Meet the Staff

Dr. Jane Harris

Director

Dr. Jane Harris is the Director of FROST. She holds a Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology from Michigan State University (MSU), in addition to Masters degrees in Forensic Science (focus in Anthropology) and Bioarchaeology, also from MSU. Prior to arriving at NMU, Dr. Harris worked for the Michigan State Police (MSP), first within the Statewide Network of Agency Photos (SNAP) Unit, where she conducted facial recognition searches for the purpose of developing investigative leads and more recently as the Unidentified Remains Coordinator in the Missing Persons Coordination Unit (MPCU). Dr. Harris was also a forensic artist for the MSP, drawing composites of suspects based on witness/victim interviews and reconstructing faces of unidentified decedents to help with their identification.  She is also a certified death investigator, with five years of experience as a Medical Examiner Investigator with Sparrow Forensic Pathology in Lansing, MI, and has investigated over 200 cases, involving all manners of death.

Dr. Harris’s dissertation research focused on a bioarchaeological analysis of human remains from the archaeological site of Jícaro, a pre-Colombian village in northwestern Costa Rica that was occupied between AD 800 and 1350. Her Master’s thesis involved a study of positive identifications made by comparisons of antemortem and postmortem lumbar spine radiographs. Dr. Harris’s research continues to focus on topics involving identification of unidentified human remains, and she hopes to return to Costa Rica to continue collaborative research with the archaeologists who conducted the excavations at Jícaro. Dr. Harris is excited about her future with NMU and FROST, working with undergraduate students on innovative research projects, and building collaborative relationships with researchers and law enforcement throughout Michigan, the U.S. and abroad.

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Jane Wankmiller