Robin Reineke

Assistant Research Social Scientist

Robin Reineke is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research explores social and political responses to deaths and disappearances. She focuses especially on forensic responses, and has conducted ethnographic research and forensic anthropological practice in the US-Mexico borderlands for over fifteen years.

From 2006 – 2020, she spent significant time working with the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, doing ethnographic research and forensic anthropological practice to address unidentified human remains and missing persons in the borderlands. These initiatives included the development of the nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, which she co-founded and directed from 2013 – 2019.

Dr. Reineke is currently working on her first book, With the Dead, For the Living: Forensic Care in the US-Mexico Borderlands, which is an ethnography about forensic human identification in southern Arizona. Together with Dr. Natalia Mendoza Rockwell, Dr. Reineke is currently working on a binational research project, Forensic Citizenship in the Borderlands, which is a  visual, oral history, and ethnographic project is focused on understanding civilian forensic expertise and critical practice on both sides of the Arizona-Sonora border.

Dr. Reineke is Assistant Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center and Assistant Professor in the School of Anthropology, both at the University of Arizona.



2023 “Towards a forensic anthropology of structural vulnerability.” Forensic Science International: Synergy. Vol. 6 (January): (Robin C. Reineke, Angela Soler, Jared S. Beatrice.)

2023 Migration, Death, and Disappearance: Education and Engagement in Tucson, Arizona. In Migration, Displacement, and Higher Education: Now What? Edited by Brittany Murray, Matthew Brill-Carlat, and Maria Höhn. Palgrave Macmillan. (Bruce E. Anderson and Robin C. Reineke).

2022 Natural deaths in extraordinary times: Governing COVID dead in southern Arizona. Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 8 (1): 67–83. (Robin C. Reineke).

2022 Forensic Citizenship among Families of Missing Migrants along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Citizenship Studies 0 (0): 1–17.

2021 Two Decades of Death and Disappearance along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Hot Spots, Fieldsights, October 19. Reineke, Robin C.

2021 Skeletal evidence of structural violence among undocumented migrants from Mexico and Central America. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. August. 1-22. (Jared S. Beatrice, Angela Soler, Robin C. Reineke, Daniel E. Martínez).

2021 Ambiguous Loss and Embodied Grief Related to Mexican Migrant Disappearances. Medical Anthropology 0 (0): 1–14. (Rebecca M. Crocker, Robin C. Reineke, and María Elena Ramos Tovar).

2019 Necroviolence and Postmortem Care Along the U.S.-Mexico Border, in The Border and Its Bodies, edited by Thomas Sheridan and Randall McGuire, University of Arizona Press. (Robin C. Reineke).

2019 Etched in Bone: Embodied Suffering in the Remains of Undocumented Migrants, in The Border and Its Bodies, edited by Thomas Sheridan and Randall McGuire, University of Arizona Press. (Angela Soler, Robin C. Reineke, Jared Beatrice, and Bruce Anderson).

2018 Foreword to Sociopolitics of Migrant Death and Repatriation: Perspectives from Forensic Science, edited by Krista E. Latham and Alyson O’Daniel. Bioarchaeology and Social Theory Series, Springer International. (Robin C. Reineke).

2017 Temporal Patterns of Mexican Migrant Genetic Ancestry: Implications for Identification. American Anthropologist, 119: 193–208. (Cris E. Hughes, Bridgett Algee-Hewitt, Robin C. Reineke, Elizabeth Clausing and Bruce E. Anderson).

2016 Missing in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. In Missing Persons: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Disappeared, edited by Derek Congram. Canadian Scholars’ Press. (Robin C. Reineke and Bruce E. Anderson).

2016 Los Desaparecidos de la frontera: The missing of the border. In: R Rubio-Goldsmith, C Fernández, J Finch, and A Masterson-Algar (eds) Migrant Deaths in the Arizona Desert: La vida no vale nada (Life is Worthless). Tucson: University of Arizona Press. (Robin C. Reineke)

2014 Structural Violence and Migrant Deaths in Southern Arizona: Data from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 1990-2013.” Journal of Migration and Human Security. JMHS Volume 2 Number 4 (2014): 257-286. Daniel E. Martinez and Robin C. Reineke).

2014 Migrant Deaths along the U.S.-Mexico Border. In: Undocumented Immigrants in the United States: An Encyclopedia of Their Experience. Edited by Anna Ochoa O’Leary. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. (Robin C. Reineke and Daniel E. Martínez)