Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology

Jessica L. Campbell, Ph.D.

                    Consulting services for unidentified, unknown, or suspected human skeletal remains

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On the scene,

in the lab,

in the courtroom

What exactly is

Forensic Anthropology?

Forensic anthropology is the study of human skeletal remains within the medicolegal system.  Forensic anthropologists can help determine whether suspected human remains are actually bone, human, and recent in origin.  More advanced skills include forensic archaeological recovery, skeletal trauma analysis, and the analysis of pathological conditions or anomalies in the skeleton that can contribute to identification.  We also assist in the estimation of the postmortem interval and reconstruction of the taphonomic profile  describing what has happened to the bones after death.

why use a

Board-Certified Forensic Anthropologist

“A Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (D-ABFA) has attained certification demonstrating expertise in forensic anthropology. Diplomate status is conferred after obtaining a doctorate degree and successfully applying for and passing a rigorous examination that tests core forensic anthropological competencies.
A Diplomate is qualified, vetted, adherent to a code of ethics, and demonstrates continued professional development to maintain certification.”

from “What is an ABFA Diplomate”


What I Can Do For You

As a board-certified forensic anthropologist, I can provide assistance when skeletal remains are found.  Services include assistance on the scene with recovery and documentation, in the lab to answer questions of identity and what happened around and after death, and in the courtroom as an expert witness.  Additional services can include disaster response, training workshops, and guest lectures.  Read more below:

Medicolegal Significance

Is it bone?

Is it human?

Is it recent?


Use of medical imaging to compare antemortem and postmortem images; can assist in sampling skeletal remains for DNA or elemental analysis

Trauma Analysis

What happened around the time of death that might have left evidence on the bones?

Biological Profile





Archaeological Recovery

Clandestine or scattered; multiple casualties; highly fragmented or cremains; indoor or outdoor scenes; cold-case exhumations

Fragmented and/or Incomplete Remains

Reconstruction of fragmented remains to facilitate analysis; minimum number of individuals present, etc.


Resolution of Commingled Remains

Is there more than one person?  Identification of minimum number of individuals and sorting of remains from 2+ individuals

Taphonomic Profile

What has contributed to the condition of the remains since the time of death?

Postmortem Interval (PMI)

Using weather data, how much time has elapsed since the time of death?

Disaster Response

Burned or Cremated Remains

Expert Witness

Scientific analysis and case reviews


Dr. Jessica L. Campbell, Ph.D.

Dr. Jessica L. Campbell is an ABFA board-certified forensic anthropologist consulting on forensic casework in Minnesota.  She is currently conducting research in positive identification of skeletal remains using the frontal sinus in collaboration with Des Moines University and has assisted with forensic casework on request at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner.  Prior to Iowa, she served as a contracting Forensic Anthropologist at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Honolulu, HI, helping to identify unresolved casualties from previous military conflicts.  Dr. Campbell has experience with forensic casework in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, New York, and has assisted with the humanitarian mission to recover and identify missing migrants on Texas/Mexico border.

Dr. Campbell is a Member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), the American Association of Biological Anthropologists, and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, as well as a member of two regional forensic anthropology meetings.

Dr. Campbell’s ongoing research includes the estimation of age-at-death from adult skeletal remains, the resolution of commingled remains, the use of medical imaging in trauma analysis and positive identification, and the applications of biostatistics, particularly Bayesian inference, to forensic anthropology.

Selected Research

∝ Campbell J, Butaric L. (2022) Technical modifications for the application of the Total Difference Method for frontal sinus comparison. Biology, 11(7):1075. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11071075.

∝ Butaric LN, Campbell JL, Fischer KM, Garvin HM. (2022) Ontogenetic patterns in human frontal sinus shape: a longitudinal study using elliptical Fourier analysis.  Journal of Anatomy, 241(2):195-210.  https://doi.org/10.1111/joa.13687.

∝ Messer D, Campbell J, Adler B, Ruess L, Brink F, Xiang H. (2021) Differences in Fracture Healing between Unintentional and Abuse-related Fractures in Young Children. American Academy of Forensic Sciences 73rd Annual Scientific Meeting (podium). Held Virtually.

Get In Touch

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Based in Minnesota

Serving the upper midwest region

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