Anthropology Department

Dr. Ashley Kendell

Certificate in Forensic Science Coordinator, Human ID Lab Co-Director

Ashley Kendell and her dog

Curriculum Vitae: Ashley Kendell (PDF)


Ph.D. Michigan State University 2016

M.A. Michigan State University 2012

M.A. California State University, Chico 2010

B.S. The University of Michigan 2006


Registry Certification, American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. Registry Diplomate #2207. Certification obtained August 11, 2014.

Research Interests

My research interests span the sub-disciplines of bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. Within bioarchaeology, I am interested in interpersonal violence in the Great Plains, specifically related to the Arikara tribe. My recent research has focused on using digital osteological data from the Smithsonian to explore changing patterns of violence following repatriation legislation and the restriction of access to skeletal materials.

I am also interested in the forensic analysis of skeletal trauma. Past research initiatives have included fracture pattern analysis following three-point bending experiments and the interpretation of trauma patterns in motor vehicle-pedestrian accidents.

Finally, as a forensic anthropologist, I am deeply embedded in the medico-legal system and have taken strides to increase my understanding and perspective of medico-legal death investigation. Working as a medico-legal death investigator for five years in Lansing, Michigan, I had the opportunity to investigate over 200 unexpected deaths throughout Ingham County. In 2014, I sat for my registry certification and became a Registry Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.

Selected Publications

Kendell, Ashley E. In Press. Applications of Coded Osteology Data from the Smithsonian Repatriation Database for the Study of Violence in the Past. In Blood in the Villages. Cheryl Anderson and Debra Martin, Eds. University of Florida Press.

Geske, L. Nicole, and Ashley E. Kendell. ms. Standardization After Repatriation. Pending Submission.

Fleischman, Julie M., Ashley E. Kendell, Christen C. Eggers, and Laura C. Fulginiti. 2017. Unidentified Border Crosser Deaths in Arizona: Expanding Intra-State Collaborative Efforts in Identification. Journal of Forensic Sciences 62(4);840-849.

Kendell, Ashley E. ms. The Crow Creek Massacre: The Role of Sex in Native American Scalping Practices. In Archaeological Perspectives on Warfare in the Great Plains. Andrew Clark and Douglas Bamforth, Eds. (Accepted for publication, submitted in 2011).

Kendell, Ashley E., Julie M. Fleischman, and Laura Fulginiti. 2015. Traumatic Injury Pattern Analysis in a Light Rail Transit Death: A Retrospective Case Study. Journal of Forensic Sciences 60(30): 764-769.

Kendell, A. and P. Willey. 2013. Crow Creek Bone Bed Commingling: Relationship between Bone Mineral Density and MNI and its Effect on Paleodemography. In Commingled and Disarticulated Human Remains: Working Towards Improved Theory, Method and Data. Anna J. Osterholtz, Kathryn M. Baustian, and Debra L. Martin, eds. Springer Publishing.

Conrad S, Elbarkry R, Fetterman J, Fleischman J, Kendell A, and Weller K. [E-Book]. 2013. Teaching with Technology 2013: Educators Talking Tech. In: De Felice D, editor: Smashwords. Available from:

Courses Taught

ANTH 111 Introduction to Biological Anthropology

ANTH 481 Human Identification

ANTH 601 Seminar in Biological Anthropology