Evolutionary Anthropology

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Mother and infant chimp at Ngogo

Female Sociality, Dispersal and Comparative Microbial Community Composition in Pan Troglodytes

This project provides insight into the structure of chimpanzee communities in Kibale National Park, home to the world's largest concentration of wild chimpanzees.


Sifaka skeleton

Assessment of DNA Methylation Patterns in Primate Skeletal Tissues

This study will identify the degree to which variation in epigenetic patterns relates to variation in skeletal features within and among primates.

archaeolemur skull

Understanding Temporal Variation in Primate Communities: Integrating Data from Extant & Fossil Species

The project seeks to examine primate community phylogenetic and trait structure across space and through time with abiotic and biotic factors suggested to cause the changing distributions and adaptations of primate species.  

illustration of lemur skull

Skull Growth and Biomechanical Constraints on Molar Emergence in Primates

Among primates, there is a strong relationship between life history and the age at which the first permanent molar emerges into the mouth.  However, knowledge of how variation in molar emergence age arises and why it is closely associated with life history is lacking. This doctoral dissertation research project will examine molar emergence as part of a developing functionally integrated chewing system.

Dine sheepherder

The Role of Cultural History and Environment in Explaining Human Behavioral Variation

In this project, we measure the relative contribution of environment and cultural history in explaining the behavioral variation of 172 Native American tribes at the time of European contact, across different categories of traits, including diet, technology, marriage practices and economic organization.  


Paleobiogeography, Paleoecology and Continued Investigation of a Diverse, Terminal Miocene, Primate-Bearing Fauna from Southern China

At the heart of the project is the understanding of the composition of an ecosystem which appears poised at the tipping point of a major change based on what is known of terminal Miocene faunas elsewhere in the Old World. The Shuitangba fauna and environment provide an unusually clear and well-preserved picture of a distinctive regional ecosystem that contained long-established species alongside new arrivals.

Female chimpanzee at Kibale National Park

Ngogo Chimpanzee Project

The Ngogo Chimpanzee Project is a long-term field project devoted to the scientific study and conservation of the Ngogo community of chimpanzees living in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Ngogo is the largest known chimpanzee community, and much research at Ngogo has focused on explaining the ecological reasons for this unusual demographic situation and its influence on chimpanzee behavior.


Ledi-Geraru Research Project

The Ledi-Geraru research area is positioned between the Awash and Ledi River basins in northeastern Ethiopia. The fossil exposures are found directly east and somewhat north of the Hadar site. In the next field season, we will begin to collect fossils in an effort to expand coverage into the later time periods that we have identified.

Horn of Africa

High-Resolution Analysis of Unique Paleoenvironmental Data from Key Hominin Sites in East Africa

The possibility of a causative relationship between human evolution in Africa and Earth system history has been an important question at the forefront of paleoanthropological research in the last 25 years. We propose to analyze climate and other Earth system dynamics with a unique combination of paleoanthropologists and earth scientists to provide direct tests of this and related hypotheses by collecting and analyzing unique paleoenvironmental data at three key anthropological sites in Africa.


Geoinformatics-Based Data Integration for Study of the Pliocene Fossil-Bearing Strata of the Hadar Basin (Afar, Ethiopia)

We propose to solve the challenge of integrating the large amount of data from Hadar, Ethiopia by building a "cyberinfrastructure" of computer hardware; digital, well documented and geo- and temporally referenced data from the greater Hadar depositional basin; and mapping, visualization, and community serving software.