The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2015)


Session 40. Forensic and bioarchaeological perspectives on biological distance. Invited Poster Symposium. Chair: Marin A. Pilloud

March 27, 2015 , Gateway Ballroom 2 Add to calendar

The visibility of biological distance, or biodistance, analyses in anthropology has greatly increased over the past several decades.  As this type of research seeks to explore relationships between populations and individuals it can traverse sub-disciplines; therefore, these studies routinely serve as the basis of research in forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, and paleoanthropology.  The popularity of these studies is most evident in the volume of manuscripts, theses, and dissertations utilizing these analytical methods. 

The availability of new statistical programs and novel statistical methods, as well as the analytical complexity resulting from the inclusion of genetic models to explain relationships between individuals or groups, have greatly changed the approach to biodistance studies.  However, despite advances in the field, many studies continue to rely on outdated methods of analysis. As a result, there is currently no consensus on which data types are most appropriate, which statistical models should be used, or how best to interpret the results of an analysis.  Consequently, there is a marked need for a forum in which to discuss biodistance studies in a comprehensive and cohesive manner.

The goal of this symposium is to synthesize previous work within the realm of biological distance analysis while highlighting current research and future directions.  Scholars engaged in research focusing on population variation within anthropology in both the medicolegal and archaeological realms have been invited to participate in an effort to codify an approach to biological distance analysis. The strength of this symposium is its application to forensic, bioarchaeological, and paleoanthropological research through the evaluation of biological distance approaches in both populations and individuals.  Within this symposium scholars highlight topics such as the applicability of various datasets, methodological considerations, and statistical approaches.  Presentations also include case studies illustrating recent advances in the study of biodistance.

Discussion: Jane Buikstra
1 Add to calendar Biological distance analysis: An analytical history of methods. Joseph T. Hefner, Marin A. Pilloud.
2 Add to calendar Biological distances and population genetics in bioarchaeology. John H. Relethford.
3 Add to calendar Missing data imputation methods and their performance with biodistance analyses. Michael W. Kenyhercz, Nicholas V. Passalacqua.
4 Add to calendar A multi-tiered comparison of craniometric and molecular distances: A test case using specimens from the Norris Farms #36 archeological cemetery site. Heather F. Smith, Brannon I. Hulsey, Frankie L. Pack, Graciela S. Cabana.
5 Add to calendar Forensic Classification and Biodistance in the 21st Century: Why the Machines Will Win. Stephen D. Ousley.
6 Add to calendar Who were they really? Model-free and model-bound dental nonmetric analyses to affirm “known” population affiliations of seven South African “Bantu” samples. Joel D. Irish.
7 Add to calendar Forensic ancestry assessment using cranial nonmetric traits traditionally applied to biological distance studies. Christine M. Pink.
8 Add to calendar A Baffling Convergence: Tooth Crown and Root Morphology in Europe and New Guinea. G. Richard Scott, Roman Schomberg.
9 Add to calendar Betwixt and Between: Central Asians and the Eurodont-Sinodont Dental Complexes. Kelly N. Heim, Christopher A. Maier, G. Richard Scott, Marin A. Pilloud.
10 Add to calendar Reexamining postmarital residence in prehistoric West-Central Illinois. Lyle W. Konigsberg, Susan R. Frankenberg.
11 Add to calendar Biodistance analysis of US/Mexico migrants. M. Katherine Spradley.
12 Add to calendar Dominance in dental morphological traits: Implications for biological distance studies. Heather J.H. Edgar, Stephen D. Ousley.
13 Add to calendar Is there structure in the Euro-American population?: Evidence from cranial morphology. Richard L. Jantz, Lee M. Jantz.
14 Add to calendar Evaluating the differential impact of diet and environmental factors on the shape of different cranial regions: perspectives for reconstructing modern human dispersals. Manon Galland, Julien Corny, Martin Friess, Ron Pinhasi.
15 Add to calendar Cranial shape and the transition to agriculture. Olivia Cheronet, John A. Finarelli, Ron Pinhasi.