Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Dr. Ousley received his bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying under Ellis Kerley. He earned his Master’s and Ph.D degrees in Physical Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he studied under Professors Richard Jantz and Lyle Konigsberg. As a graduate research assistant, Dr. Ousley worked as database administrator and data collector for the Forensic Data Bank. The Data Bank serves as a repository of skeletal data from forensic cases from around the country. His master’s thesis dealt with the peopling of the New World and Native American anthropometrics and his dissertation was a quantitative genetics analysis of fingerprints.
Dr. Ousley joined the Applied Forensic Sciences Department in 2007. Prior to coming to Mercyhurst, Dr. Ousley served as Director of the Repatriation Osteology Laboratory in the Repatriation Office of the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution. He managed one of the largest osteological documentation programs in the United States, primarily using and developing multivariate statistical methods to determine ancestry, frequently to the level of tribal origins, of human remains in the Smithsonian’s collection.
Dr. Ousley is best known for co-authoring Fordisc, a computer program that aids in the identification of unknown human remains using various statistical methods. Fordisc is used by virtually every board certified forensic anthropologist in the United States and many around the world. Dr. Ousley has made over forty presentations at professional meetings and published over twenty papers in several anthropological journals. He also regularly reviews submitted articles for various anthropological journals.