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  1. 1975 A.B., Bryn Mawr College (Biology)
  2. 1978 Ph.C., University of Washington (Anthropology)
  3. 1981 Ph.D., University of Washington (Anthropology)
  4. 2010 DPhil, honoris causa, Stellenbosch University


Research Activities and Interests:

  • Evolution of human skin and skin pigmentation:  Study of the origin, evolution, and consequences of a functionally naked and pigmented integument in humans, drawing upon anatomical, physiological, paleontological, epidemiological, and environmental data.  Related to this is research on the evolution of vitamin D requirements and metabolism in relation to human migrations and urbanization.
  • Primate evolution, with emphasis on the evolution of primate lineages in relation to environmental change:  Illumination of the history of adaptation, and the relationship between environmental change and the evolution of life histories and diet in Old World primate lineages, especially monkeys, apes, and humans.  Studies of the evolution and biogeography of Old World monkeys drawing upon field and laboratory work.
  • Mammalian paleoecology in the late Tertiary and Quaternary:  Examination of the history of mammalian herbivores – especially primates – in relation to changes in local and global environments, and the differential evolution of brains, jaws, teeth, guts, and hooves in post-Miocene environments.
  • Evolution of hominid bipedalism:  Concentration on the identification of the behaviors which triggered the initial transition to bipedal posture and locomotion in the human lineage, with particular reference to the role of bipedal displays and the importance of physical stature.


Current:  China (Yunnan)

Courses Taught:

  • Primatology (ANTH 405, Fall 2013)
  • Bio-Cultural Evolution (ANTH 040H, Spring 2014)
  • Skin (ANTH 497, Fall 2014)

Selected Publications:


Peer-reviewed journal articles:

Selected Presentations and Interviews:

    Research Interests

    Paleoanthropology, Human adaptation, Skin pigmentation, Human diversity, STEM education