Michelle earned her BA's in Anthropology and History in 2014 from Washington State University. As an undergraduate student, she participated in an osteological field school in Cork, Ireland, in affiliation with University College Cork. The work examined the human remains of a Potato Famine era prison cemetery located on Spike Island, the so-called ‘Alcatraz of Ireland’. While also as an undergrad, Michelle worked as an intern for a biocultural anthropology lab with WSU’s Dr. Courtney Meehan, assisting in data entry and being fortunate enough to carry out some of her own research interests. Her research on non-maternal attachment behaviors amongst the Ngandu of the Central African Republic was later presented at an undergraduate research conference. This internship proved to be a defining educational experience for Michelle, who would accompany Dr. Meehan into the field during the summer of 2014 to study infant and maternal health of the Sidama of Ethiopia.
In the fall of 2016, Michelle was awarded her MSc in Bioarchaeological and Forensic Anthropology from the University College London. Her dissertation, titled “Handed Down: An Investigation of the Development and Distribution of Osteoarthritis in the Human Hand Complex from an Evolutionary Perspective”, examined evolutionary changes in morphology, considered comparative anatomy, and evaluated epidemiological changes across time.
Born in the Pacific Northwest, Michelle has lived in Olympia for more than a decade and is greatly looking forward to bringing her love of osteology and archaeology into such a culturally rich and diverse environment as this region.