Professor; Director, Forensic Anthropology Center
Dawnie Wolfe Steadman is the Director of the Forensic Anthropology Center and Professor of Anthropology. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and has been a professor at Iowa State University and Binghamton University, SUNY before coming to the University of Tennessee in 2011. She is a Diplomate (#72) of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is a past Vice President of the Board. Her research interests lie in forensic anthropology, bioarcheology and human rights investigations. Her primary role as Director of the FAC is to generate and facilitate research, particularly novel technological applications, utilizing the FAC resources, including the Bass Donated Skeletal Collection and the Anthropology Research Facility (commonly known as The Body Farm).
Dawnie Wolfe Steadman is a skeletal biologist who specializes in forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology and human rights investigations. She is a Board Certified Forensic Anthropologist and consults for medical examiners and law enforcement across the nation. Her edited book, Hard Evidence: Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology, is in its second edition and emphasizes the multidisciplinary, collaborative nature of the forensic sciences. Specific forensic research foci include quantifying statistical probabilities of personal identification from osteological evidence and validation studies of aging methods.
Dawnie Wolfe Steadman has worked on both prehistoric and historic cemetery sites, including poorhouse cemeteries. Recent bioarchaeological work includes an NSF-funded study of warfare and community health in prehistoric Tennessee (with co-PI Charles Cobb), the epidemiological modeling of prehistoric diseases, and the application of population genetic models to prehistoric populations. She has been involved in human rights investigations in several countries, most recently in Spain and Uganda.
Selected Research Grants (last 5 years):
2017-2019 National Institute of Justice, Basic Scientific Research to Support Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes. Audris Mockus and D. W. Steadman. DOJ-NIJ 2016-DN-BX-0179. “ICPUTRD: Image Cloud Platform for use in Tagging and Research on Decomposition.”
2017-2018 University of Tennessee Faculty/Student Research Awards. T. Hepner and D.W. Steadman. “Spirits of the Dead and Transitional Justice in Northern Uganda.”
2016-2018 National Institute of Justice, Basic Scientific Research to Support Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes. M. Kenyhercz, G. Vidoli and D.W. Steadman. DOJ-NIJ 2015-DN-BX-K019. “Expanding Total Body Score with Geographic Information Systems.”
2015-2016 Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office/Technical Support Working Group. C. Boehnen, D. Bolme and D.W. Steadman. “Biometric Viability During Human Decomposition.”
2015-2017 National Institute of Justice, Applied Scientific Research to Support Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes. G. Gordon, K. Knudson, A.D. Anbar, and D. Steadman. DOJ-NIJ 2014-DN-BX-K002. “Isotopic Taphonomy of Human Remains.”
2015-2017 National Institute of Justice, Applied Scientific Research to Support Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes. N. Shirley, P. Wood, D. Steadman and D. Mileusnic. DOJ-NIJ 2014-DN-BX-K010. “Postmortem interval determination: A metabolomics/lipidomics approach.”
2015-2017 National Institute of Justice, Applied Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes. J. Bytheway, D. Steadman and D. Wescott. DOJ-NIJ 2014-DN-BX-K009. “Validation Study of the Utility of Using Total Body Score and Accumulated Degree Days to Determine the Post-Mortem Interval of Human Remains from Three Human Decomposition Research Facilities.”
2014 National Institute of Justice, Graduate Research Fellowship Program in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics with Sean Tallman. DOJ-NIJ 2014-DN-BX-0002. “The Evaluation and Refinement of Nonmetric Sex and Ancestry Assessment Methods in Japanese and Thai Individuals.”
2014-2016 National Institute of Justice, Basic Scientific Research to Support Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes. D. Steadman, G. Vidoli, L. Jantz, J. DeBruyn, S. Schaeffer, and R. Williams. 2013-DN-BX-K037. “A Multidisciplinary Validation Study of Non-human Animal Models for Forensic Decomposition Research.”
2013 Wenner-Gren Anthropological Foundation with Jieun Kim, “Understanding a threshold of population-specificity using the Transition Analysis aging method for Asian skeletal samples.”
2013 Wenner-Gren Anthropological Foundation with Christina Fojas, “Modeling Prehistoric Health in Middle Tennessee: Mississippian Populations on the Threshold of Depopulation.”
