Affiliated Alumni

Affiliated Alumni

Graduates affiliated with the Institute of Human Origins are going on to challenging and impactful careers in science, academia, and research. Below is a growing list of our alumni and where they are making a mark on the field of anthropology. 


Minhua Yan
Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (France)
Dissertation: How norms are maintained and how they change: A mathematical model and a field study
Advisors: Robert Boyd and Sarah Mathew, co-chairs; Dan Hruschka


Jonathan Page
Dissertation: The Evolution of Stone Tool Traditions
Advisors: Charles Perreault (chair), Michael Barton, Matt Peoples


Joel Bray
Director of Measurement and Analytics, Authentic, Phoenix, AZ
Dissertation: Social relationships in male chimpanzees: Form, function, and development
Advisors: Ian Gilby (chair), Joan Silk, Kevin Langergraber, Zarin Machanda

E. Susanne Daly
Lecturer, Biological Sciences, Sailsbury University
Dissertation: Premolar molarization in Haplorrhine primates
Advisors: Gary Schwartz (chair), Lucas Delezene, William Kimbel

Ellis Locke
Assistant Professor, Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dissertation: Molar shape, function, and tooth wear in the evolution of Cercopithecoid bilophodonty
Advisors: Kaye Reed (chair), Gary Schwartz, Jay Kelley

Samantha K. Patterson
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Anthropology, New York University
Dissertation: Effects of early life experiences on development and adult outcomes in wild olive baboons
Advisor: Joan B. Silk

Irene Smail
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
Dissertation: Environmental correlates of community structure in living and fossil Cercopithecid primates
Advisors: Kaye Reed (chair), Chris Gilbert, Christopher Campisano

Emily Zawacki
Postdoctoral Researcher, ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration
Dissertation: Plio-Pleistocene sediments provenance and erosian rates along the East African Rift System 
Advisors: Ramon Arrowsmith, Christopher Campisano


Paige Madison
Science writer
Dissertation: Discovering human origins: Fossils, practices, and controversies
Advisors: Jane Mainschein (chair), William Kimbel, Manfred Laubichler, Richard Creath, Ben Hulbut

Amanda McGrosky
Postdoctoral Associate, Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University
Dissertation: Hard tissue and environmental correlates of primate growth rate variation
Advisors: Gary Schwartz (chair), Jason Kamilar, William Kimbel

Chalachew Seyoum
Assistant Professor, University of Arizona College of Medicine–Phoenix
Dissertation: Hominin dietary niche breadth expansion during Pliocene environmental change in eastern Africa
Advisor: William Kimbel and Kaye Reed (co-chairs)


Andrew Bishop
Dissertation: Costly signaling and prey choice: The signaling value of hunted game
Advisor: Kim Hill, Robert Boyd, Benjamin Trumble

Dominique Garello
Instructor, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University
Dissertation: Tephrostratigraphy of Pliocene drill cores from Kenya and Ethiopia, and Pleistocene exposures in the Ledi-Geraru Research Project Area, Ethiopia: Geological context for the evolution of Australopithecus and Homo
Advisor: Ramon Arrowsmith and Chris Campisano

Neysa Grider-Potter
Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology
Northeast Ohio Medical University,
Dissertation: Form and function of the primate cervical vertebral column
Advisor: William Kimbel

Jacob A Harris
Dissertation: Probability models of bone surface modification and application to fossil evidence from Ledi-Geraru (2.82 Ma) and Dikika (3.9 Ma), Afar Ethiopia
Advisor: Curtis Marean

Ignacio Aguilar Lazagabaster
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Postdoctoral Researcher, Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin
Dissertation: Evolution and paleoecology of Pliocene Suidae (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) in the lower Awash Valley (Afar, Ethiopia): Implications for hominin evolution and paleoenvironments
Advisor: Kaye E Reed


John Rowan
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University at Albany, SUNY
Dissertation: Abiotic and biotic drivers of turnover and community assembly in African mammals
Advisor: Kaye E. Reed

Emily Hallett
Postdoctoral Scientist with the Pan African Research Group
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Dissertation: Zooarchaeological and taphonomic analyses of Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from the Middle and Later Stone Age occupations at Contrebandiers Cave, Atlantic Coast, Morocco
Advisor: Curtis Marean


Hallie Edmonds
Lecturer, Northern Arizona University
Dissertation: The functional morphology of the primate zygomatic arch in relation to diet 
Advisor: Kaye Reed

Halszka Glowacka
Assistant Professor, The University of Arizona College of Medicine—Phoenix
Dissertation: Biomechanical constraints on molar emergence in primates 
Advisor: Gary Schwartz

Genevieve Housman
Postdoctoral Scholar, Genetics Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago
Dissertation: Primate skeletal epigenetics: Evolutionary implications of DNA methylation patterns in the skeletal tissues of human and nonhuman primates
Advisor: Anne Stone

Maria Nieves-Colon
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota
Dissertation: The population history of the Caribbean: Perspectives from ancient and modern DNA analysis
Advisor: Anne Stone

Simen Oestmo
Director, Data Science at Sound Thinking, Inc., Sacramento CA
Dissertation: A formal modeling approach to understanding stone tool raw material selection in the South African Middle Stone Age: A case study from Pinnacle Point, South Africa
Advisor: Curtis Marean


Kierstin Catlett
Associate Director of Research
Optum Center for Research and Innovation
Dissertation: A dental topographic analysis of deciduous tooth wear in hominoids
Advisor: Gary Schwartz


