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Personal profile

Area of Expertise

Compared to most primates, including fossil humans such as Neanderthals, humans living today possess extraordinarily flat faces. In fact, our “orthognathic” face is so distinctive, it’s one of the primary features used to identify our species, Homo sapiens. However, while universally recognized as a defining feature of our species, there is no consensus among scientists as to why we evolved such flat faces.
My lab employs cutting-edge technologies and innovating experimental modeling to investigate this question. Currently, we are using medical imaging (e.g., CT, MRI, laser scanning) and 3D modeling methods to better understand the role climate has played in shaping facial anatomy and thermoregulatory function in humans from around the globe. Additionally, we are collaborating with scientists in Russia to study anatomical and hormonal changes in the domesticated fox, which has shown reductions in facial length as a consequence of experimental selection for less aggressive behavior.

Education/Academic qualification

BA in Anthropology, Texas A & M University

MA in Anthropology, University of Iowa

PhD in Anthropology, University of Iowa


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