- Ph.D. 1997, Anthropology, University of Chicago
- M.A. 1992, Anthropology, University of Chicago
- B.A. 1989, Anthropology, University of Arizona
- Diplomate - American Board of Forensic Anthropology (No. 72)
Director, Forensic Anthropology Center
Vice President, American Board of Forensic Anthropology (2015-2017)
Board Member, American Board of Forensic Anthropology (2012 – 2017)
Awards and Recognitions
Betty Lynn Hendrickson Professorship, University of Tennessee (2017-2019)
Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- In Press. Steadman, Dawnie Wolfe. Demography and Pathology at Monjukli Depe,Turkmenistan. In: Looking Closely. Excavations at Monjukli Depe,
Turkmenistan, 2010-2014. Susan Pollock, Reinhard Bernbeck and Birgül Ögü, eds. Leiden, The Netherlands: Sidestone Press.
- In Press. Steadman, Dawnie Wolfe. Bodies of Evidence: The Body-as-Evidence Paradigm in Domestic and International Forensic Anthropology. In: Bioarchaeologists Speak Out - Deep Time Perspectives on Contemporary Issues. Jane Buikstra, ed. New York: Springer.
- In Press. Redeker-Hepner, Trisha, Dawnie Wolfe Steadman and Julia R. Hannebrink. Sowing the Dead: Massacres and the Missing in Northern Uganda. In: Cheryl Anderson and Debra Martin, eds. Massacres: Bioarchaeological and Forensic Anthropology Approaches. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.
2018. Horbaly, Haley E ; Kenyhercz, Michael W ; Hubbe, Mark ; Steadman, Dawnie W. The Influence of Body Size on the Expression of Sexually Dimorphic Morphological Traits. Journal of forensic sciences, Early View 05 July 2018. https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13850
- 2018. Steadman DW, Dautartas A, Kenyhercz MW, Meadows Jantz L, Mundorff AZ, Vidoli GM. Differential scavenging among pig, rabbit and human subjects. Journal of Forensic Sciences. Early View 12 April 2018. https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13786
- 2018. Dautartas A, Kenyhercz MW, Vidoli GM, Meadows Jantz L, Mundorff AZ, Steadman DW. Differential decomposition among pig, rabbit and human subjects. Journal of Forensic Sciences.Early View 30 March 2018. https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13784
- 2017. Adserias-Garriga J, Quijada NM, Hernandez M, Lázaro DR, Steadman D, Garcia‐Gil J. Daily Thanatomicrobiome Changes in Soil as an Approach of Postmortem Interval Estimation: An Ecological Perspective. Forensic Science International. 278:388-395. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.07.017
- 2017. Adserias-Garriga J, Quijada NM, Hernandez M, Lázaro DR, Steadman D, Garcia‐Gil J. Dynamics of the Oral Microbiota as a Tool to Estimate Time Since Death. Molecular Oral Microbiology. 32:511-516. DOI: 10.1111/omi.12191
- 2017Vidoli GM, Steadman DW, Devlin J, Jantz LM. 2017. History and Development of the First Anthropology Research Facility, Knoxville, Tennessee. In Taphonomy of Human Remains: Forensic Analysis of the Dead and the Depositional Environment. Editors: Schotsmans EMJ, Marquez-Grant N, Forbes SL. West Sussex, UK: Wiley. pp 463-474.
- 2017. Sauerwein Kelly, Tiffany B. Saul, Dawnie Wolfe Steadman, Chrisopher B. Boehnen. The Effects of Decomposition on the Efficacy of Biometrics for Positive Identification. Journal of Forensic Sciences 62(6):1599-1602. DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.13484
- 2016. Steadman, Dawnie Wolfe, William Basler, Michael J. Hochrein, Dennis F. Klein, and Julia C. Goodin. Investigative and Legal Aspects of a U.S. Federal Death Penalty Case. In The Handbook of Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology, 2nd ed. edited by Soren Blau and Douglas Ubelaker. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. pp 447-462.
