Dr. Alexandra R. Klales, D-ABFA is an Associate Professor of Forensic Anthropology at Washburn University in Topeka, KS and leads their B.S. Anthropology (Forensics Concentration) program in the Sociology and Anthropology Department. Dr. Klales is a board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (#123) and is a Member of the Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. She is the founder and director of the Washburn University Forensic Anthropology Recovery Unit (WU-FARU), which completes active forensic anthropological casework for local, regional, and state agencies in Kansas and Western Missouri. She has worked on over 300 active forensic cases and has published numerous research papers in forensic/biological anthropology journals, as well as a book on sex estimation in biological anthropology. She currently teaches courses in biological anthropology, forensic anthropology, and the forensic sciences and offers continuing education training through forensic anthropology summer short courses at Washburn University.
Dr. Klales began her undergraduate career at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, PA as an Anthropology major with a focus in Biological Anthropology. During this time she completed an internship at the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office which solidified her decision to pursue graduate work in Forensic Anthropology.
Dr. Klales began her Master’s Degree in Forensic and Biological Anthropology at Mercyhurst College in 2007. Under the guidance of Dr. Dirkmaat, Dr. Symes and Dr. Ousley, she had the opportunity to work on forensic cases and to conduct research in Forensic Anthropology. Her master's thesis research was on the estimation of sex using non-metric traits of the pubic bone and various statistical analyses (Klales et al. 2012). She began teaching as a graduate student at Mercyhurst, first as a teaching assistant, and then later the opportunity arose to develop her own courses at Mercyhurst. From these early teaching experiences, she discovered that not only was she passionate about the field, but she was also extremely passionate about teaching and sharing that knowledge with students. Upon graduating in 2009, Dr. Klales remained at Mercyhurst for an additional year as a research fellow on two of the department’s National Institute of Justice grants on mass disaster and fatal fire recoveries.
She then went on to the University of Manitoba to pursue a Ph.D. in Anthropology. Dr. Klales completed her Ph.D. program, under the supervision of Dr. Hoppa and Dr. Elias, in August of 2014 with the successful defense of her dissertation on “The Computed Tomography Analysis and Reconstruction of Ancient Egyptians Originating from the Akhmim Region of Egypt: A Biocultural Perspective.” During her Ph.D. studies, Dr. Klales also worked for two seasons as a field osteologist and instructor for the Slavia Foundation Mortuary Archaeology Field School Program through the Adam Mickiewicz University in Drawsko, Poland. Dr. Klales returned to Mercyhurst as a postdoctoral fellow in August of 2014 and then transitioned to an Assistant Research Professor in 2015. Since 2009, Dr. Klales has taught Biological and Forensic Anthropology courses at Mercyhurst University, Dickinson College, Gettysburg College, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and Washburn University.
In August of 2016, Dr. Klales accepted an Assistant Professor position in Washburn University's new Forensic Anthropology Program in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She currently teaches courses in forensic science, forensic anthropology, forensic archaeology, human skeletal biology, and human osteology. In 2017, Dr. Klales founded and directs the Washburn University Forensic Anthropology Recovery Unit (WU-FARU), which assists law enforcement and coroner/medical examiners in Kansas and Missouri on approximately 75 active forensic anthropology cases per year. Dr. Klales launched the Morphological Pelvis and Skull Sex Estimation (MorphoPASSE) program and database in 2018. In 2019, she was certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (Diplomate #123) and in 2020, Dr. Klales was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor at Washburn University. Her first edited volume, Sex Estimation of the Human Skeleton: History, Methods, and Emerging Techniques, was published in May of 2020 by Elsevier.
Last Updated 5 June 2020