After earning a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a teaching degree in special education mathematics from the University of Georgia, Dr. Fitzpatrick decided to pursue her life-long interest in anthropology. Although she initially thought that she wanted to study the chemical composition of pre-industrial ceramics as a master’s student at Georgia State University, she quickly became captivated with biological anthropology and bioarchaeology. It was at Georgia State University that she began her work with the stable isotope analysis of human remains. As a former mechanical engineer, Dr. Fitzpatrick greatly enjoyed being able to apply her knowledge of chemical, material, and structural analyses to archaeological human remains from sites along the northern coast of Peru, which formed the basis of her master’s thesis. Dr. Fitzpatrick continued her studies in anthropology at the University of Wyoming. In the fall of 2017, she successfully defended her doctoral dissertation entitled “Stable isotope investigations of archaeological human remains across temporal and spatial dimensions within the Wyoming Territory”.
Dr. Fitzpatrick joined Mercyhurst University in the fall of 2017 as a post-doctoral faculty member in the Department of Applied Forensic Sciences. She instructs courses covering a variety of topics related to Biological and Forensic Anthropology and she mentors undergraduate and graduate students. Currently, Dr. Fitzpatrick is preparing a laboratory at Mercyhurst for carbonate- and collagen- based stable isotope extractions for use in modern forensic cases as well as archaeological samples. In addition to her work in the field of forensic anthropology, Dr. Fitzpatrick remains an active member of the bioarchaeology community. She works with the Institute for Anthropological Research in Zagreb, Croatia to provide stable isotope analysis of human and faunal remains from the Copper and Bronze Ages.