GMS 6356: Applied Osteology

Elective Course
Credits: 3
Instructor: Dr. Maranda Kles

This course will provide a more specialized application to the principles of forensic anthropology through an in-depth look into some of the more common practices of a forensic anthropologist. Addressing the biological profile, comparative osteology, and unique cases that would involve a forensic anthropologist, the student will gain a better understanding of how osteology is applied in forensic casework.


  • Identify all major components of the biological profile.
  • Understand and explain the methods used to determine each aspect of the biological profile.
  • Preliminarily identify skeletal remains as human vs. non-human.
  • Understand the major skeletal differences between humans, other mammals, and non-mammals.
  • Show familiarity and understanding of different types of fragmented remains that a forensic anthropologist may encounter in casework.
  • Understand methods of clandestine grave detection and excavation.




Module 1 An Introduction to Casework
Module 2 Comparative Osteology – Human vs. Non-Human
Module 3 The Biological Profile – Age and Sex
Module 4 The Biological Profile – Stature and Ancestry
Module 5 The Biological Profile – Unique Pathology and Condition
Module 6 The Biological Profile – Other Methods of Identification
Module 7 The Biological Profile – Trauma and Taphonomy
Module 8 Clandestine Grave Detection and Excavation
Module 9 Fragmented Remains and Case Examples
Module 10 Current Topics in Forensic Anthropology