- 2016. D. S. Bolme, R. A. Tokola, C. B. Boehnen, T. B. Saul, K. A. Sauerwein and D. Wolfe Steadman. Impact of environmental factors on biometric matching during human decomposition. 2016 IEEE 8th International Conference on Biometrics Theory, Applications and Systems (BTAS), Niagara Falls, NY, September 5, 2016, pp. 1-8. doi: 10.1109/BTAS.2016.7791177. (Winner Best Paper)
- 2016. Worne, Heather, Giovanna M. Vidoli, and Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. Bioarchaeological Analysis of WPA Mound Bottom Skeletal Sample. In New Deal Archaeology in the Tennessee Valley: 1933-1942, edited by David A. Dye. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
- 2015. Leshner, Alan I, Buikstra Jane E, Clear Todd R, Holton J. Jerome, Isenschmid Daniel S., Petrosino Joseph F, Piquero Alex R, Spohn Cassia, Steadman Dawnie Wolfe, Stern Hal, Wagner Jarrad, Walsh Kelly A. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice. Committee on Strengthening Forensic Science at the National Institute of Justice. Committee on Law and Justice, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
- 2015. Cobb, Charles R., Anthony M. Krus and Dawnie W. Steadman. Bayesian Modeling of the Occupation Span of the Averbuch site in the Middle Cumberland Drainage, Tennessee. Southeastern Archaeology 34(1):46-56.
- 2014. Bos, Kirsten I., Kelly M. Harkins, Alexander Herbig, Mireia Coscolla, Nico Weber, Iñaki Comas, Stephen A. Forrest, Josephine M. Bryant, Simon R. Harris, Verena J. Schuenemann, Tessa J. Campbell, Kerrtu Majander, Alicia K. Wilbur, Ricardo A. Guichon, Dawnie L. Wolfe Steadman, Della Collins Cook, Stefan Niemann, Marcel A. Behr, Martin Zumarraga, Daniel Huson, Kay Nieselt, Douglas Young, Julian Parkhill, Jane E. Buikstra, Sebastien Gagneux, Anne C. Stone, and Johannes Krause. Pre-Columbian Mycobacterial Genomes Reveal Seals as a Source of New World Human Tuberculosis. Nature 514(7523):494-497.
- 2014. Kim, Jieun and Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. A Review of Codes of Ethics in the United States and Ethical Dilemnas Surrounding NAGPRA. Korean Journal of Physical Anthropology. Volume 27, Number 2 (2014) pp. 47-63.
- 2014. Steadman, Dawnie Wolfe, Dennis C. Dirkmaat, Mark LeVaughn, Raymond G. Miller, Laura A. Regan and Dianne Vertes. Recovery and Identification of Victims of the Colgan Air Flight 3407 Crash. In: Bradley J. Adams and John E. Byrd (eds), Commingled Human Remains: Methods in Recovery, Analysis and Identification, 2nd ed. Academic Press.
- 2013. Vidoli, Giovanna M., Joanne Devlin, Lee Meadows Jantz and Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. Training Contributions of the Forensic Anthropology Center to Human Skeletal Recoveries and Casework. Georgia Division of the International Association of Identification Newsletter. 43(3):24-25.
- 2013. Steadman, Dawnie Wolfe. The Places We Will Go: Paths Forward in Forensic Anthropology. In: Forensic Science: Current Issues, Future Directions. Douglas H. Ubelaker, ed. Wiley-Blackwell Press. pp-131-159.
- 2012. Worne, Heather, Charles R. Cobb, Giovanna Vidoli and Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. The Space of War: Connecting Geophysical Landscapes with Skeletal Evidence of Warfare-Related Trauma. In: The Bioarchaeology of Violence. D.L. Martin, R.P. Harrod and V.R. Perez, eds. pp 141-159.
- 2012. Rissech, Carme, Jeremy Wilson, Allysha Powanda Winburn, Daniel Turbon and Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. A Comparison of Three Established Age Estimation Methods on an Adult Spanish Sample. International Journal of Legal Medicine. 126:145-155.
- 2012. Cobb, Charles C. and Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. Pre-Columbian Warfare and Indecorous Images in Southeastern North America. In: To Report or not to Report: Amerindian Warfare, Environmental Degradation, and the Anthropologist’s Dilemma. R.J. Chacon and Rubén G. Mendoza, eds. Springer Press. pp 37-50.
- 2011. Rissech, Carme and Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. The Demographic, Socio-economic and Temporal Contextualisation of the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona Collection of Identified Human Skeletons (UAB Collection). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 21(3):313-322.
- 2010. Lee, Esther J., Jennifer G. Luedtke, Jamie L. Allison, Carolyn E. Arber, D. Andrew Merriwether, Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. The Effects of Different Maceration Techniques on Nuclear DNA Amplification Using Human Bone. Journal of Forensic Sciences 55(4):1032-1038.
- 2009. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe (ed.) Hard Evidence: Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology, 2nd Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- 2009. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe and Steven A. Andersen. The Marty Miller Case: Introducing Forensic Anthropology. pp 8-28. In: Steadman (above).
