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The University of Montana

Melody Ratliff- President


I’m Melody Ratliff and I am a second year Master’s student in the Forensic Anthropology program.  I was born and raised in Sevierville, Tennessee and received my B.A. in Anthropology in 2012 from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Go Vols! I worked at UT’s Anthropological Research Facility for 4 years processing skeletal remains and spent my senior year doing skeletal pick-ups and new donor placements.  I got to spend this past summer in Hawaii as an intern for JPAC-CIL and learned so much from some great anthropologists! Loved every minute of it!  My interests include human biological variability, ancestry determination, and non-metric variation.  My MA thesis work assesses the frequencies of morphoscopic traits of individuals from Island Southeast Asia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia.  I’m looking forward to another great year with MASA!


Kelli Bradley- Vice President


My name is Kelli Bradley.  I am a first year graduate student pursuing my Masters in Anthropology under Dr. Gilbert Quintero.  I graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2011 with a Bachelors in Anthropology and a Bachelors in Psychology. I’m interested in the evolution of drug use, drug use during prolonged periods of stress and mental illness as viewed by different cultures. I have experience working with special needs population in the community, home and educational setting.


Amanda O'Neill- Secretary


Megan Richardson- Treasurer


Alexis Berger 


Alexis Berger is a graduate student seeking his MA in Forensic Anthropology.  He graduated from St. Cloud State University in 2006 with a general Anthropology BA and an emphasis in archaeology and two minors: one in French and the other in Forensic Sciences.  After graduating from St. Cloud, he came to the University of Montana and is working with Dr. Randall Skelton.  His research interests include forensic anthropology, forensic science, zooarchaeology, museum studies, osteology, human variation, and human evolution.  I have worked on several projects with my student peers since becoming a graduate student, including: human and non-human skeletal remain identification, sex estimation of Ursus arctos using craniometrics, and several burn projects conducted during the summer of 2012 with the help of the Missoula Fire Department.  His thesis involves the analysis of heavy metal pesticide use on the ethnographic collection at the University of Montana.

Rosanne Bongiovanni

Rosie B

Rosie is a 4th year Ph.D. student studying biological anthropology. Her dissertation research centers on the effects of parturition on the accuracy of skeletal age estimation of the pelvis. She earned her BA from the University of Central Florida and her MA from Texas State University - San Marcos. Her research interests include bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology and archaeology, human biological variation, and age assessment.



Kelsey Collins


My name is Kelsey Collins, and I am a first year MA student studying forensic anthropology.  I received my BA in Psychology with a minor in Biology and a certificate in Forensic Identification from California State University, Chico.  I have previously interned at the CSU Chico Human Identification Laboratory and conducted comparison research using panoramic radiography.  My research interests include taphonomy, trauma analysis, human rights, mass grave analysis, comparative radiography, and quantitative methods.


Kirsten Green


I’m a 2nd year PhD student studying with Dr. Ashley McKeown. I received my BS at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and my MA at the University of Montana, Missoula. My MA thesis looked at the osteoarthritis of the elbow and shoulder joints in women from hunting and gathering versus archaic societies. This research used collections housed at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. As an undergrad I produced a research project looking at handedness in the Pot Creek Pueblo population. My research interests are North American, Latin American, & South American bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, prehistoric and historic archaeology, mortuary patterns, and paleopathology. I’m originally from California but have grown to love my new home in Missoula.

Liz Lynch


Liz Lynch is a first year graduate student pursuing her Masters in Anthropology (Archaeology) with Dr. John Douglas. She graduated from Tufts University in 2012 with a B.S. in Archaeology and Environmental Studies. After graduating, she worked at the Klamath National Forest, James Madison's Montpelier, The Presidio of San Francisco, and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Her research interests include mortuary archaeology, bioarchaeology, and shifts in Native religious ideologies and practices post-contact in the American West. When not digging in the dirt, Liz can often be found playing in different dirt (or snow!) in the mountains, in a river, or experimenting in the kitchen.


Kurt Erbach 

Before attending the University of Montana, I earned a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois and later a BA in English with foci in technical writing and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Illinois State University. While at ISU I did research on politeness theory, second language acquisition, and idiolect theory.

I entered the University of Montana because of an interest in language documentation and because of my experience teaching English as a second language. In working closely with the UM faculty and teaching ESL class, I am further refining my abilities in both of these fields.

As a first year graduate student I have not yet chosen a research focus or potential thesis topic. However, I am fascinated by complexity theory and evolutionary linguistics, with particular interest in the neuro- and cognitive science as well as the philosophical issues that are intrinsically tied to these topics. 

Jennifer Foust


I am currently a 3rd year PhD physical anthropology student.  My interest is broadly in prehistoric migration studies, especially the peopling of the Americas and population differentiation after arrival of the first Native Americans.  The focus of my dissertation is the coastal and inland Native peoples of California from a skeletal biology/bioarchaeology perspective.

Tommy Livoti 


Tommy Livoti is a doctoral student in Cultural Heritage and Applied Anthropology. His research focus and title is “Counterinsurgency Approaches to the Archaeological Record on the Asymmetric Battlefield”. The research examines global insurgency and how it is relevant to current issues in archaeology—specifically the destruction of cultural property in areas of conflict. Tommy employs an applied archaeological model within a counterinsurgency context and explores real-world contemporary issues ranging from anthropological and archaeological ethics; archaeology and nationalism; American military culture; and the destruction of cultural property in asymmetric environments. His research stresses the need for archaeologists to be directly engaged on and off the battlefield. Counterinsurgency approaches encourage cooperation among diverse groups such as the American Military, American civil service, academia, non-government organizations, international organizations and allies, the private sector, and concerned groups and citizens. Tommy has interned and or worked for organizations within the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Justice where he served as an archaeologist with the Iraq Mass Graves Investigative Team.  His objective after completing his doctorate is to serve as an archaeologist in order to save lives and mitigate the loss of cultural property in both humanitarian and combatant contexts. He is dedicated to applying archaeology as a force multiplier for world peace, security, and stability. Tommy is a Marine Corps combat veteran and currently serves in the Army National Guard.  He is married to the former Tracy Smith of Fresno, California. They have two biped children named Cade and Kara and five quadruped children, one canine (Dixie) and four feline (Mr. Parris, Alonzo, Shasta, and Vorena).

