Posted in Black History

Dr. Phoebe Stubblefield, An American Forensic Anthropologist

Phoebe Stubblefield is an American forensic anthropologist specializing in human skeletal variation, human identification, and paleopathology. She is currently the Interim Director of the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory at the University of Florida.

Dr. Phoebe R. Stubblefield, Interim Director of the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory returned to the University of Florida in 2018, having become a doctoral Gator in 2002. Her involvement with Tulsa Race Massacre Investigation began twenty years ago when she was invited by historian Scott Ellsworth to contribute the skeletal analysis component of the report to the then Tulsa Riot Commission.

At that time, she was studying with the late founder of the Pound Lab, Forensic Anthropologist Dr. William R. Maples, as his last doctoral student. Her dissertation, Cranial Size in Relation to Body Mass and Skeletal Robusticity in Modern Humans, was completed under the direction of paleoanthropologist Susan Antón.

Forensic anthropology consulting, research, and public outreach are her strong interests. She has conducted nearly 100 skeletal examinations in Florida, including trauma analysis and examination of postmortem change. While faculty at the University of North Dakota she performed consults for the North Dakota State Historical Society, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Grand Forks County Coroner’s Office.

Previously Dr. Stubblefield received her master’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, and her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. A Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences since 2007, she served as the Physical Anthropology (now Anthropology) Section Chair from 2014-2015.

Recently she joined the section H steering committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as an at-large member. She is an active member of the Increasing Diversity in Evolutionary Anthropological Sciences (IDEAS) program of the American Association of Physical Anthropology, which strives to improve diversity in biological anthropology by providing introductions and networking to under-represented minorities engaged with biological anthropology.

Her most referenced works include, “The Anatomical Diaspora: Evidence of Early American Anatomical Traditions in North Dakota”, and with co-authors “The structure and rate of late Miocene expansion of C4 plants: Evidence from lateral variation in stable isotopes in paleosols of the Siwalik series, northern Pakistan,” which includes her analysis of the section paleomagnetic chronology. The paleomagnetism project was not a fluke, Dr. Stubblefield prefers a four-field, interdisciplinary focus for collaborations and research in biological anthropology.

In addition to the current and future work for the Tulsa Race Massacre recovery, other projects include opening an anthropological body donation program, incorporating an interdisciplinary focus into the Pound lab research program, and developing media for informal STEM education to the non-degree seeking public.

Stubblefield speaks during a news conference as work continues on an excavation of a potential unmarked mass grave from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre at Oaklawn Cemetery on July 14, 2020.

The 1921 Attack on Greenwood was one of the most significant events in Tulsa’s history. Following World War I, Tulsa was recognized nationally for its affluent African American community known as the Greenwood District. This thriving business district and surrounding residential area was referred to as “Black Wall Street.” In June 1921, a series of events nearly destroyed the entire Greenwood area.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre on Greenwood will post at 6:30 PM EST



Versatile Christian Blogger (Spiritual, Black History, Music, Nature, Miscellaneous). Wife of Minister F. D. Woods, mother of 3 young adults, grandmother of two granddaughters, one grandson. Lord willing, retiring on December 30, 2023, after 37 years on the job.

5 thoughts on “Dr. Phoebe Stubblefield, An American Forensic Anthropologist

    1. Good morning, Pat. You’re welcome. There is a wealth of unknown history to discover and share. Perhaps, if our communities were aware of the lives sacrificed maybe there would not be so much Black-on-Black crimes.

      Liked by 2 people

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