SOAR Student Profiles

Leslie  Gonzalez

Leslie Gonzalez

  • SOAR Position: Member
  • Major: Forensic Science
  • Faculty Mentor(s): Yangseung Jeong

Current Focus: Sex estimation of Korean population using CT images

Additional Interests: Biology, Chemistry, Crime Scene Investigation, Anthropology, and Psychology

Project Description

Forensic anthropologists reconstruct the biological profile of the skeletal remains recovered from a crime scene. Traditionally, sex estimation of an adult has been conducted using the morphological differences observed on the cranium and pelvic bone. However, in a real forensic context, the preservation state of these bones is often compromised due to various taphonomic factors such as animal scavenging. The past two decades have seen a drastic growth of the 3D imaging technology in the field of forensic anthropology as a promising non-invasive method. This project aims to develop a quantitative method toward the sex estimation of Korean population based on the difference of relative bone density using three-dimensional (3D) computed tomography (CT) images and multiple 3D image processing software.

Why does this topic interest you?

I am hopeful that someday forensic anthropologists will be able to use other methods such as three-dimensional (3D) computed tomography (CT) images and 3D image processing software to supplement the current sex estimation methods by demonstrating the possibility of bone density as a useful sex indicator and enhancing the accuracy of sex estimation.

What are your professional aspirations?

As a Forensic Science major, I would like to work as a Crime Data Analyst for our local police department after receiving my bachelor’s degree at MTSU. I want to develop essential skills at the Murfreesboro Police Department before applying for a position with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) as a Special Agent/Criminal Investigator. After receiving adequate training and relevant experience at TBI, I would like to further my career once more by working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), thus achieving my ultimate aspiration.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

My advice is to go for it! Do not be intimidated to share your ideas and step out of your comfort zone. MTSU is full of wonderful faculty members and students that are willing to collaborate with you and help you succeed! Being able to conduct research is truly a unique experience and I would advise all students to at least give it a chance, because at the end of the day “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

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