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Lisa Sprowls 


Lisa Sprowls is a first year Linguistics graduate student and EASL teaching assistant.  She comes from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received her bachelor’s degree in German Language and European Area Studies with translation certification from American University in Washington, DC.  Her interests include phonological variation, American dialects, historical linguistics, and (seemingly irrelevant to linguistics) hockey.  

Elizabeth N. Stevens


I received my Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with the option in Forensics from the University of Montana in 2010 and in the Fall of the same year was accepted into the Master’s program.  I also possess a biology background in which I received a minor in.  My main interests within Forensic Anthropology are looking at fracture patterns associated with trauma.  In particular my thesis project has dealt extensively with looking at determining the perimortem and postmortem fracture characteristics associated with applied blunt force trauma.  My future endeavors are yet to be determined however my goal for the future includes taking the applied route in Forensic Anthropology and working in a lab environment, particularly applying my knowledge and training to medicolegal purposes.  I am a born and bred Montana native from the small town of Columbus, Montana, where my family still resides.  My family comes from a life of farming and ranching where our respect for the land is everlasting.  My personal interests include horseback riding, hiking the many trails that Missoula has to offer, and traveling (I could easily offer up a few good suggestions)!


Rachel Summers-Wilson


Rachel Summers-Wilson is a graduate student pursuing her MA in Forensic Anthropology under Dr. Ashley McKeown.  She received her BA in 2012 from the University of Montana in Anthropology, with a focus in Forensic Anthropology. Rachel has interned at University of Tennessee Knoxville Anthropological Research Facility aka "The Body Farm", and completed a internship under the direction of Dr. Ashley McKeown. My research interests include: Forensic Anthropology, Skeletal Biology, Quantitative Methods, Fire Science, Trauma, Biological Anthropology, Forensics, Bioarchaeology, Osteology, Human Variation, Decomposition, Entomology, and, Mass Gravbe Analysis. In the summer of 2012 I participated in two research burns studies involving the Missoula Fire Department with five UM Forensic Anthropology graduate students. Those graduate students were Teresa "Lilly" White, Amanda Williams, Victoria Swenson, Heidi Johnson, and Alexis Berger. I have presented two posters at the Rocky Mountain Anthropology Conference With Teresa "Lilly" White, and I have conducted my own research on Bone Weathering in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. I am married to my best friend, Brent Wilson, I have a daughter, Mercedes, and an English Mastiff named "Hoo Bear".  

Teresa "Lilly" White 


My name is Teresa “Lilly” White. I am a second year MA student in Forensic Anthropology, and plan to defend my thesis in the spring of 2013. My thesis is focused on Human Decomposition, Forensic Entomology, and Black-billed Magpie scavenging. Dr. Ashley McKeown is my committee chairperson, and Dr. Randall R. Skelton, Dr. Dan Doyle, and Dr. Ralph E. Williams are my committee members. I am grateful to all of them for agreeing to sit on my committee. As a graduate student, I think it is crucial to conduct research in order to build a strong knowledge base, submit papers and present them at meetings and conferences, and to build a solid curriculum vitae. In May and July of 2012, I conducted two research burns with five UM Forensic Anthropology graduate students. Those graduate students were Rachel Summers-Wilson, Amanda Williams, Victoria Swenson, Heidi Johnson, and Alexis Berger. I presented two burn research papers at the NWAFS, in September 2012. I have also conducted decomposition research as well as forensic entomology research. In July 2012, I presented a paper and a poster at the North American Forensic Entomology Association meeting in Las Vegas. I have also presented a paper at the UM Graduate Conference, and a poster at the Rocky Mountain Anthropology Conference. I graduated in May 2011 with a BA in Forensic Anthropology from the University of Montana. I also received a BS in Liberal Studies from MSU-Billings in 2005. From May 2004-2005, I interned with the Yellowstone County Coroner’s office. In June 2012, I interned for a Medico-legal Outdoor Recovery Course at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the Forensic Anthropology Center. I have been married to my best friend, Stocky White, for 27 years. We have one “son,” a Boston Terrier named Auggie. I have been a Montana resident for my entire life. I have many goals in my life, which I fully intend to achieve.


Matt Burgess


Hi my name is Matt Burgess I am from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and a senior in Biological anthropology and will be graduating in the spring with a BA in anthropology. My research interests include human evolution, human variation, primatology and bioarchaeology. I also participated in the Belize Archeological field school and volunteered in the Anthropology curation facility. I am planning on taking a year off after graduation and then pursuing a MA in Paleoanthropology.

Roger Mukai- Social Chair


My name is Roger Mukai and I am non-traditional freshman in Anthropology and I am going for an option in Archaeology. I most recently was a COO of a small startup tech-company, but when we decided to dissolve I wanted to hit the books again and finish my anthropology degree. I hope to be able to bring my experiences to the table to help grow MASA as an organization and to achieve their over all mission and vision. But also I would love to cultivate a public interest and understanding of the over all field of Anthropology.

If you have any questions contact me at


MASA/Anthropology Department

32 Campus Drive

University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812