Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Samantha M. Hens, Ph.D.

Title: Professor, Biological Anthropology

Office Location: MND 4026

Email: shens@csus.edu

Office Phone: (916) 278-6991

Mailing Address: Anthropology Department, Sacramento State, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6106

I am a biological (physical) anthropologist, with a broad background in teaching and research. My primary area of expertise is skeletal biology, both human and non-human primate. I have worked on a multitude of research projects including: age, sex and stature estimation from the human skeleton, paleopathology, biodistance and three-dimensional (3D) morphometrics. My earlier work emphasized 3D modeling of growth and development in orangutan and gorilla crania. I also utilized 3D morphometrics to explore fluctuating asymmetry in the human cranium in Imperial Roman individuals from central and southern Italy and biological distance analyses among several temporally and geographically distinct populations from Italy.  More recently, I published a series of papers with a colleague on using transition analysis and the Bayesian approach to age estimation from pelvic and cranial indicators. We recently developed a free, online program to estimate age from fusion of the palatal sutures.  My current paleopathological research uses approches derived from the public health literature and takes a decidedly sophisticated statistical turn. We utilized logistic regression to examine skeletal indicators of anemia and the link to cause of death in historic Portuguese and are currently examining anemia and mortality in Medieval London.

My teaching follows my research interests and I regularly offer courses in Human Osteology, Human Skeletal Analysis, Bioarchaeology, and Paleoanthropology. Additionally, I routinely teach Introduction to Biological Anthropology and Forensic Anthropology in an effort to bring biological anthropology to a broader array of university students. In 2006, I was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award in the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies. In 2010, I was nominated and accepted for membership in the local Omicron Chapter of Phi Beta Delta, the Honor's Society for International Scholars.  In 2011, I was also inducted into the Honor's Society, Phi Kappa Phi.

Courses that I teach

  • ANTH 001: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 150: Human Osteology
  • ANTH 151: Human Paleontology (And ANTH 251 - paired graduate course)
  • ANTH 158: Human Skeletal Analysis (And ANTH 258 - paired graduate course)
  • ANTH 159: Forensic Anthropology
  • ANTH 171: Bioarchaeology
  • ANTH 200: Seminar in Anthropological Method
  • ANTH 202: Seminar in Physical Anthropology
  • ANTH 222: Seminar in Bioarchaeology

Education

1998. Ph.D.
University of Tennessee Knoxville
Dissertation title: Stature Estimation in Fossil Hominids.

1994. MA.
University of Tennessee Knoxville
Thesis title: The Use of Ordinal Categorical Statistics in Skeletal Assessment of Sex.
Statistics Minor.

1990. BA.
State University of New York at Buffalo.
Departmental Honors.

Additional Training

1998-2000. Post-Doctoral Fellow
Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine

1992. Paleopathology Course
National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology

Publications


n.d. Godde K, Hens SM. A modern epidemiological approach to the analysis of cribra orbitalia as an indicator of health status and mortality in medieval and post-medieval London. Submitted July 2020 to Am J Phys Anthropol. Under Review.

2020. Hens SM, Godde K. New approaches to age estimation uing palatal suture fusion. J Forensi Sciences, in print September 2020, online Early View at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.14485.

2019. Hens SM, Godde K, Macak KM. Iron deficiency anemia, population health and frailty in a modern Portuguese skeletal sample. PLoS ONE 14(3): e0213369. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0213369

2018. Godde K, Thompson M, Hens SM. Sex estimation from cranial morphological traits: use of the methods across American Indians, modern North Americans, and ancient Egyptians. HOMO (J Comparatve Hum Biol) 69(5):237-247. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchb.2018.09.003

2017. Hens SM, Ross AH. Cranial variation and biodistance in three Imperial Roman cemeteries. Int J Osteoarchaeol 27(5):88-887.

2016. Hens SM, Godde K. Auricular surface aging:comparing two methods that assess morphologicla change in the ilium using Bayesian analyses. J Forensic Sciences 61:S30-S38.

2015. Godde K, Hens SM. Modeling senescence changes in the pubic symphysis of historic Italian populations: a comparison of two approaches to aging using transition analysis. Am J Phys Anthropol 156:466-473.

2012.  Godde K, Hens SM. Age-at-death estimation in an Italian historical sample: a test of the Suchey-Brooks and transition analysis methods. Am J Phys Anthropol 149:259-265.

2012.  Hens SM, Belcastro MG.  Auricular surface aging: A blind test of the revised method on historic Italians from Sardinia.  Forensic Science International. 214:209.e1 – 209.e5.

2008. Hens SM, Godde K. Skeletal biology past and present: are we moving in the right direction? Am J Phys Anthropol. 137:234-239.

