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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Tim Thompson is a Professor of Applied Biological Anthropology and Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching) in the School of Science, Engineering & Design. In 2014, Tim was awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy for excellence in teaching and support for learning in higher education.

Before coming to Teesside, Tim studied for his PhD at the University of Sheffield (Faculty of Medicine) and was a Lecturer in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Dundee.

Tim has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals and books and is a renowned expert on heat-induced apatite and crystallinity changes in bone. His latest book is 'Human Remains: Another Dimension - the application of imaging to the study of human remains'. Prior to this, he published the book 'The Archaeology of Cremation: Burned Human Remains in Funerary Studies', and was co-author of 'Human Identity and Identification' with Dr Rebecca Gowland (Durham University) and senior editor for the book 'Forensic Human Identification'.

At Teesside, he is actively involved in undertaking and fostering research. On top of developing his own research team and striving to create an environment for them to successfully work and develop in, Tim has Chaired both the School Research Ethics and Research Degrees Committees. Currently he Chairs the University Research Ethics and Integrity Committee and is Deputy Chair of the University Student Learning and Experince Committee.

Externally, he is on the editorial boards for the 'Journal of Forensic Sciences', 'Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine' and 'Human Remains and Violence: an Interdisciplinary Journal'. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal 'Science & Justice' for three years. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and the Royal Anthropological Institute and a Senior Fellow of AdvanceHE, Tim is a practicing forensic anthropologist who has worked at home and abroad in a variety of forensic contexts.

Summary of Research Interests

Tim's main areas of research focus on the human body and how it changes, particularly in the modern context. Here, most of his research examines the effects of burning on the skeleton and the development of new analytical tools to examine this challenging biomaterial through our 'Analytical Instrumentation, Measurement and Control Engineering' research theme. Tim is also interested the recording and visualisation of forensic evidence and heritage artefacts, and the resolution of commingled graves from contexts of mass violence.

Various projects are currently underway in all of these areas, involving leading researchers in a variety of UK and overseas academic institutions.

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Tim acts as a consultant forensic anthropologist for the police, mainly in the North-East of England.

Tim is also the Managing Director of anthronomics a spin-out company from Teesside University which creates a range of exciting and effective digital tools and software for all those studying, teaching, researching and working with skeletal remains.


Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2001 2019

3D imaging for visualising Roman activity at Vindolanda

Williams, R., Thompson, T., Orr, C., Birley, A. & Taylor, G. (ed.), 22 Apr 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

World Heritage Site

Method development for mapping archaeological soil using pXRF

Williams, R., Thompson, T., Orr, C. & Taylor, G. (ed.), 14 Feb 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

p-XRF method development for elemental analysis of archaeological soil

Williams, R., Thompson, T., Orr, C. & Taylor, G. (ed.), 14 Feb 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

The impact of personal perception on the identification of tattoo pattern in human identification

Brookes, G. & Thompson, T., 22 Mar 2019, In : Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. 64, p. 34-41 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Forensic Anthropology

3D imaging as a cracking approach to analysing and presenting skeletal fractures

Williams, R., Thompson, T., Orr, C. & Taylor, G., 24 Aug 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review

Forensic Archaeology
World Heritage Site

Press / Media

Prestigious teaching fellowship for leading forensic anthropologist

Tim Thompson


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Press / Media