Heather Garvin-Elling, Des Moines University Master of Science in Anatomy

Heather Garvin-Elling, Ph.D.

Professor, Anatomy

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Heather Garvin is a Professor of Anatomy and Board-Certified Forensic Anthropologist at Des Moines University. Besides teaching anatomy in the DO, DPT, and PA courses, Dr. Garvin conducts forensic anthropology casework for the State of Iowa, as well as other requesting agencies. Her casework can involves assisting medicolegal agencies by providing information from the scene and skeleton to unravel who an individual might be and what the circumstances were around their death. Her experience includes scene searches and recoveries, assessments of biological profiles, trauma and taphonomy evaluations, radiographic comparisons for positive identification, external case reviews, and expert witness testimony. Those interested in forensic services or community outreach events should reach out via the contact information provided.

Dr. Garvin is also active in her field, currently serving on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and the Editorial Board for the Journal of Forensic Sciences. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and has received several National Institute of Justice Grants. She conducts research in Forensic Anthropology and Human Skeletal Variation and was also involved in the identification of a new species of human ancestor, Homo naledi, discovered in a cave system in South Africa.

CV available upon request.

Ph.D., Functional Anatomy & Evolution., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
M.S., Biological and Forensic Anthropology, Mercyhurst College
B.S., Zoology, University of Florida
B.A. Anthropology, University of Florida

Board Certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (#117). Certified in 2017, Re-Certified in 2020.

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