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Melanie Beasley

Photo of Melanie Beasley

Assistant Professor


Melanie Beasley joins Purdue as an assistant professor of biological anthropology and a faculty fellow in the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts program.

Beasley received a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 2016. Prior to joining the faculty at Purdue, she completed a two-year Haslam Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville doing research at the Forensic Anthropology Center, a.k.a. “The Body Farm.”

As a biological anthropologist, Melanie is broadly interested in human-environment interactions of the past and present. She uses stable isotope geochemistry in innovative ways to connect humans and the environments in which they live to understand changing climate, resource availability, and life history. Her research projects in East Africa, California, Jordan, and Italy span the last 4 million years of time. Aside from her paleoanthropological and bioarchaeological scholarship, Beasley also uses stable isotope analysis for forensic applications to aid in identification of unknown human remains and determine time since death.

At Purdue, Beasley will establish the BioAnth Isotope Ecology Research Laboratory (BIER Lab) in the Department of Anthropology. The lab space provides the opportunity for students to learn stable isotope sample preparation techniques on a variety of biological tissues (teeth, bone, hair, fingernails, muscle tissue, and maggots) for environmental, dietary, and geolocation research from an anthropological perspective.