Sean D. Tallman, PhD

Assistant Professor, Anatomy & Neurobiology

Sean Tallman
72 E. Concord St Housman (R)


Dr. Tallman is a biological anthropologist specializing in forensic anthropology, human skeletal biology, forensic archaeology, and anatomy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, M.A. from the State University of New York, Binghamton, and B.A. from the University of Washington. Dr. Tallman is presently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Anatomy & Neurobiology and Anthropology at Boston University, where he teaches courses in human osteology, biological anthropology method and theory, bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, and human rights. He heads the Forensic and Bioanthropology Laboratory Group, teaches, and advises students the M.S. Program in Forensic Anthropology at the Boston University School of Medicine. Also at BU, Dr. Tallman serves on the Faculty/University Council, Faculty Council Equity and Inclusion Committee, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Review Committee, and BUSM’s Diversity Steering Group. Additionally, he is a Registered Professional Archaeologist, Fellow in the Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), and Forensic Anthropologist with the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT IX). Dr. Tallman’s ongoing research examines: human skeletal biology; sex and ancestry/population affiliation estimation; skeletal variability of sexual dimorphism and ancestry in East and Southeast Asia; human identification; population history and structure; forensic methods; CT scan data; secular change; diversity, inclusion, and mentorship in forensic anthropology; and critical race theory in biological and forensic anthropology.

Dr. Tallman has held positions of Forensic Anthropologist, Osteologist, Archaeologist, Consultant, and Anthropology Instructor in various contexts. In particular, he served as a Forensic Anthropologist with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s Central Identification Laboratory (now DPAA), where he contributed to the identification of numerous U.S. service members killed during past conflicts, and led archaeological recovery missions in France, Germany, Hawaii, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vietnam.

Dr. Tallman served as Co-Chair for the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in the AAFS Anthropology Section from 2017 to 2020 and the AAFS Diversity Outreach Committee in 2020.

Other Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Boston University College of Arts and Sciences
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • University of Tennessee, PhD
  • State University of New York at Binghamton, MA
  • University of Washington, BA

Classes Taught

  • GMSFA700
  • GMSFA704
  • GMSFA705
  • GMSFA790
  • GMSFA806
  • KHCMD101


  • Published on 10/22/2020

    Tallman SD, Bird CE. Diversity and inclusion in forensic anthropology: Where we stand and prospects for the future. Forensic Anthropology. 2020.

    Read at: Custom
  • Published on 8/15/2020

    Kilroy GS, Tallman SD, DiGangi EA. Secular change in morphological cranial and mandibular trait frequencies in European Americans born 1824-1987. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2020 11; 173(3):589-605. PMID: 33245566.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2020

    Winburn AP, Tallman SD, Scott AL, Bird CE. Changing the mentorship paradigm: Survey data and interpretations from forensic anthropology practitioners. Forensic Anthropology. 2020.

  • Published on 1/1/2020

    Tallman SD, Kincer CD, Plemons ED. Centering transgender individuals in forensic anthropology and expanding binary sex estimation in casework and research. Forensic Anthropology. 2020.

  • Published on 11/6/2019

    Atkinson ML, Tallman SD. Nonmetric Cranial Trait Variation and Ancestry Estimation in Asian and Asian-Derived Groups. J Forensic Sci. 2020 May; 65(3):692-706. PMID: 31693176.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/25/2019

    Herrera MD, Tallman SD. Craniometric variation and ancestry estimation in two contemporary Caribbean populations. Forensic Sci Int. 2019 Dec; 305:110013. PMID: 31710881.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/23/2019

    Tallman SD, Blanton AI. Distal Humerus Morphological Variation and Sex Estimation in Modern Thai Individuals. J Forensic Sci. 2020 Mar; 65(2):361-371. PMID: 31643085.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2019

    Tallman SD. Cranial Nonmetric Sexual Dimorphism and Sex Estimation in East and Southeast Asian Individuals. Forensic Anthropology. 2019; 2(4):1-18.

    Read at: Custom
  • Published on 1/1/2019

    Patterson MM, Tallman SD. Cranial and Postcranial Metric Sex Estimation in Modern Thai and Archaeological Native American Individuals. Forensic Anthropology. 2019; 2(4):1-20.

    Read at: Custom
  • Published on 1/1/2019

    Tallman SD. Book Review of New Perspectives in Forensic Human Skeletal Identification. Forensic Anthropology. 2019; 2(1):57-60.

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