Uncovering human rights abuses

Gillian FowlerFrom blockbuster movies to literature, unearthing the past has long captured our imaginations, but one University of Lincoln academic is using her skills to uncover a more sinister side of human history.

Forensic anthropologist Gillian Fowler (pictured) joined the School of Life Sciences after travelling the world to excavate mass graves. After working in Guatemala exhuming mass graves of victims that disappeared or were killed during Guatemala’s protracted armed conflict, Gillian became involved with a programme in Afghanistan. The programme teaches Afghan nationals the skills they need to investigate and manage mass burial sites themselves, giving them the opportunity to examine their country’s past independently.

Gillian’s research at Lincoln builds on her fieldwork, uncovering the extent of atrocities and trying to tackle the questions they raise. Her work not only bears witness to the victims of conflict but also helps human rights organisations to investigate violations of international humanitarian law.