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Amy Z. Mundorff

Amy Z. Mundorff

Associate Professor


Dr. Mundorff is a biological anthropologist who specializes in forensic anthropology and disaster victim identification management (DVI/DVM).  Her research concentrates on the scientific process and management aspects of both locating and identifying the deceased from mass fatality events and gross violations of human rights. Specific research foci include developing non-destructive techniques for locating clandestine graves and examining fracture patterns in plane crash victims. Recent DVI management work includes an NIJ-funded study examining differing DNA yield rates from skeletal elements over increased post mortem intervals (with co-PI Jon Davoren). Prior to academics, Amy worked as the forensic anthropologist for the New York City's Medical Examiner's Office (1999-2004).




  • Ph.D. 2009, Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
  • M.A. 1999, Anthropology, California State University, Chico
  • B.A. 1991, Anthropology, Syracuse University, Syracuse


  • 2019 Andronowski JM, Mundorff AZ, Davis RA, Price EW. Application of X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy to Examine Surface Chemistry of Cancellous Bone and Medullary Contents to Refine Bone Sample Selection for Nuclear DNA Analysis, Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry available online DOI: 10.1039/c9ja00203k

  • 2018 Keenan SW, Emmons AL, Taylor LS, Phillips G, Mason AR, Mundorff AZ, Bernard EC, Davoren J, DeBruyn JM. Spacial Impacts of a Multi-individual Grave on Microbial and Microfaunal Communities and Soil Biochemistry, PLoS One 13(12):e0208845 2018.

  • 2018 Mundorff AZ, Amory S, Huel R, Bilic ́ A, Scott AL, Parsons TJ. An Economical and Efficient Method for Postmortem DNA Sampling in Mass Fatalities, Forensic Science International: Genetics 36:167-175. 

  • 2018 Hendy J, Warinner C, Bouwman A, Collins MJ, Fiddyment S, Fischer R, Hagen R, Hofman CA, Holst M, Chaves E, Klaus L, Larson G, Mackie M, McGrath K, Mundorff AZ, Radini A, Rao H, Trachsel C, Velsko IM, Speller CF. Proteomic Evidence of Dietary Sources in Ancient Dental Calculus, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285:20180977.

  • 2018 Corcoran KA, Mundorff AZ, White DA, Emch WL. A Novel Application of Terrestrial LIDAR to Characterize Elevation Change at Human Grave Surfaces in Support of Narrowing Down Possible Unmarked Grave Locations, Forensic Science International 289:320-328. 

  • 2018 Wright K, Mundorff A, Chaseling J, Maguire C, Crane D. Identifying Child Victims of the South-East Asia Tsunami in Thailand. Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal 27(4):447-455.

  • 2018 Mundorff A, Giovanna V. Mass Disasters, In The International Encyclopedia of Anthropological Biology, Vol. II, Wenda Trevathan, editor. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Hoboken, NJ. pp. 975-978.

  • 2018 Katsanis SH, Snyder L, Arnholt K, Mundorff A. Consent Process for US-based Family Reference DNA Samples. Forensic Science International: Genetics 32: 71-79.
  • 2017 Emmons AL, DeBruyn JM, Mundorff AZ, Cobaugh KL, Cabana GS. The Persistence of Human DNA in Soil Following Surface Decomposition. Science & Justice available online first
  • 2017 Andronowski JM, Mundorff AZ, Pratt IV, Davoren JM, Cooper DML. Evaluating Differential Nuclear DNA Yield Rates and Osteocyte Numbers Among Human Bone Tissue Types: A Synchrotron Radiation Micro-CT Approach. Forensic Science International: Genetics 28:211-218.
  • 2016 Sledzik P, Mundorff AZ. Forensic Anthropology in Disaster Response, In Handbook of Forensic Anthropology and Archeology, 2nd Edition. Blau S, Ubelaker D, editors. Routledge, Abingdon: 477-495.
  • 2016 Mundorff AZ, Black SM, Blau S, Drawdy SM, Kosalka Shore RC. Disaster Victim Management: Role of Anthropologist, In Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 2nd Edition. Payne-James J, Byard R, editors. Elsevier Science, Oxford: pp. 281-287.
  • 2015    Frank E, Mundorff AZ, Davoren J. The Effect of Common Imaging and Hot Water Maceration on DNA Recovery from Skeletal Remains.Forensic Science International 257:189-195.
  • 2015    Wright K, Mundorff A, Chaseling J, Forrest A, Maguire C, Crane D. A New Disaster Victim Identification Management Strategy Targeting “Near Identification-Threshold” Cases: Experiences from the Boxing Day Tsunami. Forensic Science International 250:91-97.
  • 2014    Mundorff AZ. Anthropologist-Directed Triage: Three Distinct Mass Fatality Events Involving Fragmentation of Human Remains, InCommingled Human Remains: Methods in Recovery, Analysis, and Identification. Adams BJ, Byrd JE, editors. Elsevier Science, Oxford; pp. 363-386.
  • 2014    Mundorff AZ, Shaler RC, Bieschke E, Mar-Cash E. Marrying Anthropology and DNA: Essential for Solving Complex Commingling Problems in Cases of Extreme Fragmentation, In Commingled Human Remains: Methods in Recovery, Analysis, and Identification. Adams BJ, Byrd JE, editors. Elsevier Science, Oxford; pp. 255-272.
  • 2014    Mundorff AZ, Davoren JM. Examination of DNA Yield Rates for Different Skeletal Elements at Increasing Post Mortem Intervals. Forensic Science International: Genetics 8:55-63.
  • 2012    Vidoli GM, Mundorff AZ. Victim Fragmentation Patterns and Seat Location Supplements Crash Data: American Airlines Flight 587.Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 83(4):412-417.
  • 2012    Mundorff AZ. Integrating Forensic Anthropology into Disaster Victim Identification. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology 8(2):131-139.  (Special Volume: Disaster Victim Identification and Management).
  • 2011    Checker M (ed.), Mundorff A, Wali A, DeGenova N, Lutz C, Gonzalez R, Johnston BR. “Year that Trembled and Reel’d”: Reflections on Public Anthropology a Decade After 9/11. American Anthropologist 13(3): 491-504.
  • 2009    Zelson Mundorff A, Bartelink EJ, Mar-Cash E. DNA Preservation in Skeletal Elements from the World Trade Center Disaster: Recommendations for Mass Fatality Management. Journal of Forensic Sciences 54 (4):739-745.
Amy Z. Mundorff

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