Jessica L. Campbell, PhD

Board-certified Forensic Anthropologist

Consulting and services of unknown or unidentified human skeletal remains

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On the scene, in the lab, or 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 unknown remains are bone, human, and recent in origin.  More advanced skills include forensic archaeological recovery, skeletal trauma analysis, and 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 taphonomy, or what has happened to the bones after death. 

About me

Catchy line describing me

Dr. Jessica L. Campbell is an ABFA board-certified forensic anthropologist currently working at Des Moines University in Iowa, where she researches positive identification of skeletal remains using the frontal sinus and assists with forensic casework on request.  Prior to Iowa, she served as a contracted Forensic Anthropologist at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Honolulu, HI, helping to identify unresolved casualties from WWII.  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 two regional forensic anthropology meetings.

Dr. Campbell’s research include the estimation of age-at-death from adult skeletons, 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.

Recent Research
∝Campbell J, Butaric L. (2022) A Validation Test of the Total Difference Technique for Assessing the Frontal Sinus. American Academy of Forensic Sciences 74th Annual Scientific Meeting (poster). Seattle, WA.
∝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 For a Consultation

Medicolegal Significance

        • Is it human?
        • Is it recent?
        • Is it bone?

Archaeological recovery of remains

Personal Identification

Trauma Analysis

Biologocal Profile

        • Age
        • Sex
        • Ancestry
        • Stature

Skeletal Reconstruction

Resolution of commingled remains

Expert witness

Statistical Analysis


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?

Archaeological Recovery

  • Clandestine or Scattered
  • Multiple Casualties
  • Highly fragmented or cremains
  • Indoor or outdoor scenes
  • Cold-case exhumations

Trauma Analysis

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

Biological Profile

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Ancestry
  • Stature


Using medical records and radiographic comparison; can assist in sampling skeletal remains for DNA or elemental analysis

Fragmented and/or Incomplete Remains


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

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

Expert Witness

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”

Get In Touch

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Based in Iowa & Minnesota

Serving the midwest region

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