Dr. Mari Isa, Biological Anthropology

Mari Isa

Dr. Mari Isa’s extensive skeletal trauma research is described by her mentor, Dr. Todd Fenton, as advancing the frontiers of science in forensic anthropology. In Dr. Isa’s dissertation, “Experimental Investigations of Blunt Force Trauma in the Human Skeleton,” she used controlled biomechanical experiments on human bones to explore how fractures form in response to specific sets of applied loading variables. Her work is unique in that it uses an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the complex phenomenon of bone fracture. This approach contrasts with traditional trauma studies, which have relied on samples of fractures with unknown or unobserved origins. Dr. Isa’s research thus provides a profound contribution to anthropological trauma analysis and the interpretation of fracture patterns on the skeleton resulting from blunt force trauma.

An alumna of the MSU Forensic Anthropology Laboratory, Dr. Isa is an accomplished forensic anthropologist who has worked on the wide array of human remains cases that arise in death investigations. During her time as a graduate student, she was the lead analyst in over forty forensic cases involving human remains. Dr. Isa is also engaged in bioarchaeological research. Since 2015, she has focused on the paleopathological analysis of human skeletons from an early Middle Ages cemetery in southern Tuscany, Italy.

After earning her PhD in 2020, Dr. Isa joined the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Texas Tech University as a tenure-stream Assistant Professor. In addition to teaching courses on forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology, she is the forensic anthropologist for the TTU Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology Response Team.

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