Meet Jaymelee Kim, assistant professor of anthropology

Wayne State's Department of Anthropology welcomes Dr. Jaymelee Kim to the faculty!Jaymelee Kim headshot

Dr. Jaymelee Kim is a four-field, applied anthropologist who earned her Ph.D. and graduate certificates in linguistics and disasters, displacement and human rights at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Her diverse research agenda includes mixed methods approaches that focus on forensic and justice-based survivor interventions and care for the dead in the aftermath of human rights violations.

Dr. Kim's research projects have focused on topics including Indian Residential Schools, inter-generational trauma and deaths in Canada; human trafficking and reintegration in Ohio; health disparities and biology of poverty in Michigan forensic casework; and spirits of the dead and forensic anthropology intervention in Uganda/Tanzania. She also researches forensic anthropological practice and ethics, advocating for ethnographically rooted community collaborations in the recovery and return of human remains.

Jaymelee Kim conducts fieldwork

As an applied anthropologist Dr. Kim has worked on domestic and international archaeological excavations; provided evidence-based organizational behavior, survivor services and forensic consultation; and worked as a forensic anthropologist for several forensic organizations, including the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office in Detroit.

For five years she has also participated in Operation UNITED, a joint FBI-Detroit PD effort to exhume and identify the unidentified of southeastern, Michigan. She is particularly excited to become even more involved in Detroit as a member of WSU's Department of Anthropology - a group of scholars that shares her passion for research and practice that supports communities.

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