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Daniela, from Italy, studied BSc Biological Anthropology at BU before progressing to MSc Applied Sciences by Research.

She said: “Before starting my degrees I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a career. I knew I was interested in research, human anatomy, archaeology, forensics and psychology, but I couldn’t imagine myself in any of the jobs that a singular degree in these subject areas would lead to. My studies enabled me to combine all of these fields and helped me to discover a passion for building an academic career in physical anthropology.” Since leaving BU, Daniela has embarked on a PhD at the Institute for Mummy Studies in Bozen, Italy. The project involves the anthropological and paleopathological analysis of around 200 skeletons from Saben-Sabiona, the site of the region’s largest Early Medieval cemetery.

Daniela said: “I was thrilled to get this particular site, not just because of its size and location, but because it has not yet been studied by an anthropologist due to a lack of local expertise. The fact that I am from this region makes it even more exciting. One of my favourite aspects of the job is to be able to unveil the past and put various things together to understand the wider context of a particular time period. Many of the scientific skills I learned throughout my time at BU are useful on a day-to-day basis – especially the forensic aspects which are not commonly taught by local universities.”When it comes to offering advice to others wanting to follow a similar route, Daniela said: “Participate in as many practical exercises, workshops, placements and field schools as possible. This will not only help you to narrow down your career path but the knowledge you will gain in these fields will be useful when it comes to working on interdisciplinary projects. I would also encourage people to think ahead and set personal goals. The sooner you have a sense of what you are going to do, the sooner you can put the work in to get there. With this kind of approach and attitude, anyone can become a successful scientist.

“I believe that studying at BU was one of the best choices I have made so far in my life. I am very grateful to have been able to study at such a great university and one which has led me to my current career.”