Amy Michael

Assistant Professor
Phone: (603) 862-1864
Office: UNH Anthropology, Huddleston Hall, Durham, NH 03824
headshot of Amy Michael

Amy Michael is a biological anthropologist specializing in the investigation of human tooth and bone microstructure in an effort to answer questions about past and modern bodies. Using the principles of skeletal biology, Michael asks questions about health, pathology and age-at-death to better understand people in the past and present. With training in bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology and historical archaeology, Amy has worked on field projects in the United States, Belize and Albania. Dr. Michael is passionate about bringing a social justice perspective to her work on forensic cold cases. She is a founding board member and Director of Professional Collaboration t for the Trans Doe Task Force, a grassroots organization led by forensic genealogists and anthropologists, which works to identify transgender and non-binary decedents in forensic cases.


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, Michigan State University
  • M.A., Anthropology, Michigan State University
  • B.A., Anthropology, University of Iowa

Research Interests

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Bone and tooth histology
  • Dental anthropology
  • Dental Health & Hygiene
  • Effects of drugs and alcohol on skeletal microstructure
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Forensic Science
  • Maya bioarchaeology
  • Microscopy
  • Pathology
  • Skeletal Diseases
  • Skeletal trauma
  • Skull-photo superimposition and image comparison

Courses Taught

  • 550: Intro to Forensic Anth
  • 660: Human Osteology
  • ANTH 415: Human Evolution, Fossils & DNA
  • ANTH 550: Intro to Forensic Anth
  • ANTH 655: Bioarchaeology
  • ANTH 697: Spc Top/Bioarcheology
  • ANTH 699: Senior Thesis
  • ANTH 699H: Honors Senior Thesis
  • ANTH 700: Internship
  • ANTH 797: Advanced Topics
  • INCO 590: Rsrch Exp/Anthropology
  • INCO 790: Adv Rsrch Exp/Anthropology
  • JUST 701: Sem/Legal Issues Forensic Anth

Selected Publications

Michael, A. R., Blatt, S. H., Isa, M., Redgrave, A., & Ubelaker, D. H. (2022). Identification of a decedent in a 103-year-old homicide case using forensic anthropology and genetic genealogy. FORENSIC SCIENCES RESEARCH. doi:10.1080/20961790.2022.2034717

Michael, A. R., & Blatt, S. H. (2021). The Triad Approach for Human Identification: The Role of Biological Anthropologists in Collaborative Forensic Genetic Genealogy Efforts. Forensic Genomics, 1(2), 60-71. doi:10.1089/forensic.2020.0006

Michael, A., Bengtson, J., & Blatt, S. (2021). Genes, Race, Ancestry, and Identity in Forensic Anthropology: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Concerns. Forensic Genomics, 1(2), 41-46. doi:10.1089/forensic.2021.0004

Blatt, S., & Michael, A. (2020). Bridging the gap in identification: Sella turcica bridging as a potential positive identification factor. Forensic Imaging, 21, 200384. doi:10.1016/j.fri.2020.200384

Blatt, S., Petersen, K., & Michael, A. (2020). Estimating Age of Mature Adults from Degeneration of the Medial End of the Clavicle in an African American Sample. Forensic Anthropology, 3(1), 39-49. doi:10.5744/fa.2020.1005

O'Gorman, J., Bengtson, J. D., & Michael, A. R. (2020). Ancient history and new beginnings: necrogeography and migration in the North American midcontinent. WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY, 52(1), 16-34. doi:10.1080/00438243.2019.1736138

Michael, A., Wrobel, G., & Biggs, J. (2018). Understanding Late Classic Maya mortuary ritual in caves:
dental evidence of health from macro- and microscopic defects and caries.. In Bioarchaeology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

Michael, A. R., & Bengtson, J. D. (2016). Chronic alcoholism and bone remodeling processes: Caveats and considerations for the forensic anthropologist.. J Forensic Leg Med, 38, 87-92. doi:10.1016/j.jflm.2015.11.022

Michael, A. (n.d.). Human identification using skull-photo superimposition and forensic image comparison. In A Companion to Forensic Anthropology.

Michael, A. (n.d.). Social identity and geographic origin of Maya burials
at Actun Uayazba Kab, Roaring Creek Valley, Belize. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.

Most Cited Publications