Erin Waxenbaum Senior Lecturer

Research and teaching interests

Physical anthropology; skeletal biology, growth and development; human variation; forensics; Native North America.

Biography

Erin B. Waxenbaum is a physical anthropologist with training in forensics who focuses on human variation. Her current research projects include:

  • Ecogeographic variation in growth and development among three Native North American populations
  • Metric analysis of the tibia
  • Variation in the human knee
  • Population variation in the human bicondylar angle
  • Variation among and between short statured (“pygmy”) populations
  • Environmental variation in sexual dimorphism of the pelvis

Waxenbaum’s background in forensic applications of anthropology stems from four years of training at the C. A. Pound Human Identification Lab at the University of Florida during her graduate tenure. She is continuing to build upon that experience as a Visiting Scientist in Forensic Anthropology at the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office (September 2008) and presently as the Chief Forensic Anthropologist for the DuPage County Coroner’s Office.

A substantial portion of Waxenbaum’s data collection and funding thus far has come from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History where she has spent ample time conducting research since 2001. These projects include a majority of Waxenbaum’s dissertation data collection on variation in Native North American growth and development and have expanded to projects including those looking into variation in the human knee and the contentious metric analysis of the tibia.

As a Research Associate at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History Waxenbaum collaborates with undergraduate and graduate students on a repatriation project consisting of analyzing and cataloguing Native American human remains in accordance with NAGPRA guidelines.

Recent courses taught

  • 213 - Human Origins 
  • 306 - Evolution of Life Histories
  • 316 - Unfleshed: Forensic Anthropology
  • 314 - Human Growth and Development
  • Forensic Science: Real World CSI
  • Global Health in Human History

Selected publications

Waxenbaum EB, Hunt DR, Falsetti AB. 2010. Intercondylar eminences and their effect on the maximum length measure of the tibia. Journal of Forensic Sciences 55(1):145-148.

Waxenbaum EB, Falsetti AB. In review. Ecogeographic limb variation among three Native North American populations. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Waxenbaum EB, Stock MS, Hunt DR. In submission. Metric assessment of the human bicondylar angle.  (Target: American Journal of Physical Anthropology).

Waxenbaum EB, Linney K. In preparation. Variation in the human knee: implications for forensic assessment of commingled remains. (Target: Journal of Forensic Sciences).

Warren MW, Waxenbaum EB, Holliday TW, Byrd JE, Cole TM. In preparation. Ecogeographical patterning in fetal limb proportions. (Target: Journal of Human Evolution).

Shea BT, Waxenbaum EB. In preparation. Skeletal limb proportion differences between East and West African pygmy groups support a complex scenario of microevolutionary change in body shape. (Target: American Journal of Human Biology).

Waxenbaum EB, Shea BT. In preparation. Worldwide variation in pygmy phenotype. (Target: Journal of Human Evolution).

Conference Presentations

Waxenbaum EB, Siddall K. In submission. Sexual dimorphism of the greater sciatic notch in a circumpolar population. Annual Meeting of American Association of Physical Anthropology. April 13-16; Minneapolis, MN.

Waxenbaum EB, Linney K. 2011. The condyle connection: forensic implications for the association between the condyles of the femur and tibia. Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting of Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Siddall KC, Waxenbaum EB. In preparation. Eco-geographic variation in sciatic notch dimorphism: Implications for accurate sexing of fossil pelvic fragments. Annual Meeting of the Paleoanthropology Association. April 12-13; Minneapolis, MN.

Waxenbaum EB, Stock MK, Hunt DR. 2010. Metric assessment of the human bicondylar angle. Proceedings of the 79th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists; April 14-17; Albuquerque, NM.

Waxenbaum EB, Falsetti. 2009. Developmental and ecogeographic limb variation among subadults of three Native North American populations. Proceedings of the 78th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists; March 31-April 4; Chicago, IL.

Shea BT, Waxenbaum, EB. 2009. Invited abstract. Microevolution of size, shape and timing changes in human pygmies. Proceedings of the 78th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists; March 31-April 4; Chicago, IL.

Waxenbaum EB, Shea BT. 2008. Skeletal variation among African pygmies. Annual Meeting of the Midwest Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology Association; November 8; Allendale, MI.

Waxenbaum EB, Falsetti AB. 2008. Morphological limb variation in three eco-geographically distinct Native North American populations. Proceedings of the 77th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists; April 7-13; Columbus, OH.

Waxenbaum EB, Falsetti AB, Hunt DR. 2007. Morphological variation of the human knee: Implications for sex and ancestral designations. Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of American Academy of Forensic Sciences; February 19-24; San Antonio, TX.

Waxenbaum EB, Hunt DR, Falsetti AB. 2006. To measure or not to measure: An analysis of maximum length of the tibia. Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of American Academy of Forensic Sciences; February 20-25; Seattle, WA. p. 305-6.

Waxenbaum EB. 2005. A methodological quandary: Aging juvenile human remains. Proceedings of the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists; April 6-9; Milwaukee, WI.

Waxenbaum EB. 2005. An analysis of a ‘royal’ cemetery: How can status be assessed? Proceedings of the 69th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology; April 1; Salt Lake City, UT.