Snow Molecular Anthropology Lab: SS 240 & 250B

The Snow Lab is focused on the analysis of ancient and degraded DNA for anthropological and forensic purposes. The ongoing projects of the lead researcher, Dr. Meradeth Snow, and her graduate students and undergraduate interns, utilize ancient and modern DNA analysis methods to address questions of anthropological and forensic interest. Notably, we focus on prehistoric Mexico, primarily in the northern region, however our projects are wide ranging, as can be seen below with the list of what our MA and PhD students are currently working on. If you’re interested in seeking an internship, or joining the lab for graduate school, please reach out to Dr. Snow!

The lab hosts a summer lab intensive (“Lab Camp” or ANTY 495) for three weeks every year. Typically during July, a small set of students join the lab to learn the basics, and not so basics, of working with degraded DNA. No prior experience is required and we accept graduate and undergraduate students, from UM or elsewhere. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Snow for more information.

The facilities themselves include a dedicated ancient DNA laboratory, with controlled and positive-pressure airflow, UV lighting, careful monitoring of all entry, and all other standard aDNA protocols. We also have a modern DNA lab where most of the forensic projects are undertaken. Both labs are equipped with all the necessary tools to allow for successful research on human/animal/microbiome research.

Lauren's Poster
Paige's poster


McKenzie's Poster

Current Students:

  • MA (2020) & PhD: Tre Blohm (TB in the Tripolye & bioinformatics)
  • MA (2019) & PhD: Samantha Ramey (DNA leaching through storage materials in forensic contexts)
  • MA (2020) & PhD: Felicia Sparozic (the bioarchaeology of care in modern samples)
  • MA (2019) & PhD: Haley O’Brien (joint student with Dr. Prentiss; microscopic bone morphology for species ID)
  • PhD: Rachel Summers (site of Paquimé in Northern Mexico)
  • PhD: Keith Biddle (variable DNA preservation in the postcrania)
  • MA: Samantha Hofland (DNA degradation in heavy metal contaminated soils)
  • MA starting fall, 2020: Tabitha Byrd-Stewart, Lacy Hazelwood, Holli MacDonald, Mykala Ward

Undergraduate Interns:

  • Currently seeking undergraduate interns!

Past Students:

  • MA & PhD: Katherine Jackson (2020) Sex Determination from 3D Geometric Morphormetrics of the Pubic Bone
  • PhD: Amanda Williams (2020) A New Classification System for Analyzing Burned Human Remains
  • MA: Paige Plattner (2020) Diet-Breadth Analysis in the American Southwest: metabarcoding method with coprolites
  • MA: Claire Hanson (2020) Alas, Poor Yorick: a SNA analysis of ancestry in comparison to crania
  • MA: Britney Radford (2019) DNA Analysis on Ceramic Cooking Vessels
  • PhD: Kirsten Green (2016) The use of stable isotope analysis on burials at Cahal Pech, Belize in order to identify trends in mortuary practices over time and space
  • MA: Emily Silverman (2018). The Effects of Common Methods of Soft Tissue Removal on Skeletal Remains: a comparative analysis.
  • MA: Samuel Austin (2017). Fertility and Reproduction’s Niche: Human Sexual Diversity.
  • MA: Ariane Thomas (2016). An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Eukaryotic DNA Extraction from Burial Soil Samples.
  • MA: Emilia Tiffental (2016). The Bridge River Dogs: Interpreting aDNA and Stable Isotope Analysis Collected from Dog Remains.

Past Undergraduate Interns:

  • Lauren Clark (DNA from Cochineal Beatles)
  • Ariana Valenzuela
  • Nasreen Broomand
  • Claire Super
  • Rachel Bauer
  • Mckenzie Morgan
  • Megan Murdoch
  • Rebekkah Bain
  • Erin Michalak