- 2009. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe and Lyle W. Konigsberg. Multiple Points of Similarity (revised). pp 68-79. In: Steadman (above).
- 2009. Konigsberg, Lyle, Bridget F.B. Algee-Hewitt and Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. Estimation and Evidence in Forensic Anthropology: Sex and Race. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 139(1):77-90.
- 2009. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe, William Basler, Michael Hochrein and Dennis Klein. Domestic Homicide Investigations: United States. In: World Archaeological Congress: Handbook of Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology. D.H. Ubelaker and S. Blau, eds. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. pp. 351-362.
- 2008. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe. Warfare Related Trauma at Orendorf, a Middle Mississippian Site in West-Central Illinois. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 136(1):51-64.
- 2008. Gassiot Ballbe, Ermengol and Dawnie Wolfe Steadman. The Political, Social and Scientific Contexts of Archaeological Investigations of Mass Graves in Spain. Archaeologies 4(3):429-444.
- 2008. Congram, Derek and Dawnie L. Wolfe Steadman. Distinguished Guests or Agents of Ingérence: Foreign Participation in Spanish Civil War Grave Excavations. Complutum 19(2):161-173.
- 2008. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe, Kris Sperry, Frederick Snow, Laura Fulginiti and Emily Craig. Forensic Anthropological Investigations of the Tri-State Crematorium Incident. In: Recovery, Analysis and Identification of Commingled Human Remains. B.J. Adams and J. Byrd, eds. Totawa, NJ: Humana Press. pp 81-96.
- 2008. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe. Simulation of Microevolutionary Principles (Or: Alleles That Don’t Melt in Your Hands). In: Strategies in Teaching Anthropology, 5th edition. P. Rice and D. McCurdy, eds. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. pp. 37-40.
- 2007. Gassiot Ballbè, Ermengol, Joaquim Oltra Puigdoménech, Elena Sintes Olives and Dawnie L. Wolfe Steadman. Archaeology of the Spanish Civil War: Rescue of the Memory and Historic Justice. In: Archaeology and Capitalism: From Ethics to Politics. Y. Hamilakis and P. Duke, eds. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. pp 235-245.
- 2007. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe and Heather Worne. Canine Scavenging of Human Remains in an Indoor Setting. Forensic Science International 173:78-82.
- Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe, Bradley Adams and Lyle Konigsberg. Response to Anderson: Statistical Basis for Positive Identification in Forensic Anthropology. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 133(1):741-742.
- 2006. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe, Bradley Adams and Lyle Konigsberg. The Statistical Basis for Positive Identifications in Forensic Anthropology. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 131(1):15-26.
- 2006. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe, Lisa DiAntonio, Jeremy Wilson, Kevin E. Sheridan and Steven Tammariello. The Effects of Chemical and Heat Maceration on the Recovery of Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA from Bone. Journal of Forensic Sciences 51(1):11-17.
- 2005. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe and William D. Haglund. The Scope of Anthropological Contributions to Human Rights Investigations. Journal of Forensic Sciences 50(1):1-8.
- 2003. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe and Steven A. Andersen. Latent Print Processing of Human Bones. Journal of Forensic Identification 53(5):556-565.
- 2003. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe (ed.) Hard Evidence: Case Studies in Forensic Anthropology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- 2003. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe. Introducing Forensic Anthropology. pp. 1-22. In Steadman (above).
- 2003. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe. The Pawn Shop Mummified Head: Discriminating Among Forensic, Historic, and Ancient Contexts. pp. 212-226. (pp. 258-270 in 2nd edition; no major revision). In: Steadman (above).
- 2003. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe and Lyle W. Konigsberg. Multiple Points of Similarity. pp. 63-76. In: Steadman (above).
- 2003. Mundorff, Amy Zelson and Dawnie L. Wolfe Steadman. Anthropological Perspectives of the Forensic Response at the World Trade Center Disaster. American Anthropological Association Bulletin of the General Anthropology Division 10(1):1-5. (non-peer reviewed)
- 2001. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe. Mississippians in Motion? A Population Genetic Analysis of Interregional Gene Flow in West-Central Illinois. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 114(1):61-73.
- 1998. Steadman, Dawnie L. Wolfe. The Population Shuffle in the Central Illinois Valley: A Diachronic Model of Mississippian Biocultural Interactions. World Archaeology 30(2): 306-326.