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Meet the First ‘Forensic Jeweler’ in the World

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Trained as a jewelry designer, she’s pioneering a new field.

If you’ve never heard of a forensic jeweler, there’s a good reason: It’s a job title that didn’t exist before.

Maria Maclennan is profiled in a new article published by OZY in conjunction with the Financial Times. The 29-year-old Scotlander has helped forensic teams to ID victims of catastrophes, including plane crashes, inluding various countries.

She’s described in the article as “the world’s first forensic jeweler.”

Trained as a jewelry designer, Maclennan says jewelry is useful in forensic identification for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that it’s sometimes relatively unscathed after a disaster. Additionally, she notes, gemstones frequently retain DNA from from their owners.

And watches, of course, often bear serial numbers that can be useful in identifying their wearers.

The doctoral thesis that she recently turned in at the University of Dundee is “on the use of jewelry in forensic identification,” according to the article.

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