Ep. 09 Navigating the Cutthroat World of Forensic Anthropology with MariaTeresa Tersigni-Tarrant, PhD

Forensics Found

27-04-2023 • 41 mins

Join MariaTeresa A. Tersigni-Tarrant (MT) and Katharine Pope on this week's Forensics Found Podcast as they dish on the cutthroat world of forensic anthropology.

Discover how MT stumbled onto her calling while in college, changed her major from pre-med to forensic anthropology, and experienced working with an inspiring mentor in graduate school.

MT reveals how she landed a job after a very unique interview, the importance of advocating for yourself as an anthropologist, and tips on proving yourself. Learn about the diverse nature of this field and how communication plays a key role. Don't miss out on this episode. Tune in now!

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*All conversations between guest and host represent the opinions of the participants and do not reflect official statements or facts from any represented agencies.

About the Guest

MariaTeresa A. Tersigni-Tarrant, PhD is board certified Forensic Anthropologist (D-ABFA) and board registered Death investigator (D-ABMDI). She is a four-field trained anthropologist that specializes in Forensic Anthropology, with previous teaching experience in many aspects of cultural anthropology, physical anthropology and archaeology, as well as, anatomy, histology, embryology, and forensic science. Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant has over 20 years of teaching experience and has a passion for helping learners at all levels of undergraduate and graduate education.

Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant currently serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine (SLUSOM), where she is the Co-Director of Forensic Education. She is the course director and instructor for the Basic and Advanced Medicolegal Death Investigation Courses offered through SLUSOM. She serves as a Forensic Anthropologist consultant on National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Team Adam, as well as, serving as a part-time Forensic Anthropologist for SNA international in support of the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency. Dr. Tersigni- Tarrant also serves as part-time faculty member at Oakland University in their Forensic Nursing Program, Eastern Michigan University’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, and Saint Louis University’s Forensic Science Program.

Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant serves as a Forensic Anthropologist consultant for various other medicolegal entities in Michigan, Missouri, and Georgia. She was elected President of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA) in 2019, serving as president of the ABFA until July 2022. Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant currently serves as the Past-President for the ABFA and a member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant also served as the Chief Death Investigator for the St. Louis City Medical Examiner’s Office until May 2021.

Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant received her bachelor’s degrees in Microbiology and Anthropology from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. She attended graduate school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she received her Master of Arts Degree in Physical Anthropology. She continued to pursue her doctorate at The University of Tennessee, with a dissertation entitled Serial Long Bone Histology: Inter and Intra Bone Age Estimation. Dr. Tersigni-Tarrant was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship working at the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command on Hickam AFB, Hawaii. During this fellowship, she was instrumental in establishing standard operating procedures for the histological analysis of human remains for the purpose of identifying missing armed-service members.

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