Subadult Virtual Anthropology Database

The Subadult Virtual Anthropology Database (SVAD): a repository of skeletal and dental data from contemporary populations

Biological anthropologists have long been hindered by the paucity and/or limited accessibility of contemporary subadult data to build robust anthropological methods and improve the subadult biological profile (i.e., age, sex, stature and ancestry estimation). Moreover, such data are also immensely beneficial for studies on skeletal and dental ontogeny, allometry and for understanding individual and population level variation.

In an effort to alleviate this obstacle, four federally-funded projects (National Science Foundation BCS-1551913, National Institute of Justice Awards 2015-DN-BX-K009, 2017-DN-BX-0144 and 2019-DU-BX-0039) have been at least partially dedicated to building a substantial collection of contemporary subadult data to be made available for fellow researchers.

The Subadult Virtual Anthropology Database (SVAD) consists of skeletal and dental indicators of growth and development routinely used for anthropological studies involving subadult individuals: long bone measurements, skeletal maturation stages, dental development stages, vertebral neural canal measurements and pelvic landmarks. The samples included in the database originate from either hospital databases or medical examiner's offices of eight countries: Angola (n=241), Brazil (n=500), Colombia (n=43), France (n=578), the Netherlands (n=218), South Africa (n=1440), Taiwan (n=660) and the United States (n=1327). Subjects are aged between birth and 20 years. Both biological sexes are represented and exact age is known for all individuals in each sample. Some demographic information is also available, such as manner and cause of death for deceased individuals, ancestry/social race for U.S. and South African samples, and city of origin.

All raw skeletal and dental data are freely available for research as well as the three-dimensional reconstructions of long bones and pelves. All samples except one (Colombia) consist of medical images, namely CT scans, conventional or panoramic x-rays, or Lodox Statscans. All data and images are stored securely at the University of Nevada, Reno. Some of them are accessible for additional research, depending on the collaborating country.

We hope this free and accessible database facilitates and encourages international collaborations and promotes data sharing and open access in an effort to ultimately advance biological and forensic anthropology.

If you are interested in using the database or would like more information on the data, images and/or samples available, please contact us.

Database details

  • Associated faculty

    Kyra Stull, Ph.D., D-ABFA

    Louise Corron, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Collaborators
    • Africa
      • Angola: Departamento de Ciências da Vida, University of Coimbra
      • South Africa: Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital
    • South America
      • Colombia: Universidad de Antioquia
      • Brazil: Universidade de São Paulo
    • Europe
      • France, Public hospital services of Marseilles (AP-HM)
      • Netherlands, Amsterdam Medical Center (Hospital)
    • Asia
      • Taiwan: Chinese Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
    • North America
  • Current funding

    National Institute of Justice

    • 2019 - National Institute of Justice: Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes. “ Subadult Ancestry Estimation Using Craniometrics, Macromorphoscopics, Odontometrics, and Dental Morphology.” Principal Investigator: Kyra Stull, Co-Principal Investigators: Richard Scott, Marin Pilloud, and Kate Spradley, Postdoctoral Fellow: Corron, LK.
      • Award No: 2019-DU-BX-0039
    • 2017 - National Institute of Justice: Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes. “ Quantifying the Impact of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors to Improve Juvenile Age Estimation.” Principal Investigator: Stull, KE., Postdoctoral Fellow: Corron, LK.
      • Award No: 2017-DN-BX-K0144
    • 2015 - National Institute of Justice: Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes. “ Development of Modern Subadult Standards: Improved Age and Sex Estimation in U.S. Forensic Practice.” Principal Investigator: Stull, KE. Co-Principal Investigators: Garvin, HM and Klales, A.
      • Award No: 2015-DN-BX-K409

