Misty Weitzel, PhD


Associate Professor
Graduate Program Coordinator

Office Hours Fall 2019:

Online By Appointment

Location:  Maaske Hall 203


Research Areas:


Forensic Anthropology, Female Veterans, and Race & Racism




Misty Weitzel is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Western Oregon University specializing in forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology.

She has conducted fieldwork in the U.S., Canada, Siberia, and Cyprus with publications on human decomposition and taphonomy, Bronze Age Siberian bioarchaeology, analysis of burned human remains and pedagogical methods.  Her current research involves tracking the level of microbial activity in soils surrounding decomposing pigs over time.  The goal is to demonstrate that diversity and population levels of bacteria may provide clues to time since death for a time period that has traditionally been difficult for forensic scientists to ascertain.

Another research focus is to provide osteobiographical information from individuals recovered from the Episkopi-Bamboula site on the south coast of Cyprus and report any pathological conditions and important anomalies that can be found in the bones and teeth.

BA Oregon State University
MAIS Oregon State University
PhD University of Alberta, Canada




She serves as a monthly columnist for Anthropology News (http://www.anthropology-news.org/), the official newspaper of the American Anthropological Association.  Her column entitled Pedagogical Approaches in Bioanthropology has so far dealt with topics such as teaching forensic anthropology courses online and race-related issues – topics pertinent to criminal justice. She is also a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team (DMORT), a federal level response team designed to provide mortuary assistance in the case of a mass fatality or cemetery related incident.