Forensic Anthropology

According to the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, forensic anthropology is the application of the science of physical anthropology to the legal process. The identification of skeletal, badly decomposed, or otherwise unidentified human remains is important for both legal and humanitarian reasons. Forensic anthropologists apply standard scientific techniques developed in physical anthropology to identify human remains, and to assist in the detection of crime.

Forensic anthropologists frequently work in conjunction with forensic pathologists, odontologists, and homicide investigators to identify a decedent, discover evidence of foul play, and/or the postmortem interval. In addition to assisting in locating and recovering suspicious remains, forensic anthropologists work to suggest the age, sex, ancestry, stature, and unique features of a decedent from the skeleton.

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Forensic Anthropologist in Focus

Dr. A. Midori AlbertDr. A. Midori Albert

Dr. A. Midori Albert is Professor of Physical Anthropology at University of North Carolina Wilmington.


PhD in anthropology, University of Colorado at Boulder

MA in anthropology, University of Florida

BS in psychology, University of Florida


Human identification and the development of the biological profile: Specific research interests in teenage and young adult skeletal age estimation methods, age-related craniofacial morphologic changes in adults, and decomposition rates and patterns.

Human Osteology. Bone growth and maturation as affected by environmental stress, developmental asymmetry and its relationship to environmental stress.

Search and recovery of human remains, time since death estimations, osteological analyses to establish the biological profile (age, sex, stature, individualizing traits) of unknown skeletons or corroborate identification, and pathology (trauma and disease) assessment from human skeletal remains.

To learn more, Click Here to visit Dr. Midori Albert's website.

Expert Interview

Forensic Anthropology Expert Sue Black

Education and training, history cold cases, the million for a morgue campaign. These are just some of the topics covered in this fascinating interview with Professor Sue Black (OBE). See following link.

Professor Sue Black

Essential Reading

Winner of a 2015 Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association, this excellent book draws upon real case studies from the varied experiences, backgrounds, and practices of working forensic anthropologists. This text guides the reader through all aspects of human remains recovery and forensic anthropological analysis, presenting principles at a level that is appropriate for those new to the field, while at the same time incorporating evolutionary, biomechanical, and other theoretical foundations for the features and phenomena encountered in forensic anthropological casework. 

Attention is focused primarily on the most recent and scientifically valid applications commonly employed by working forensic anthropologists. Readers will therefore learn about innovative techniques in the discipline, and aspiring practitioners will be prepared by understanding the necessary background needed to work in the field today. 

See following link for full details.

Forensic Anthropology: Current Methods and Practice

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