    National Science Foundation

    • 2015 - National Science Foundation: Biological Anthropology (PD 98-1392). “ Creation of a multivariate subadult age estimation model using numerous growth and developmental markers: evaluating variation and predictive ability.” Principal Investigator: Stull, KE.
      • Award No: NSF BCS-1551913
  • Publications and presentations
    • Stull, KE and Armelli, KA (accepted) “Combining Variables to Improve Subadult Age Estimation.” Forensic Anthropology.
    • Stock, MK, Garvin, HM, Corron, LK, Hulse, CN*, Cirillo, LE*, Klales, AR, Colman, KL*, and Stull, KE (2020) “ The Importance of Processing Procedures and Threshold Values in CT Scan Segmentation of Skeletal Elements: An Example Using the Immature Os Coxa.” Forensic Science International 309: 1-8.
    • Stull, KE, Price, MH, Corron, LK, Chu, EY* (2020) “Subadult Age Estimation Using a Mixed Cumulative Probit and Its Application in KidStats.” Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Anaheim, CA.
    • Stull, KE, Corron, LK (2019) “KidStats: Estimating Subadult Age Using a Mixed Cumulative Probit and a Global Sample.” interForensics Conference, São, Paulo, Brazil.
    • Corron, L, Stull, KE, Hulse, CN*, Wolfe, CA* (2019) “Does variation in skeletal and dental growth and development affect subadult age estimation?” interForensics Conference, São Paulo, Brazil.
    • Corron, LK, Stull, KE, Price, MH, Yang, Y (2019) “Variations in Skeletal and Dental Growth and Development Patterns and Their Effect on Age Estimation: A Preliminary Study of Five Populations.” Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Baltimore, MD, USA.
    • Stull, KE and Price, MW (2018) “Exploring the Performance of a Global Subadult Age Estimation Model Using Unsupervised Machine Learning Techniques." Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Seattle, WA, USA.
    • Stull, KE and Price, MW (2017) “Comparing Population Specific Versus Universal Subadult Age Estimation Models Using Artificial Neural Networks.” interForensics 2017, Brasilia, Brazil.
    • Stock, MK*, Stull, KE, Garvin, HM, and Klales, AR (2016) “Development of modern human subadult age and sex estimation standards using multi-slice computed tomography images from medical examiner’s offices.” Developments in X-Ray Tomography X, Conference Volume 9967. Stuart R. Stock; Bert Müller; Ge Wang, San Diego, California, United States: August 28, 2016.
    • Chu, EY*, Stull, KE (2020) “The Applicability of Intralimb Indices in the Subadult Biological Profile.” Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Anaheim, CA.
    • Garvin, HM, Marciniec, KA*, Cirillo, LE*, Stock, MK, Stull, KE (2020) “Sex Estimation of the Subadult Pelvis Prior to Acetabular Fusion.” Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Anaheim, CA.
    • Cole, Stephanie* and Stull, KE (2020) “Application and Evaluation of Adult Morphological Sex Traits Using the Subadult Innominate.” Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Anaheim, CA.
    • Stull, KE, Corron, LK, Hulse, CN*, Yang, Y (2019) “Exploring the relationship between dental development, population variation, and environment.” Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Cleveland, OH.
    • Corron, LK, Stull, KE, Yang, Y (2019) “Variation of Skeletal Growth and Development Patterns in Populations with Diverse Socio-Economic Backgrounds.” Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Cleveland, OH.
    • Garvin, HM, Severa,K, Ternent, E, Stock, MK, Cirillo, L*, Stull, KE (2019) “Assessing the Potential of Ilium Outlines, Greater Sciatic Notch Metrics, and Indices of Pubic/Ischial Length for Subadult Sex Estimation.” Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Cleveland, OH.
    • Stock, MK, Corron, LK, Cirillo, LE*, Garvin, HM, Hulse, CN*, Cole, SJ*, Stull, KE, Klales, AR (2019) “Quantifying error in virtual data collection: the impact of MSCT scan segmentation protocol and inter-observer error in 3-D landmark placement on the human subadult pelvis.” Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Cleveland, OH.
    • Corron, LK and Stull, KE (2018) “The predictive ability of sub-adult age indicators according to life history stages: a preliminary study.” Annual Meeting of the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe. Marseille, France.
    • Yim, An-Di*, Stull, KE, Hwa, Hsiao-Lin, and Hon-Man-Liu (2018) “Subadult age estimation of Taiwanese populations using long bone dimensions from radiographs.” 87th Annual Meeting of The American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Austin, TX.