Hope Williams
Director of Planning, Oats Overnight
Dissertation: Micromammals from the Greater Cape Floristic Region near Pinnacle Point, on the South Coast of South Africa
Advisor: Curtis Marean

Benjamin Schoville
Lecturer in Archaeology, School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Australia
Dissertation: Landscape variability in tool-use and edge damage formation in South African Middle Stone Age lithic assemblages
Harmon Scholarship 2013-2014
Advisor: Curtis Marean

Amy Shapiro
Data Scientist, Yelp
Dissertation: The relationship between variation in dental microwear textures and annual, season, and monthly dietary variation in African Old World monkeys (Cercopithecidae)
Advisor: Kaye Reed


Terry Ritzman
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Washington University School of Medicine
Dissertation: A comparative radiographic investigation of facial projection in Anthropoid primates
Advisor: Gary Schwartz

Caitlin Schrein
Federal Relations Advisor
Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington DC
Dissertation: Where did you come from? Where will you go? Human evolutionary biology education and American students' academic interests and achievments, professional goals, and socioscientific decision making
Advisor: Donald Johanson

Laura Stroik
Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences, Grand Valley State University, Michigan
Dissertation: The dietary competitive environment of the origination and early diversification of Euprimates in North America
Advisor: Gary Schwartz


Thierra Nalley 
Assistant Professor, Dept of Medical Anatomical Sciences, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA
Dissertation: Positional behaviors and the neck: A comparative analysis of the cervical vertebrae of living primates and fossil hominids
Advisor: William Kimbel 

Samantha Russak
Chief of Research and Welfare
Tanganyika Wildlife Park, Goddard, KS
Dissertation: Ecological role of dry-habitat chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at Issa, Ugall, Tanzania
Advisor: Kaye Reed 


Jocelyn Bernatchez
Southwest Assistant Director of Cultural Resources
WestLand Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc.
Dissertation: The role of ochre in the development of modern human behavior: A case study from South Africa
Advisor: Curtis Marean

Lynn Copes Tommasini
Associate Professor of Medical Sciences, Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, Quinnipiac University, North Haven, CT
Dissertation: Comparative and experimental investigations of cranial robusticity in Mid-Pleistocene hominins 
Advisor: William Kimbel

Jamie Hodgkins
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Denver
Dissertation: Tracking climate-driven changes in Neandertal subsistence behaviors and prey mobility patterns 
Advisor: Curtis Marean

Lynn Lucas
Newcomer Science and Biology Teacher
Memorial Pathway Academy High School, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Dissertation: Variation in dental morphology and bite force along the tooth row in anthropoids
Advisor: Mark Spencer


Lucas Delezene
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas
Dissertation: Morphological integration and the anthropoid dentition 
Advisor: William Kimbel


Kristi Lewton
Associate Professor of Clinical Integrative Anatomical Sciences
Keck School of Medicine, USC
Dissertation: Locomotor function and the evolution of the primate pelvis 
Advisor: Mark Spencer

Caley Orr
Associate Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Modern Human Anatomy Program, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Dissertation: Adaptations to knuckle-walking and digitigrady: A three-dimensional kinematic and morphometric analysis of the anthropoid wrist 
Advisor: Mark Spencer

Jeremiah Scott
Assistant Professor of Anatomy, Dept of Medical Anatomical Sciences, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA
Dissertation: Nonsocial influences on canine size in anthropoid primates 
Advisor:  William Kimbel

Claire Terhune
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas
Dissertation: The temporomandibular joint in anthropoid primates; functional, allometric, and  phylogenetic influences 
Advisor: William Kimbel

Amy Rector 
Associate Professor of Anthropology, School of World Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Dissertation: Mammal community evolution and biogeography through time in the Western Cape, South Africa
Advisor: Kaye Reed 


Marc Jacofsky
Vice President of Research and Development and Director of the SHRI-CORE Orthopedic Research Labs, Center for Orthopedic Research and Education/The CORE Institute, Phoenix, AZ
Dissertation: Comparative muscle moment arms of the primate thumb: Homo, Pan, Pongo, and Papio


Jessica Thompson
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Yale University
Dissertation: Zooarchaeological tests for modern human behavior at Blombos Cave and Pinnacle Point Cave 13B, southwestern Cape, South Africa 
Advisor: Curtis Marean


Brian Villmoare
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Dissertation: A geometric morphometric analysis of the mid-facial region of fossil hominins, modern humans, and great apes 
Advisor: William Kimbel


Hamed Vahdati Nasab 
Associate Professor of Archaeology, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Dissertation: Three-dimensional study of the midfacial region in European Middle and Late Pleistocene hominids
Advisors: Donald Johanson and Geoff Clark


Elizabeth Harmon (deceased)
CUNY Hunter College, New York, NY
Dissertation: A comparative analysis of femoral morphology in Australopithecus afarensis: Implications for the evolution of bipedal locomotion
Advisor: William Kimbel
A research scholarship for doctoral students has been established in Elizabeth Harmon's name by her parents. If you would like to contribute to this scholarship fund, please contact William Kimbel at or see more information at


Shara Bailey
Director, Center for the Study of Human Origins
Associate Chair, Department of Anthropology
Associate Professor of Anthropology, New York University, NY
Dissertation: Neandertal dental morphology: Implications for modern human origins 
Advisor:  William Kimbel