Research group

Currently, I am  supervising three postdoctoral research fellows, Mana Dembo, Kim Plomp, and Chris Carleton. Mana is using Bayesian phylogenetic techniques to investigate hominin phylogenetic relationships, while Kim is an expert in 3D geometric morphometrics and postcranial skeletal anatomy. She is examining the relationship between vertebral shape, locomotion, and spinal pathology in humans and other apes. Chris is evaluating and developing methods for assessing the impact of climate change on human affairs in the deep past.

I am also supervising two PhD students: Alan Cross and Don White.  Alan is investigating the impact of body segment size variation and movement on heat balance estimates. Don is examining the debate about the relevance of current fitness in the evolutionary social sciences.

In addition, I am supervising four MA students: Alec Allen, Phil Aubin, Jon Harding, Brea McCauley, and Marina Tinkcom. Alec is interested in the causes of toolkit variation in hunter-gatherers. Phil is investigating Neanderthal hafting techniques. Jon is examining variation in the complexity of the clothing produced and worn by small-scale societies in the early ethnographic period. Brea is interested in the evolutionary significance of extreme religious rituals, especially finger amputation. Marina is working on the curation crisis in museums as it pertains to archaeological assemblages.

I am also on the committees of two MA students, Candice Koopowitz and Rob Rondeau. Candice is developing a method for determining if microfaunal remains have been burned. Rob is combining a recently developed method of predicting archaeological site location with advanced underwater archaeological techniques to investigate the coastal hypothesis for the peopling of the New World.

In the past, I have supervised more than 50 honours students, graduate students, and postdocs. Several of these individuals have secured positions in academia, including Marina Elliott, Ben Raffield, Victoria Herridge, John Stewart, Jamie Tehrani, Stephen Lycett, and Briggs Buchanan. Marina (MA 2006-2008, PhD 2008-2015) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa. She is currently supervising the excavation at the new fossil hominin site of Rising Star. Ben Raffield (postdoctoral research assistant Jan 2014-Dec 2016) is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. Victoria (Undergraduate honours 2001-2002) is a palaeobiologist at the Natural History Museum in London, UK. John (postdoctoral research assistant 2000-2002) is an associate professor at Bournemouth University. Jamie (Masters student 2000-2001; PhD student: 2001-2005; postdoc 2006-2007) is a senior lecturer in anthropology at Durham University, UK. Stephen (Masters student: 2002-2003) is an associate professor of anthropology at the Buffalo University, USA. Briggs (postdoc 2005-2013) is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Tulsa, USA.