Staff and Volunteers

We have a superb group of students, volunteers and staff that take pride in the care and duties associated with the body donations and the research. We'd like you to meet them and learn about them.

Dr. Joan Bytheway
STAFS Director Dr. Bytheway specializes in forensic anthropology/human osteology and taphonomy with an interest in bone pathology and trauma. Her research interests are in the areas of sex determination of the fragmented os coxa utilizing three dimensional data, effects of fire trauma to human skeletal remains, and non-metric anomalies of the human skeleton. Prior to joining the faculty at Sam Houston State University, she was a Forensic Anthropologist/Lab Analyst for a project in Baghdad, Iraq involving the reconstruction and analysis of skeletal remains of individuals of the Iraqi population found in mass graves. She also has served as a peer reviewer in more than 130 forensic cases. She co-authored the Standard Operating Procedures for Forensic Anthropology Analysis of Mass Graves.

Kevin Derr
Lab Technician
Kevin is a native Houstonian, and he recently graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. He started working at the STAFS Facility in February of 2011, and he has enjoyed every minute of it. Having the ability to work closely with law enforcement to help them solve cases has been very fulfilling and a great learning experience for him. The research he has had the ability to participate in has given him real world knowledge that would be impossible if not for the priceless donations from families and living donors.

Angela Rippley
Research Assistant
Angela received her Bachelor of Science in Forensic Chemistry and her Masters of Science in Forensic Science from Sam Houston State University. She began her first semester as an adjunct professor for the College of Criminal Justice in the Fall of 2012. She has worked at STAFS since September 2009 and valued every minute. Working at STAFS has allowed Angela the opportunity to gain knowledge in the field of forensic anthropology as well as to participate in meaningful research. Angela’s research interests include forensic anthropology, taphonomy, scavenger activity, and trace analysis involving postmortem hair banding. She would like to thank the donors and their families for the generous contribution they have provided to STAFS.

Kim Perez
Student Assistant
Kim is an Undergraduate Criminal Justice Major at Sam Houston State University. She is expected to graduate with her BS in December 2012 and plans to pursue her MS in either Physical or Forensic Anthropology. She has worked at the facility since January of 2012 participating in much of the ongoing research and assists with the analysis of skeletal remains.

Natalie Lindgren
Entomology Graduate Student
Natalie is originally from Pacific Northwest where she studied entomology at Washington State University. For her M.Sc. project, she worked with Dr. Sibyl Bucheli of Sam Houston State University and did a descriptive survey of the insects associated with human decomposition at the STAFS facility. She plans to continue her studies on carrion insects with an emphasis on their behavior and ecology.

Dr. Sibyl Bucheli
Forensic Entomologist
Dr. Bucheli specializes in the study of insect species in the Pineywoods ecoregion of Texas and has been involved in several biological inventories in the area. Her research at STAFS included cataloguing insect diversity of southeastern Texas with the goal of establishing reliable occurrence models for forensically significant species. The studies have resulted in significant discoveries that challenge current occurrence models, including the documentation of insects at corpses that have never been recorded at such intervals. She has testified in criminal court cases in the use of entomology in determining time of death.