Faculty and Staff

Experts in physical and biological anthropology, anatomy, osteology, pathology, crime scene investigation, expert witness testimony and forensic sciences, our faculty have been recruited from the Boston University Schools of Medicine, national and international Universities and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Tala Moore, PhDProgram Director, Tara L. Moore, PhD

Dr. Moore is the Program Director and an Associate Professor of anatomy and neurobiology. Dr. Moore teaches Anatomical Sciences and Professional Skills and Thesis Research Development in this program. She has completed training in human remains recovery with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and participated in the development of the Biomedical Forensic Sciences and the Professional Studies in Applied Forensic Sciences & Criminal Investigation programs. Her research interests include recovery of function following stroke and changes in cognitive function with age. tlmoore@bu.edu

James Pokines, PhD, D-ABFAAssociate Professor and Forensic Anthropologist, James T Pokines, PhD, D-ABFA

Dr. Pokines is an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. He has over a decade of experience as a Forensic Anthropologist and Forensic Archaeologist. Dr. Pokines received his B.A. degree in anthropology and archaeology from Cornell University, his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from the University of Chicago, and A.B.F.A. Board certification in forensic anthropology. His research includes vertebrate osteology, zooarchaeology, taphonomy, and paleoecology, and he has ongoing archaeological projects in the Bolivian Andes (Tiwanaku and related sites), the Nile Delta (Tell Timai), and the Paleolithic of northern Jordan. He is also the Forensic Anthropologist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Boston. jpokines@bu.edu

Gary Reinecke, SSA ret. FBIProgram Assistant Director, Gary Reinecke, SSA ret. FBI

SSA Reinecke has a BS in Criminal Justice and a MA in Criminology. SSA Reinecke spent 10 years with the Columbus, Ohio Police Department where he was assigned as a crime scene technician in the Detective Bureau. SSA Reinecke joined the FBI in 1986 and served as a field agent in Phoenix and Detroit where he was assigned to organized crime, bank robberies and drug investigations. In 1998 SSA Reinecke was promoted and transferred to the FBI Laboratory where he was assigned to the Evidence Response Team program. SSA Reinecke managed operational matters for the ERT program. SSA Reinecke retired from the FBI on 12/31/10 after 24 years of service. SSA Reinecke joined the Faculty as an Instructor in January, 2011. He teaches Advanced Crime Scene Investigation, is the Operations Director of the Outdoor Research Facility and is a thesis advisor for several students each year.  reinecke@bu.edu

Sean Tallman, PhD, RPAAssistant Professor and Forensic Anthropologist, Sean D. Tallman, PhD, RPA

Dr. Tallman is a biological anthropologist specializing in forensic anthropology, human skeletal biology, and forensic archaeology. 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 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 is presently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Department of Anthropology, and in the Program in Archaeology at BU. In the Program in Forensic Anthropology, he heads the Forensic and Bioanthropology Laboratory Group, where he teaches and advises students in human osteology, biological anthropology method and theory, bioarchaeology, and forensic anthropology. Additionally, he is a Registered Professional Archaeologist, Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Anthropology Section), Scientific Recovery Expert/Senior Archaeologist with SNA International, and Forensic Anthropologist with the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT IX). His research interests include sex and ancestry estimation in Asian populations, cranial nonmetric variability, population-specific biological profile methods, secular change, diversity and inclusion in forensic anthropology, and issues of human identification. His research has appeared in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Science International, and the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and he serves on the editorial board for Forensic Anthropology and American Anthropologist.  tallman@bu.edu

Clinical Associate Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Monica A. Pessina, PhD

Dr. Pessina received her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Boston University, followed by a Master’s in Education from Northeastern University and a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology from Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. Prior to assuming a full-time academic appointment at CAMED, she gained extensive experience at Massachusetts General Hospital in the field of upper extremity rehabilitation following orthopedic, neurological and burn injuries. In addition, she is the former Director of Rehabilitation at Shriners Burns Institute and she continues to work as an educator in the field of burn rehabilitation both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Pessina currently teaches Gross Anatomy and Microscopic Anatomy at CAMED, BU Goldman School of Dental Medicine and in several BU graduate programs where she serves in various roles including Course Director, Lecturer and Laboratory Instructor. In her research as a member of the Laboratory for Interventions for Cortical Injury and Cognitive Decline, she developed a novel assessment technique for qualitative reporting of the trajectory of  motor skill recovery following injury to the hand area of the motor cortex in a non-human primate model.

Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Trudy Van Houten, PhD

Dr. Trudy Van Houten is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Boston University School of Medicine and has been affiliated with BUSM for over 20 years.  She received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, for her dissertation, The faunal bones from Toromoja I and Gwi Pan West: A case study and critical review of interpretive methods. Dr. Van Houten has served as a faunal specialist on excavations in Middle Stone Age sites in Africa, a Homo erectus site in southern France, and on paleontological excavations in Alberta, Canada. Her research interests have included taphonomy and the role of bone density and bone ‘identifiability’ on post-depositional transformation and analysis of faunal assemblages.

Dr. Van Houten currently serves as Co-Director of the Forensic Anthropology Human Osteology and Anatomy course and Director of the Advanced Clinical Anatomy course offered to fourth-year medical students at Boston University School of Medicine. She also serves as Director of the Human Functional Anatomy course at Harvard Medical School and as Co-Director of the Anatomical Basis of Surgery course for residents at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. Dr. Van Houten has designed, launched, and directed many clinical and pre-clinical anatomy electives throughout her career, while developing novel anatomical dissection strategies and learning materials based on clinical procedures and surgical approaches. She has received meaningful teaching awards at both institutions including the Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching at BUSM and the Irving London Award and Roger Marks award at HMS. tvanh@bu.edu

Affiliated Faculty

Det. Captain Paul J. L’Italien (ret. Massachusetts State Police)

Det. Captain L’Italien retired from the Massachusetts State Police in January 2016 after twenty-seven years of service. During his tenure, he worked in Field Services, the Plymouth County Detective Unit, Crime Scene Services Section, Internal Affairs, Standards and Training and for the final three years of his career with he was a Deputy Director of the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory. Det. Captain L’Italien is the course director and instructor for our Outdoor Crime Scene Awareness course.

Jennifer L. Hammers, D.O.

Dr. Hammers is a Board Certified Anatomic, Clinical and Forensic Pathologist who performs autopsies and teaches the Forensic Pathology course for the 1st-year students in our program. Dr. Hammers has a particular interest in cardiac pathology and actively participates in research related to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). After training in forensic pathology at the New York City Medical Examiner’s office, she worked for several years in Massachusetts and New York City. Dr. Hammers then accepted a position in a private practice located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she worked for over five years before establishing Jennifer Hammers Pathology, which serves several counties in Western Pennsylvania by providing autopsy services.


Patty JonesPatty Jones, Executive Financial Coordinator

Patricia Jones (Patty) is the Executive Financial Coordinator for the Professional Masters Programs in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. She came to BUSM in December of 1999. For eight and a half years, she worked in the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences. While working in the Division office, Patty had many different roles. As assistant for the Associate Dean, she coordinated the Mini-Med School and assisted the Registrar. In September 2008, Patty joined the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology working for their Masters Programs in Biomedical Forensics, Healthcare Emergency Management, Bioimaging and Forensic Anthropology. psterlin@bu.edu

Lee FarrisLee Farris, Forensic Anthropology Gift Administrator

Lee Farris has worked for the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology in the Anatomical Gift Program since 2006. Along with her current responsibilities as the Assistant Anatomical Gift Coordinator, she has taken on the role of the Forensic Anthropology Gift Administrator and is available for contact with any questions regarding the Boston University Donated Osteological Collection and its donation process. Lee has a BA in Classical Studies and Archaeology from Tufts University and an AS in Mortuary Science from the New England Institute at Mount Ida College. She is a Massachusetts licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer and has worked in both private funeral homes and Boston Children’s Hospital as a Pathology Assistant and Morgue Manager. leeanne@bu.edu