods and protocols, Prof Douglas Ubelaker, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., USA
12:15 Identification of deceased migrants in Europe: The Italian “model”, Prefetto Vittorio Piscitelli (Commissario Straordinario del Governo per le Persone Scomparse) & Prof Cristina Cattaneo, University of Milan
13:00 Lunch break
14:00 Where are the dead? Identifying migrants along the South Texas border, Prof Kate Spradley, Texas State University, USA
14:45 Migrants, bodies and identification in South Africa, Prof Maryna Steyn, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Practical session on human remains: Real case simulation and collection of PM data
19:00 End of day

Day 2 Torture Assessment and Age Estimation in Migrants (15 September 2017)

08:30 Follow up from Day 1. AM data collection; matching and identification
11:30 Coffee break
12:00 The Istanbul Protocol: how to examine victims of torture, Prof Duarte Nuno Vieira, University of Coimbra, Portugal
12:45 Victims of Torture: a French and European Perspective, Prof Eric Baccino, University of Montpellier, France
13:30 Migrants, asylum and the law, Dr Francesca Paltenghi, UNHCR Italia
14:00 Lunch break
15:00 Aging unaccompanied minors: state of the art, Prof Andreas Schmeling, University of Münster, Germany
15:45 The role of legal medicine in aging unaccompanied minors, Prof Laurent Martrille, University of Nancy, France
16:15 Teeth and age estimation: a radiological perspective, Prof Danilo De Angelis, University of Milan
16.45 The “cut off” approach, Dr Roberto Cameriere, University of Macerata, Italy
17:15 Coffee break
17:45 Cases and practicals on torture and age estimation
19:00 End of day


FASE Symposium (16 September 2017)

The Symposium focuses on topics related to  migration and personal identification, but other topics of interest to forensic anthropologists and pathologists, including trauma analysis  will be include in the programme.  Oral communications and posters are accepted forms of presentations.

Symposium Scientific Programme

09:00 Welcome note, Professor Cristina Cattaneo, LABANOF, Sezione di Medicina Legale, Università degli Studi di Milano

Session 1: Chairmen: Eric Baccino, Cristina Cattaneo

09:15  Prof A Ross, University of : Human Identification and Global Patterns of Craniofacial Variation 

09.30 Prof E Cunha, University of Coimbra: Identifying migrants in anthropology: the few cases from Portugal 

09.45  Prof G Lo Re, University of Palermo: CT Imaging in deceased migrants

10.15  Prof A Argo, University of Palermo : Outside protocols:  the experience of Palermo

10.30 FASE Board, Strengthening the role of forensic anthropology in disaster victim identification  (with particular focus on migration deaths): Position statement by the Board of the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe (FASE)

10:45  Coffee break

Session 2 Chairmen: Eugenia Cunha, Giancarlo Di Vella

11:15  Invited speaker G Di Vella

11.30  Invited speakers A Kustermann, G Barbara, SVS e D (Soccorso Violenza Sessuale e Domestica), Milano

11.45  Uys A et al.: Third molar development in South Africans and the probability of being 18 years of age 

12.00  Bonicelli A et al: Case study : Age estimation using structural, chemical and bio-Mechanical data of modern ribs retrieved from the seashore

12.15  Navega D et al: Lost in the Woods: The Value of Tree Ensemble Modelling for Adult Age-at-Death Estimation from Skeletal Degeneration 

12.30   Salazar et al: Methods to quantify shape changes in the proximal metaphysis of the humerus 

12.45  Almeida Prado et al: Anthropological estimations in mixed populations: the next challenge in forensic anthropology 

13.00  Alblas et al: Nasal morphology assessment of the three predominant South African ancestral groups 

13:15  Lunch break



Session 3: Chairmen: Ann Ross, Philippe Lefévre

14:15  Cappella A et al. The relevant role of university in the identification of dead migrants: a comparative study on the experience of University of Milan and Texas State University 

14.30  Bertoglio B et al: Preliminary results of the genetic identifications of the Lampedusa 2013 shipwreck victims 

14.45 Kranioti E et al: Postmortem CT in the investigation of decomposed human remains: advantages and limitations 

15.00 Cummaudo M et al: Histomorphometric analysis of bone lacunae in human and pig: can it be useful for species discrimination? 

15:15 Karell M et al: Pair-matching temporals using a digital mesh-to-mesh value comparison method 

 15.30 Lefévre P et al. :Exhumation of a juvenile body. Identification and marks of battered child 

15:45  Coffee break


Session 4 Chairmen: Maryna Steyn, Pascal Adalian

16:15   Franceschetti L et al: The Medico-legal evaluation effect: asylum grant rate in the Metropolitan City of Milan

16.30  Ferreira et al.: A reflection on the maintenance of identified skeletal collections state of preservation

16:45  Rebeleanu et al: Forensic anthropology in Romania – a systemic neglected problem?

17.00  Steyn M & Brits D: Dismemberment in South Africa: Case studies 

17:15  Makhoul C et al: Experimental burnings and real fire scenarios: are they comparable in terms of chemical anthropology? 

17:30  Final discussion

18:00 end of day 

Poster presentations

P1. Ruiz Mediavilla E et al.: Sex determination by bone volume on Spanish population: A study on 3D images on talus, radius, clavicle and patella 

P2. Gaudio D et al.: Sex estimation of subadult human remains and determination of geographic origin: New perspectives and methodologies 

P3. Coelho C et al.: The Efficacy of Calcanei to Estimate Ancestry 

P4. Ekizoglu O et al.: T2-weighted spoiled gradient echo sequence (MERGE): A different perspective on the forensic age estimation 

P5. Bessa A et al.: Finding what is missing: three-dimensional coordinates estimation for ancestry assessment through geometric morphometrics

P6. Michopoulou E et al.: Stature estimation using long bone metrics in contemporary Turkish

P7. Olivieri L et al.: The importance of “secondary methods” in the identification of the victims of the 3rd of October 2013 shipwreck  

P8. Fagundes LL et al.: Asymptomatic anatomical variations of the postcranial skeleton as a marker for human identification  

P9. Tsiminikaki K, Karell MA, et al.:  Pair-matching phalanges using an automated digital mesh-to-mesh value comparison method 

P10. Petaros A et al.: Discussing the possibilities and limitations of the analysis of antemortem fractures through a forensic case report 

P11. Almeida Prado PS et al.: Fake dental brackets helped in the identification process of two skeletonized human remains: a probably double murder case 

P12. Scendoni R et al.: Immunohistochemical analysis for the evaluation of agonal time in a clandestine migrant’s death and forensic implications 

P13.  Macher N et al.: Importance Of Modern Imaging in Firearm Trauma 

P14. Boussayoud PK, Macher N, et al.: Extreme violence and respect for integrity and human dignity.  Experience of forensic pathologists at forensic department, hospital university of Lamine Dabaghine, Bab El-Oued, Algiers 

P15. Abrunhosa B et al.: Anthropological analysis of bone trauma 100 years after the autopsy 

P16.  Henriques M et al.: Injury reconstruction using multi-criteria approach: a preliminary study