U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Just Science Podcast: Just Using Forensic Art and Anthropology for Identification

NCJ Number
Katharine Pope; Dr. Bruce Anderson; Joe Mullins
Date Published
September 2022

In this fourth episode of the “Applications of Forensic Science for Human Identification” season of the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Just Science podcast series, Katherine Pope, a Research Public Health Analyst at RTI International, Dr. Bruce Anderson, a Forensic Anthropologist with the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, and Joe Mullins, an instructor at the New York Academy of Art, discuss human identification using forensic anthropology and facial approximations.



From skeletal remains found in the woods to mass casualty events, forensic anthropologists use their knowledge and expertise of biological profile estimation and skeletal trauma analysis to help establish identities for unknown individuals. Forensic artists who are trained in facial approximations use skulls and other identifying information to recreate victims’ faces. Listen along as Katharine, Dr. Anderson, and Joe discuss how their disciplines interact, coordination with various entities to resolve cases, and how to get in touch with local forensic anthropologists and forensic artists.