UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of Forensic Anthropology Jennifer Byrnes and colleagues published “Examining Inter-observer Reliability of Metric and Morphoscopic Characteristics of the Mandible” in the Journal of Forensic Sciences in December 2016. Together with Dr. Michael Kenyhercz and Dr. Gregory Berg from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Dr. Byrnes conducted a study investigating the interobserver reliability of measuring specific traits of the jaw.
UHWO alum Samantha Torres participated in the data collection in this study in the summer of 2015. The broader impact of this study examines whether the experience of the observer affects how repeatable and reliable data are between forensic anthropologists. The study confirmed that observer experience had little effect on the agreement between observers, as the observer familiarized themselves with the trait definitions, illustrations, and instrumentation prior to collecting the data. Hence, the traits examined in this study can be used with confidence when estimating sex and ancestry in forensic anthropology.
The data collection portion of this effort was funded by a UH West Oʻahu Budget and Resource Committee Research Travel Grant.