Meisshialette Ortiz Quiñones
Forensic Anthropologist and Medicolegal Death Investigator
Meisshialette Ortiz has an incredible dedication to her work as a Forensic Anthropologist.
She is an Actress, Entertainer, Model, Beauty Queen, Educator and Puerto Rican Anthropologist.
She was born in Ponce, PR on March 14, 1999.
She obtained a Bachelor of Arts, Concentration in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archeology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus where she began at 16 years of age. As research projects of this academic degree, she carried out: "Ethnography and Field Work on Reba Stewart (tomb of the witch)" presented at the 5th Undergraduate Meeting of Research and Creation of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. Also, "Use of Forensic Odontology in Natural and Human-Made Disasters", conducted a research proposal "Past Underground: The Mass Graves in Spain during the Civil War and Francoism" to resolve the conflict on the graves common during this period in Spain, identify victims, provide justice to their families and contribute to the historical memory. In addition, she carried out a study on the "Los Ñeta" association, accused of multiple crimes. The work was titled "Ethnography of a Clandestine World: Crimes under the "Los Ñeta" Association during the 1980s in the Southern Region of Puerto Rico” in 2019 and where she had the opportunity to present it at the 8th Socio-Humanistics Research Congress. It should be noted that, she had the opportunity to be a student and receive mentorship by the late Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. Edwin Crespo Torres, who was the first in Puerto Rico and the third in the Caribbean. Likewise, during that time, she participated as a volunteer in an excavation of pre-Columbian remains in Ceiba, PR together with the Bioarchaeologist Dr. Luz V. Muñoz Guevara and, in the classification of archaeological materials at the Ceremonial Center of Tibes in Ponce, PR together with the archaeologist and curator, Luis Antonio Curet. On the other hand, during May and August 2021, she worked in the Internship of Social Media and Communications of the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, where she carried out posts related to Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Sciences and, how they contribute to the identification of missing immigrant persons crossing the borders of the United States.
She obtained a Master's Degree in Forensic Anthropology from Boston University School of Medicine. And she did her thesis "The Effects of Quicklime in the Decomposition Process in a Tropical Climate" in Puerto Rico to contribute with the investigation to justice and criminality in said country and in other regions where perpetrators make use of this chemical to hide their victims.
She was a TV Host in different television programs in her home country, Puerto Rico. Such as: Channel 6, Univision, Telemundo punto2, ABC 5 PR and America Tevé. In addition, she obtained the title of Miss Puerto Rico Petite 2020 as a beauty queen in the midst of the COVID-19 situation.
On the other hand, she began as a professor at the Criminal Justice Research Center of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico in May 2021. She teaches the Forensic Anthropology course in the certification of Clandestine Tombs together with her colleague Jarian Rodríguez Torres. In addition, she independently teaches workshops, courses and mentoring related to this sub-discipline.
During her childhood and adolescence, in addition to working in the media since the age of 3 and a half, she served as a basketball player and athlete, participating in the Puerto Rico Basketball Federation and winning gold medals as a sprinter.
She was evaluated at the Institute of Gifted Children of Puerto Rico at the age of 12, for which she was classified as "gifted" and began her tenth grade at the age of 13, entering the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus at 16 years old.
Currently, she works as Director of Forensic Anthropology and Medicolegal Death Investigation at the Institute of Forensic Sciences of Puerto Rico, also as a professor, mentor and co-founder of "Hablando de Huesos" with the purpose of educating on Physical Anthropology and expanding her area of emphasis, Forensic Anthropology, inside and outside of Puerto Rico. Likewise, she hopes to continue her PhD. and has upcoming projects for her country, justice and future forensic investigators to be developed.
Jarian Rodríguez Torres
Physical Anthropologist and Bioarchaeologist
Jarian Rodríguez Torres has a passion to work as a Physical Anthropologist and Bioarchaeologist.
She is a Puerto Rican Dancer, Model, Educator and Anthropologist.
She was born in Mayagüez, PR on September 7, 1993.
She obtained a Bachelor of Arts, Concentration in Anthropology with an emphasis on Sociocultural from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus where she carried out several research projects. Among them: "To Philosophize with Pennyroyal: A feminist look at the mental benefits of pennyroyal tea"; "Afro-Caribbean Perspective and Identity: Comparative Notes on Re-Africanization, Santeria, and Voodoo in Puerto Rico and Haiti"; "The Perception of the Hijab in Puerto Rico: Modesty, gender and spirituality of the Puerto Rican Muslim community" and, "Misdiagnosis of BPD: The sigmatization on mental illness and its effects on treatment on its patients in the metropolitan Puerto Rico".
In addition, she carried out several field and laboratory works, among these: "Sanisera Archeology Institute in Menorca, Spain (June 2013)"; "IFR-Unidentified Persons Projects in San Bernardina, CA (July 2015);" El Morro Kitchen Archaeological Project with UPR (June-July 2016)"; "Archaeological Excavations in Loiza, PR (June 2019)".
She is studying a Master's Degree in Archeology of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean from the Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, where she elaborates her thesis on "Demographic profile in the pre-Hispanic site of La Gallera in Ceiba, PR".
She collaborated with the first Forensic Anthropologist of Puerto Rico and the third in the Caribbean, Dr. Edwin Crespo Torres in the Bureau of Forensic Sciences of Puerto Rico and as his research assistant from January to May 2016.
On the other hand, she began as a professor at the Criminal Justice Research Center of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico in May 2021. She teaches the Forensic Anthropology course in the certification of Clandestine Tombs together with her colleague Meisshialette Ortiz Quiñones. In addition, she independently teaches workshops, courses and mentoring related to this sub-discipline.
While she was studying, she had the opportunity to have different work and personal experiences including being a Virtual Assistant, she has been a model, a pole dancer and has stood out as an educator. In addition, she is captivated by reading and music.
Currently she works in her profession, educator, mentor and co-founder of "Hablando de Huesos" with the purpose of educating on Physical Anthropology and expanding her area of emphasis, Bioarcheology, inside and outside of Puerto Rico. Likewise, she hopes to continue her PhD. and has upcoming projects for Puerto Rico, for future anthropologists and archaeologists to develop and continue to expand the anthropological and bioarchaeological history of their country.