Amber Plemons

Amber Plemons
University of Kentucky | UKY · College of Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy

About

16
Publications
8,960
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Introduction
I am a PhD student in biological anthropology at Michigan State University working with Dr. Joseph Hefner. I received my BS from Texas State and MA from Mississippi State under the direction of Dr. Nick Herrmann. My research interests focus on human variation, ancestry estimation, dental anthropology, fragmentary remains, and data management. My dissertation research examines the role of genetics and climate on craniofacial form and how this influences human variation on a large scale.

Publications

Publications (16)
Article
Traditional education in biological anthropology relies primarily on hands-on, highly visual experiences. Forensic anthropologists, bioarchaeologists, and osteologists in general should aim to collaborate in developing widespread digital pedagogy suitable for our discipline, increasing digital technologies used for education and training. Considera...
Article
Full-text available
Forensic anthropologists assist law enforcement agencies and medical examiner's offices with investigations involving human remains, providing insight into trauma analysis, the establishment of postmortem interval, and the estimation of biological profile data. Ancestry is considered one of the more difficult aspects of the biological profile, due...
Chapter
The estimation of ancestry in historic skeletal samples and forensic cases from the United States is complicated by diverse population histories of communities. Reference datasets are often temporally varied and geographically limited. Researchers have recognized these limitations and have focused on expanding reference databases to improve assessm...
Article
Full-text available
Dental development is one of the most widely utilized and accurate methods available for estimating age in subadult skeletal remains. The timing of tooth growth and development is regulated by genetics and less affected by external factors, allowing reliable estimates of chronological age. Traditional methodology focuses on comparing tooth developm...
Chapter
Full-text available
Mediante el análisis de rasgos no métricos, la ancestría se puede estimar a partir de restos completos o fragmentados. El método mas utilizado, que se ajusta a las guías de los estándares probatorios, aplica a datos de rasgos macromorfoscópicos (MMS). Estos rasgos se han usado para investigar grupos ancestrales, y se pueden usar para reducir la reg...
Poster
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Full article now available (https://tinyurl.com/FA-Ethics-Pedagogy). Anyone using the link below before May 22, 2022 will be taken directly to the latest version of this article on ScienceDirect, which they are welcome to read or download. No sign up, registration or fees are required. https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1erEk4q6IcubKw
Article
Full-text available
Isoscape refinement is an essential component for accurately predicting region-of-origin in forensic investigations involving isotope analysis of unidentified human remains. Stable oxygen (δ(18) O) and hydrogen (δ(2) H) isotopes were measured from 57 tap water samples collected across Mississippi to model refined isoscapes for the state. A tap wate...
Article
As part of a much larger investigation into the use of macromorphoscopic trait data by forensic anthropologists to estimate ancestry from unidentified skeletal remains, we conducted a fourteen-year (2002-2016) intraobserver error study. Motivated by the development of a large macromorphoscopic database-which will potentially utilize data collected...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropologists have a lengthy history using cranial nonmetric traits to assess biological distances between populations. These concepts were adopted by forensic anthropologists to estimate ancestry at the individual level using population-based human variation. However, this method of estimation must adhere to the Daubert guidelines to be applied...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropologists have a lengthy history using cranial nonmetric traits to assess biological distances between populations. These concepts were adopted by forensic anthropologists to estimate ancestry at the individual level using population-based human variation. However, this method of estimation must adhere to the Daubert guidelines to be applied...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
This dissertation project examines the causative forces of global human craniofacial variation by combining global craniofacial morphological, climatic, and genetic datasets to measure the magnitude and directionality of several climate variables while controlling for population structure. Craniofacial information will be obtained from a newly developed dataset of Macromorphoscopic (MMS) Traits, a series of seventeen quasi-continuous morphological traits, known as the Macromorphoscopic Databank (MaMD).This project will provide an understanding of evolutionary forces controlling systematic patterns of global craniofacial variation in the Macromorphoscopic Databank (MaMD). While population variation in MMS trait expression has been demonstrated, we have no empirical evidence for why these patterns exist, if they are meaningful, and if the traits we use in ancestry estimation have evolutionary significance. Consequently, this project is critical for establishing validity and reliability for future MMS research.
Project
The goal of this NIJ-funded (NIJ 2018-DU-BX-0182) research is to provide forensic anthropologists with an accurate age estimation method based on a large, demographically diverse, modern subadult sample that accurately captures variation in the dental developmental process. This research will improve best practice for estimating subadult age-at-death in forensic casework via the application of transition analysis to a complete or incomplete suite of dentition.
Project
Trait data incorporated into the Macromorphoscopic Databank (MaMD) (http://macromorphoscopic.com/) will be mapped to spatially analyze human variation on a large scale. This project will be completed through a Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowship at Michigan State University.