Andrea Alveshere

Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Chemistry

"Anthropology provides these amazingly powerful, flexible tools that enable us to investigate every aspect of the human experience:  from tackling the social and environmental challenges of the digital age, to solving complex forensic and medical cases, to unearthing the greatest mysteries of the ancient past. I can’t imagine a better way to prepare for an unpredictable future than an experiential, holistic anthropological education."  - A.J. Alveshere

Andrea Alveshere.Dr. Alveshere's research focuses, broadly, on relationships between humans and their environments. Areas of interest include questions of diet and health; cultural and biological adaptations; genetic disorders such as Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1); effects of environmental factors (e.g., climate, burial deposit chemistry, vegetative cover, animal and insect activity, etc.) on the preservation of bones, plant remains, and the molecules within them; and the comparative utility of various field and laboratory techniques to produce informative archaeological, nutritional, and forensic data.

Please see my CV for a current list of talks, publications, and courses.


Dr. Alveshere earned her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Washington with an emphasis in Archaeology and an undergraduate research focus on the analysis of skeletal remains and geoarcheological deposits. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology, with a minor in Human Genetics, from the University of Minnesota, investigating factors that influence the preservation and detection of DNA in ancient and forensic specimens. In addition to her academic experience, Dr. Alveshere worked for several years as a forensic scientist in the DNA/Biology section of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensic Science Laboratory. She leads the WIU Archaeological Field School, which is offered every other summer, and has also conducted archaeological excavations in Israel, South Africa, and throughout the Midwestern United States.

Teaching Areas

  • Biological (Physical) Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Ancient/Forensic DNA
  • Forensic Anthropology

Contact Info

Office: Currens Hall 508
Phone: (309) 298-1199
Personal Webpage

WIU Archaeological Field School

Western Illinois Taphonomic Research Sites