Dennis Dirkmaat

Dennis Dirkmaat

Education

  • University of Pittsburgh, B.S., 1978
  • University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D., 1989

Courses

  • Forensic Anthropology (Anth 242)
  • Paleoanthropology I (Anth 270)
  • Paleoanthropology II (Anth 272)
  • Environmental Evidence (Frsc 300/301)
  • Crime Scene Archaeology (Frsc 390)
  • Basic of Forensic Anthropology (Anth 500)
  • Special Topics: Paleoanthropology (Anth 560)
  • Special Topics: Paleoanthropology: Hominids (Anth 560)
  • Recovery of Physical Evidence from Outdoor Contexts (Anth 570)
  • Master's Thesis (Anth 670)

Biography

Dr. Dirkmaat is in charge of both the successful undergraduate program in Applied Forensic Sciences and the Masters of Science in Anthropology, Forensic and Biological Anthropology Concentration considered one of the top master's program in the discipline in North America. He is Professor of Anthropology and teaches courses in physical anthropology, human skeletal biology, and forensic anthropology. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D., 1989), he is one of only two (Dr. Symes, is the other) board-certified forensic anthropologists in the state of
Pennsylvania, as well as one of two Anthropology Fellows of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in the state. Dr. Dirkmaat has conducted over 300 forensic anthropology cases for nearly 30 coroners, medical examiners and the state police in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The cases include nearly 50 field recoveries involving the processing of evidence from human death scenes, and the comprehensive forensic anthropological analysis of over 100 sets of human remains. He has published articles on the role of archaeology in forensic investigations, fatal fire scenes and mass fatalities. He participated as a primary forensic anthropologist during mass fatalities in Pittsburgh (USAir Flight 427 crash in 1994), the island of Guam (KAL Flight 801 crash in 1997), Rhode Island (Egypt Air 990 crash in 1999) and is currently a member of the national Disaster Mortuary
Operational Response Team. In September 2001, he served as the primary scientific advisor to Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller during the recovery and identification of victims of United Flight 93. In addition, he has served as a consultant for international companies involved in recovery and identification of victims of plane crashes from around the world including Kenya and Angola (with the United Nations). Dr. Dirkmaat has presented over 70 lectures and papers discussing forensic investigation and anthropology at numerous regional, national and international meetings.

Research Specialties

  • Forensic archaeological recovery of outdoor scenes (including surface scatter, buried bodies, fatal fires, and mass disasters).

Recent Publications

Reprints available upon request
(*) With graduate students

Overbury RS, LL Cabo, DC Dirkmaat and SA Symes (in press): Asymmetry of the Os Pubis: Implications for the Suchey-Brooks Method. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 8pp (*)

Dirkmaat, DC, LL Cabo, SD Ousley, and SA Symes (2008). New Perspectives in Forensic Anthropology. Yearbook Phys. Anthrop. 51: 33-52.