In the lab, I specialize in human osteology, skeletal variation, methods of the skeletal biological profile, and forensic anthropology. I am broadly interested in the factors affecting variability in the human skeleton, how this variation can be described and quantified effectively, and what it can help us to say about the individuals found in the present and in the past. I also have expertise in forensic archaeology and outdoor crime scene processing.
I received my PhD in Anthropology from Penn State University, where I also completed completed my undergraduate degree in Biological Anthropology (BS). I also received specialized training in Biological and Forensic Anthropology (MS) from Mercyhurst University where I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Applied Forensic Sciences for the 2017-2018 academic year.
I previously held positions as a Postdoctoral Scholar funded by an NIJ research grant, taught online for the Penn State University Park, Behrend, Wilkes-Barre, and World campuses, and help short-term positions as a Visiting Scientist at The Office of Chief Medical Examiner NYC, a museum aide at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and an undergraduate intern at the C.A. Human Identification Lab at the University of Florida.
My current research focuses on the development, validation, and archaeological application of a new adult age-at-death estimation method using a simplified version of the existing Transition Analysis method (Boldsen et al. 2002) and many binary traits throughout the skeleton. I am currently developing two additional grants for submission during the upcoming grant season with opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. (Schedule an appointment to ask me more!)
Outside of research and teaching, I am an Alumni Mentor for the Liberal Arts College and the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State and am happy to talk to undergraduate students who are interested in applying to graduate school or pursuing anthropology-related careers. I also enjoy swing dancing, hiking, and rock climbing and am excited about exploring the beauty of the intermountain west.