Haley Goren

Haley Goren

Doctoral Researcher

Contact details


  • BA (Hons) in Biological Anthropology at UC Berkeley


I have dedicated my academic development to the field of physical anthropology because I understand that there is a significant gap between the scientific methods used in biological and forensic anthropology. Each discipline uses different methods for similar samples and results. Moreover, I have always been fascinated by learning about mortuary customs and the societal actions within ancient communities.

I became interested in physical anthropology during my Bachelor of Arts (Honors) at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) where I designed a thesis using human rib samples collected at the Neolithic site, Çatalhöyük. My thesis included the comparison of biometric data and excavation data to investigate the relationship between mortuary practices and micro-diagenetic change in bone. Following a poster presentation at the Western Biological Anthropological Group Conference (2015), the study was published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology (2020).

During my Bachelor's, I worked as the osteological assistant in the UCB Museum of Anthropology for the duration of my degree and maintained a histology research apprenticeship at UCB Archaeobotany Laboratory. During this degree, I attended three mortuary anthropological field schools. These included a course at the Forensic Anthropological Research Facility at Texas State University, the excavation of a Medieval cemetery in Giecz, Poland, and mentorship at and funded by the Center for American Archaeology, Women in Archaeology Scholarship.

Upon graduation, I was employed as a Bio-Archaeologist at the San Francisco archaeological consulting firm, Hollman and Associates, and volunteered with the Anthropology Museum at San Francisco State University. These activities advanced my skills in handling forensic and museum biological specimens, methods of identification, and the histological assessment of bone microstructure.

To further my skills in physical anthropology, I worked as a research scientist in the Centre for Forensic Research (CFR) at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Canada. Here I designed a study to assess a forensic skeletal sample for micro-diagenetic change, resulting in publication with the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine (2023). During this time, I worked as a teaching assistant in the CFR and as an anthropologist for the SFU Museum of Archaeology, assisting the British Columbia Coroner. Additionally, I was invited to the Anthropology Unit visiting scientist position at the New York City Office of the Medical Examiner to identify individuals recovered from the 9/11 disaster, and with the United Nations Commission on Missing Persons in Cyprus, assisting in the repatriation of human remains from genocide. Most recently, I was employed at the San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where I worked as the Histotechnologist for 3.5 years until I was awarded an UKRI AHRC M4C Scholarship to focus on my research full time.


Simon Fraser University | Centre for Forensic Research

Teaching Assistant

  • CRIM 402: Biological Explanations of Crime (Distance Education)
  • CRIM 356: Forensic Anthropology
  • CRIM 355: Forensic Science
  • CRIM 355c: Forensic Science (Distance Education)
  • CRIM 103: Psychological Explanations of Crime
  • CRIM 301: Crime in Contemporary Society
  • CRIM 359: Forensic Entomology Lab (lab assistant)

Lectures in Human Osteology and Forensic Anthropology delivered at:

  • Science AL!VE Summer Academy
  • The Science Odyssey Science Rendezvous

Doctoral research

PhD title
Funerary Practices of the British Beaker Peoples: an osteo-archaeological assessment of individuals excavated in Southern Britain
Paul Garwood and Dr Sam Giles
Archaeology PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)


My research investigates mortuary traditions of the south England Beaker population using an interdisciplinary approach of both qualitative and quantitative assessments. A south England skeletal assemblage of approximately 60 Beaker graves were subject to intensive osteological, contextual and micro-taphonomic assessment using: (i) contextual and depositional data in publications and site records; (ii) biometric data (age, sex, trauma/pathology) derived from publications and examinations of skeletal material; (iii) quantification of diagenetic data based on MCT scans of bone samples, using the Oxford Histological Index (Hedges et al.1995).

The aims of the study are to: 1.) assess the southern England population for evidence of excarnation/mummification; 2.) assess the different types of burials applied, including multi-burial, primary, and secondary burial; 3.) assess the human handling of the corpse postmortem (burial position, dismemberment, secondary disarticulation); 4.) assess the funerary offerings included in the grave; and 5.) asses grave architecture.

These aims are designed to address three primary research questions. First, what are the funerary customs of the south England Beaker population? Specifically for differences of diagenesis between age groups, differences of diagenesis between biological sex groups, differences of diagenesis between primary/primary undisturbed and secondary/secondary disturbed burials, differences between individuals with visible pathology or trauma and intact skeletons, and differences between individuals with grave goods and those without. Secondly, how much of the population was subjected to postmortem manipulation? Third, to identify indications of mummification/excarnation in the southern England population.

Analyses of these parameters will address: 1) social treatments based on age or sex; 2) the prevalence and types of post-mortem treatments in an unstudied population; 3) the demonstration of the applicability of MCT during the investigation of rare/fragile materials. Such an analysis collectively informs on the different phases of the mortuary process, (i) pre-burial, (ii) the burial event, and (iii) what happens to the grave post-deposition; 4.) contribute to growing body of taphonomic research on human bone microstructure for applications as evidence in forensic and physical anthropology to determine the postmortem history of a corpse.

This study will significantly contribute to what is understood about the funerary and mortuary archaeology of the British Beaker people and to the growing body of taphonomic research on human bone microstructure for applications as evidence in forensic and physical anthropology to determine the postmortem history of a corpse.

Other activities

Forensic and Bio-Anthropological Repatriation Casework:

  • Center for American Archaeology: Kampsville, IL - Human Osteology Laboratory
  • Texas State University, San Marcos- Forensic Archaeological Reseach Facility 
  • Adam Mickiewicz University Slavia Foundation & First Piasts Museum, Geicz Poland -Human Anatomy and Osteological Laboratory
  • Hollman and Associates Archaeological Consultants, Bioarchaeologist at Oak Knoll II, San Jose
  • New York Office of the Chief Medical Examiner - Anthropology Unit, Skeletal Histology Laboratory
  • United Nations Committee on Missing Persons Anthropological Laboratory (CAL), Cyprus
  • San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Forensic Laboratory Division Histopathology Laboratory - Histotechnologist
  • Cranfield Forensic Institute (CFI) Cranfield Recovery and Identification of Conflict Casualties Team (CRICC) in Italy in partnership with USA Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA) and Henry Jackson Foundation

Museum Conservation

  • University of California, Berkeley, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology - Osteology Collections Assistant
  • San Francisco State University, Adan E. Treganza Anthropology Museum - Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation (NAGPRA) Program Collections Assistant
  • Simon Fraser University, Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology - BC Coroner's Human Osteology Identification Assistant



  • Goren, H. P., Agarwal, S. C., & Beauchesne, P. (2020). Interpreting Mortuary Treatment from Histological Bone Diagenesis: A Case Study from Neolithic Çatalhöyük. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.
  • Goren, H. P. (2023). An investigation of the inter and intra post-mortem microstructural change seen in an experimental series of pigs exposed to a marine environment. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 99, 102588.