Studies of the human fossil record and recent human biological diversity, focusing on the evolutionary processes involved and changes in biology and behavior leading from the earliest hominins to variation in living populations.
Dr. Glenn C. Conroy
Dr. Glenn C. Conroy’s work focuses upon the analysis of paleontological evidence for human and non-human primate evolution. In conjunction with the medical imaging laboratory at Washington University’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, state of the art computer imaging techniques have been used to investigate anatomical structures in australopiths and other early hominids. More recent work has focused on applying Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology to various early Tertiary paleontological sites.
Dr. Erik Trinkaus is concerned with the behavior and evolution of humans since 500,000 years ago, with a focus on their functional anatomy, paleopathology and comparative morphology. Much of his work has been oriented towards understanding the emergence modern humans, as an evolutionary process in itself and as a background to living human diversity. It involves analyses of late archaic humans (such as the Neandertals), early modern humans and recent human biology.
Dr. EA Quinn
Dr. Elizabeth (EA) Quinn is a human biologist with an emphasis on human milk, maternal health and physiology, and child growth. Her research particularly focuses on understanding physiological and metabolic links between maternal physiology, milk composition, and infant health and growth as a part of normal human biological variation. Human milk has been historically understudied from an evolutionary perspective, and she is particularly interested in understanding how individual physiology constructs natural variation in milk macronutrients and hormones and how these differences influence the health and long term development of offspring.
Dr. David Strait
Dr. David Strait is a paleoanthropologist who studies the fossil record of human evolution. He looks at how various species of early humans diversified through analysis of the anatomical similarities and differences among fossil hominins. Dr. Strait also has an interested in the evolution of died and feeding in fossil hominins. He works with a large team of collaborators from many universities that uses engineering, experimental, comparative and ecological methods to test hypotheses about feeding biomechanics in fossil hominins and non-human primates. Currently, Dr. Strait is working in a cave site in northern Italy that preserves archaeological and fossil evidence relevant to understanding the origin of modern humans.
Other faculty in the Biological Anthropology group have research interests related to human evolution, such as Dr. Richard Smith is interested in the ecological implications of body size variation in primates and fossil hominins, and in the logic and and assumptions underlying current statistical methods in paleoanthropology.