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Migrant border remains focus of 2nd annual Forensic Anthropology Conference

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
February 17, 2015

The Forensic Anthropology Society at Texas State University will host the 2nd annual Forensic Anthropology Conference: Migrant Identification Along the U.S.-Mexico Border March 7.

The conference will run 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center teaching theater, room 4-16.1. It is free and open to the public.              

The conference will focus on how forensic anthropologists contribute to identifying migrants who die attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Featured speakers include Bruce Anderson, Krista Latham, Joseph Hefner and Eric Bartelink.

Bartelink is an associate professor of physical anthropology and the director of the California State University-Chico Human Identification Laboratory (CSUC-HIL), the Stable Isotope Preparation Laboratory (SIPL) and co-coordinator of the certificate in forensic identification. Bartelink will lecture on isotope analysis to define geographic origins and how this analysis applies to migrant identification.

Latham is an associate professor of biology and anthropology, the director of osteology of the University of Indianapolis Archeology and Forensics Laboratory and director of the University of Indianapolis Molecular Anthropology Laboratory. Latham investigates aspects of skeletal biology, population genetics and skeletal DNA. She will lecture on her experiences in forensic archaeology along the Texas-Mexico border.

Hefner is an assistant professor of anthropology at Michigan State University. He specializes in forensic anthropology and quantitative methods, with primary interests in the estimation of ancestry using morphoscopic (cranial nonmetric) traits and cranial and post-cranial metrics. Hefner will lecture on the use of cranial non-metric and metric traits to assess ancestry estimation of migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Anderson is a forensic anthropologist for the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME), in Tucson, Ariz., and an adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona. Anderson’s interests include human skeletal variability and human identification in medico-legal cases. He will lecture on his experiences with migrant identification at PCOME.

The conference is sponsored by the University Lecture Series, Forensic Anthropology Society, Department of Anthropology and the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State. For more information, contact Megan Veltri at (512) 245-8272 or via email at mfv7@txstate.edu.