College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Tyler O`Brien

  • Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, Anthropology

    Faculty - Associate Professor of Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology Consultant


    Physical Anthropology


    2003 Ph.D. Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY), Binghamton, NY. Title: Cranial Microvariation in Prehistoric South Central Andean Populations: An Assessment of Morphology in the Cochabamba Collection, Bolivia.

    1994 M.A. Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Title: Human Soft-tissue Decomposition in an Aquatic Environment and Its Transformation into Adipocere.

    1991 B.A. Department of Anthropology, SUNY Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, NY.

    Research Interests

    Human Osteology, Forensic Anthropology, Cranial Modification, Bioarchaeology, Argentina, Physical Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology, Skeletal Biology, Bioarchaeology, Artificial Cranial Deformation, South America

    Selected Publications

    PUBLICATIONS: (* works with undergraduate students)

    Varela HH, Cocilovo JA, Fuchs ML and O’Brien TG. (2014). Coastal, valley and oasis interaction: impact on the evolution of ancient populations in the South Central Andes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22614.

    * O’Brien TG, Peters LR and Hines ME. (forthcoming). Deformación artificial del cráneo: implicancias potenciales para las funciones cerebrales afectadas. Luna L, Aranda C, and Suby J. (eds.) Avances Recientes en la Bioarqueologia Latinaoamericana. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Varela HH, Cocilovo, JA and O’Brien TG. 2013. Valley to Valley: the biological connection between prehispanic residents of Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Azapa, Chile. Advances in Anthropology, 3(4):210-215.

    O’Brien TG and Stanley A. 2013. Boards and cords: discriminating types of artificial cranial deformation in prehispanic south central Andean populations. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 23(4):459-70. DOI. 10.1002/oa.1269

    Cocilovo JA, Fuchs ML, O’Brien TG and Varela HH. 2013. Sexual dimorphism in prehispanic populations of the Cochabamba Valleys, Bolivia. Advances in Anthropology, 3(1):10-15. DOI:10.4236/aa2013.31002.

    Varela HH, Cocilovo JA and O’Brien TG. 2012. Evolucion de las poblaciones prehistóricas del Area Andina Centro Sur: deriva genética, migración y selección natural. Anthropo, 28(9-22).

    Cocilovo JA, Varela HH and O’Brien TG. 2010. Effects of artificial cranial deformation in the morphogenesis of the skull in the South Central Andes. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 21(3):300-12  DOI: 10.1002/oa.1141

    Cocilovo JA, Varela HH and O’Brien TG. 2009. La divergencia genética entre poblaciones del área andina centro meridional evaluada mediante rasgos no métricos del cráneo.  Revista Argentina de Antropología Biológica, 11(1): 43-59.

    Varela HH, O’Brien TG and Cocilovo JA. 2008. The genetic divergence of prehistoric populations of the south central Andes as established by means of craniometric traits. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 137:274-282.

    * O’Brien TG and Sensor IL-A. 2008. On the effect of artificial cranial deformation on determining age by cranial suture closure. Growth, Development and Aging, 71:17-27.

    * O’Brien TG and Kuehner A. 2007. Waxing grave about adipocere: soft tissue change in an aquatic context. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 52(2):294-301.

    * O’Brien TG and Sensor KP. 2004. On the classification of abnormal head shape: interpreting artificial cranial deformation and craniosynostosis. Journal of Paleopathology, 16(1):27-51.

    Killoran PE, Tarricone F and O’Brien TG. 2001. Disturbing Cemeteries: Invisibility, History and Demographics of the Broome County, New York Poor House. Northeast Anthropology. 61:49-62.

    O’Brien TG. 1997. Movement of Bodies in Lake Ontario. In: Haglund, W and Sorg, M (eds). Forensic Taphonomy: The Postmortem Fate of Human Remains. CRC Press: New York, NY. pp.559-565.

    ● Other published works

    O’Brien TG and O’Brien NR. 2012. Forensic Science Education Module: The New York Vikings: a forensic study in Anthropology, Archaeology and Geology. Ward’s Natural Science Company: Rochester, NY. [A laboratory practicum for purchase as a classroom project designed for High School and College level students.]

    O’Brien TG. 2008. Majoring in Anthropology gives global perspectives. The Northern Iowan (UNI newspaper), Tuesday, Nov. 18. page 16.

    O’Brien TG and Sanzetenea R. 2002. Deformación Craneana Artificial: Un estudio de la colección de Ibarra Grasso de Cochabamba. Boletin del INIAN – Museo. Serie Arqueologia Boliviana. Año 4, No. 26, Enero-Febrero. Museo Arqueológico de la Universidad Mayor de San Simon, Cochabamba, Bolivia.

    Salinas C E, Mendoza Ch JQ, Miranda R, Rico C H, German T O, Collazos M L, O’Brien TG and Sanzetenea R. 2000. Antropología Física: Identificación de las características intrínsecas y extrínsecas de los cráneos del Museo de Antropología y Arqueología de la Universidad Mayor Real y Pontificia de San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca. Avances de Investigación Arqueología, No. 3. Coordinación de Investigación Arqueología, U.M.R.P.S.F.X.CH. Sucre, Bolivia.

    Killoran PE, O’Brien TG and Versaggi NM. 1997. Cultural Resource Site Examination, 1997- 1998 Highway Program, Pauper’s Cemetery Site (Subi - 1755, NYSM #10531), PIN 9500.63.311, NY State Route 81, Town of Dickinson, Broome County, New York.  Public Archaeology Facility, Binghamton University, NY.

    O’Brien TG. 1996. Informe Bio-antropológico Esqueletal y Forensico.  In: Isbell, WI (ed).  Informe del Proyecto Arqueológico Iwawi Temporada 1996. Presentado a la Subsecretaria de Patrimonio de la Secretaria Nacional de Cultura y a la Dirección Nacional de Arqueología/ Antropología. pp. 15-24.

    O’Brien TG, Burgess C and Boudreau M. [Ethnographic Video]. 1990. The Can People- A Study of the Bottle Collectors of Plattsburgh. SUNY- Plattsburgh, NY.