2008. Hens SM, Rastelli E, Belcastro MG. Age estimation from the human os coxa: a test on a documented Italian collection. Journal of Forensic Sciences 53(5):1040-1043.

2007. Hens SM. Review of “The osteology of infants and children”. Am J Phys Anthropol 133:1169-1170.

2007. Wang Q, Dechow PC, Hens SM. Ontogeny and diachronic changes in sexual dimorphism in the craniofacial skeleton of rhesus macaques from Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico. Journal of Human Evolution. 53:350-361.

2005. Hens SM. The ontogeny of craniofacial sexual dimorphism in the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) I: Face and palate. Am J Primatol 65:149-166.

2004. Hens SM. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in the gorilla and orangutan craniofacial complex. Rivista di Antropologia (Journal of Anthropological Sciences) 82:19-28.

2003. Hens SM. Growth and sexual dimorphism in orang-utan crania: a three dimensional approach. Am J Phys Anthropol 121:19-29.

2002. Hens SM. A geometric approach to cranial sexual dimorphism in the orang-utan. Folia Primatologica 73:165-174.

2000. Hens SM, Konigsberg LW and Jungers WL. Estimating stature in fossil hominids: which regression model and reference sample to use? J Hum Evol 38: 767-784.

1998. Hens SM, Konigsberg LW and Jungers WL. Estimation of African ape body length from femur length. J Hum Evol 34:401-411.

1998. Donnelly SM, Hens SM, Rogers NL and Schneider KL. A blind test of mandibular ramus flexure as a morphologic indicator of sexual dimorphism in the human skeleton. Am J Phys Anthropol 107:363-366.

1998. Konigsberg LW and Hens SM. Use of ordinal categorical variables in skeletal assessment of sex from the cranium. Am J Phys Anthropol 107:97-112.

1998. Konigsberg LW, Hens SM, Jantz LM and Jungers WL. Stature estimation and calibration: Bayesian and maximum likelihood perspectives in physical anthropology. Yrbk Phys Anthropol. 41:65-92.

Publications (Books)

2015.  Hens SM. Method and practice in biological anthropology: a workbook and laboratory manual for introductory courses. Second Edition.  New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice-Hall.

2007.  Hens SM. Method and practice in biological anthropology: a workbook and laboratory manual for introductory courses. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice-Hall.

2004.  Hens SM. (editor). Supplemental Readings for Physical Anthropology. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishers.

Conference Papers

2020. Godde K, Hens SM. A mdoern methodological approach to the analysis of cribra orbitalia as an indicator of health status and mortality. paper presenetd at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Los Angeles, CA, April 2020. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 70.

2018. Hens SM.  Cranial Variation in the Italian Peninsula from the Iron Age to the Middle Ages. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Austin, TX, April 2018. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl. 66:117-118.

2016. Hens SM, Ross AH.  Cranial variation and biodistance in three Imperial Roman cemeteries. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Atlanta, GA, April 2016. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl. 62:172.

2015. Hens SM, Godde K.  A revised method for estimating age-at-death from palatal sutures using Bayesian statistics.  Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, St. Louis, March 2015. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl. 60:163.

2015. Godde K, Hens SM. Senescence changes in palatal suture fusion across populations: applying a revised scoring method for age estimation using transition analysis. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, St. Louis, March 2015. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl. 60:147.

2015. Macak K, Godde K, Hens SM. Anemia, stress, and mortality in an historic Portuguese skeletal sample. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, St. Louis, March 2015. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl. 60:209.

2014. Godde K, Hens SM. Osteological change in the auricular surface: a comparison of two aging methods. Paper presented at the American Association of Anatomists annual conference, San Diego, April 2014.

2013. Hens SM, Godde K.   Estimating age at death in bioarchaeology: A Rostock approach.  Paper presented at the Plenary Session, American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Knoxville, TN, April 2013.  Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl. 56.

2013. Godde K, Hens SM.  New estimates for ages in historic Italian populations derived from Bayesian analysis: pubic symphysis. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Knoxville, TN, April 2013.  Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl. 56.

2012. Hens SM, Godde K.   Age-at-death estimation in bioarchaeology: does a uniform prior perform better than an informative prior in transition analysis?  Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Portland, OR, April 2012.  Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 54: 164.

2012. Godde K, Hens SM. Age-at-death estimation in an historic Italian sample: a test of the auricular surface and transition analysis methods.  Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Portland, OR, April 2012.  Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 54: 151-152.

2011.  Hens SM. Maxillary suture aging: A revision of the visual method for estimating skeletal age of adults. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 2011.  Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 52:161.

2011. Godde K, Hens SM, Belcastro MG. Age at death estimation in an Italian archaeological sample: A test of the Suchey-Brooks and transition analysis methods.  Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Minneapolis, MN, April 2011.  Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 52:144.

