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Faculty and Staff Profile

Katherine Weisensee

Interim Chair & Associate Professor

Office: Brackett 132
Phone: (864) 656-3238
Vita: View

 Educational Background

Ph.D. Anthropology
University of Tennessee 2008

M.A. Anthropology
University of Tennessee 2001

B.A. Anthropology
Brandeis University 1999

 Courses Taught

Biological Anthropology
Introduction to Anthropology
Forensic Anthropology
Human Variation
Human Remains Recovery


My current research focuses on secular changes that have occurred in the craniofacial morphology of modern populations during the past 200 years. The past two centuries have been a unique experiment on the effects of extreme environmental change on human populations. By examining a documented sample of modern Portuguese skeletons, I am exploring both the proximate and ultimate causes underlying the observed secular changes. The unique nature of my sample provides the opportunity for exploring the effects of changes in mortality patterns, migration rates, and socio-economic parameters in a modern population and their outcomes on the phenotype. I have also been working as a forensic anthropology consultant for various counties in the Upstate of South Carolina. When skeletal remains are discovered, I assist law enforcement officers with the identification of the remains.

 Research Interests

Forensic anthropology, population genetics, bioarchaeology, geometric morphometrics, quantitative methods, paleodemography

 Research Publications

Weisensee, K.E., R.L. Jantz (2016). “An Examination of the Differential Effects of the Modern Epidemiological Transition on Cranial Morphology in the United States and Portugal.” Human Biology, vol. 88, no. 1.

Spradley M.K., Weisensee K.E. (2016). “Ancestry Estimation: The Importance, the history, and the practice” In Tersigni-Tarrant M and Shirley N (Eds.), Forensic Anthropology: A Comprehensive Introduction, Second Edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press

Dunphy M, Weisensee K, Mikhailova E, Harman MK. (2015). “Design and evaluation of bioreactors to model forensic burial environments.” Forensic Science International 257, 242-251.

Spradley M.K., Weisensee, K.E., & Jantz, R.L. (2014). “Variation among Paleoindians, Archaic, and recent Native Americans using geometric morphometric methods.” In Owsley DW & Jantz RL (Eds.), Kennewick Man. College Station: Texas A&M Press.

Weisensee K.E. (2013) “Exploring the relative importance of spatial and environmental variation on the craniometrics of the modern Portuguese.” Human Biology.

Weisensee K.E. (2013). “Fluctuating asymmetry and cause of death: Support for the developmental origins of health and disease hypothesis.” American Journal of Human Biology,25(3), 411-417.

Spradley M.K., Weisensee K.E. (2012). “Why do forensic anthropologists estimate ancestry and why is it so controversial?” In Tersigni-Tarrant M and Shirley N (Eds.), Forensic Anthropology: An Introduction. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Weisensee K.E., Jantz R.L. (2011). “Secular changes in craniofacial morphology of the Portuguese using geometric morphometrics.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 145(4),548-559.

Weisensee K.E., Jantz R.L. (2010). “Rethinking Hooton: a re-examination of the Pecos cranial and postcranial data using modern methods.” In Morgan, M (Ed.), Pecos Pueblo Revisited: Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, vol. 85. Cambridge, MA, Peabody Museum Press.

Weisensee K.E. (2009). “Reassessing sex in the Pecos Pueblo population: New analyses of
Hooton’s data.” In Stodder, A (Ed.), Reanalysis and Reinterpretation in Southwestern Bioarchaeology. Arizona State University Press.

Rois L., Weisensee K.E., & Rissech C. (2008). Sacral fusion as an aid in age estimation. Forensic Science International, 180, 111e1-111e7.