2010. Hens SM, Belcastro MG. Auricular surface aging: A test of the revised method on a documented Italian collection. Paper presented at the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe annual conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, October 2010.

2010. Hens SM, DeLeon V. Fluctuating asymmetry and developmental stress in three Imperial Roman Cemeteries. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Albuquerque, NM, April 2010. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 50:126.

2008. Hens SM, Rastelli E, Belcastro MG. Age estimation from the human os coxa: a test on a documented Italian collection. Paper presented to American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Columbus, Ohio, April 2008. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 46:116.

2006. Hens SM Identifying sexually dimorphic patterns in orangutan and gorilla crania. Abstract accepted for presentation at American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference in Anchorage, AK, March 2006. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 42:103.

2005. Hens SM and Godde K. Skeletal biology past and present: are we moving in the right direction? Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference in Milwaukee, WI, 2005. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol 40:114.

2004. Hens SM. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in the gorilla and orangutan craniofacial complex. Invited paper presented at the International Society of Primatologists conference, symposium title: “Geometric Morphometrics and Computed Primatology”, Torino, Italy, August 2004.

2004. Hens SM. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in the gorilla and orangutan craniofacial complex. Paper presented at the CSUS Anthropology Department’s 50th Anniversary Colloquium, October 2004.

2003. Hens SM. Sexual dimorphism in the face and palate of the orang-utan. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference in Tempe, Arizona, 2003. Abstract Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 36:113.

2002. Hens SM. Craniofacial form comparison between Bornean and Sumatran orang-utans. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference in Buffalo, NY, 2002. Abstract Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 34:84.

2000. Hens SM. Growth and sexual dimorphism in orang-utan crania: a three-dimensional approach. Paper presented at theAmerican Association of Physical Anthropologists convention, San Antonio, Texas, Abstract Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 30:177-178.

1998. Hens SM. Multivariate estimations of body length in humans, African apes and fossil hominids. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists convention, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1998. Abstract: Am J Phy. Anthropol Suppl 26:93.

1997. Hens SM, Konigsberg LW, and Jungers WL. Estimation of African ape body length from long bone length. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists convention, St. Louis, MO. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 24:127-128.

1996. Hens SM, Rogers NL, and Waters RM. An analysis of dental wear in the Averbuch site. Paper presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists convention, Durham, NC. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 22:123.

1995. Hens SM. The use of ordinal categorical variables in skeletal assessment of sex. Poster presented at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists convention, Oakland, CA. Abstract: Am J Phys Anthropol Suppl 20:109-110.

Graduate Students

Current students: Brittany Lovejoy, Lucy Her, Mara Armenta.

Mara Armenta - In Progress.

Brittany Lovejoy - In Progress. 

Lucy Her - In Progress.
Expected 2020. Thesis title: A comparison of different auricular surface age estimation methods on American Whites and Blacks.

Nitisha Patel
2020. Thesis title: Metric traits of the postcrania in ancestry estimation.

Sarah Hawks
2020. Thesis title: Enamel hypoplasia and stature in two historicLondon populations.

Mandy Kylie Blume
2015. Thesis title: Heel spur syndrome: Examining the etiology of heel spurs in recent modern skeletal remains.

Marisol Perez (Delgadillo)
2014. Thesis title: Skeletal lesions of health and stress at La Ventilla neighborhood, Teotihuacan.

Kristin Macak
2013. Thesis title: Anemia, stress, and mortality in an historic Portuguese skeletal sample.

Meagan O'Deegan
2013. Thesis title: Prevalence of osteoarthritis in the pre-contact and post-contact Arikara.

Pete Morris
2013. Thesis title: Bone weathering in the Mediterranean climate of the northern California foothills: A taphonomy study.

Patricia MacEwen
2013. Thesis title: Population movements in prehistoric Central California: Evidence of the Meganos intrusion?

Morgan LaFleur
2012. Thesis title: Fluctuating Dental Asymmetry at the Imperial Roman Necropolis of Velia.

Natascha Storms
2009. Thesis title: Fluctuating asymmetry in the Protohistoric Arikara.

Carren Christensen
2008. Thesis title: A three-dimensional investigation of sex and age-related change in the adult human cranium.

Autumn Cahoon
2005. Thesis title: Subadult sex estimation from the auricular surface of the ilium.

Kanya Godde
2004. Thesis title: A measure of biological distance in Nubians: A look at intrapopulation variability.

Shannon Vellone
2004. Thesis title: Stature estimation from the calcaneus as tested using the William M. Bass donated collection.

Elizabeth Valdovinos
2002. Thesis title: Effect of introduced items on the aggression and competition levels of captive chimpanzees.

Memberships