Brian A. Villmoare

Brian A. Villmoare

Postdoctoral Scientist
Address: 2114 G Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
Phone: 202-994-7152

Areas of Expertise

The role of morphological integration in evolution; the evolution and extinction of Paranthropus; geometric morphometrics; hominin systematics; homology and homoplasy; macroevolutionary patterns.


Brian Villmoare received his PhD in physical anthropology from Arizona State University in 2008, working with Charlie Lockwood and Bill Kimbel. There he focused on detailed analyses of the craniofacial morphology of early fossil hominins. For his dissertation he developed new geometric morphometric methods for quantifying morphological shape to address questions of systematics and craniofacial integration in the hominins.

His research interests range from broad questions of evolutionary theory to high-resolution studies of the internal structures of the hominin face. Current research projects include studying the role of selection and genetics in evolutionary change and extinction, the specific evolutionary constraints and selection pressures responsible for hominin craniofacial form, determining the homology of unique characters in the hominin cranium, and FEA biomechanical analyses of early hominins.

Past fieldwork includes Makapansgat, South Africa and Koobi Fora, Kenya, and he has worked in the Afar region of Ethiopia since 2002, where he is currently a Director of the NSF-funded Ledi-Geraru Project with Kaye Reed and Chris Campisano.


Villmoare, B. 2012. Morphological integration, evolutionary constraints, and extinction: a computer simulation-based study. Evolutionary Biology, DOI 10.1007/s11692-012-9186-3.

Fish, J., Villmoare, B., Köbernick, K., Compagnucci, C., Tarabykin, V., and Depew, M. 2011 Satb2, modularity, and the evolvability of the vertebrate jaw. Evolution and Development 13: 549-564.

Villmoare, B. and Kimbel, W. 2011. CT-based study of internal structure of the anterior pillar in extinct hominins and its implications for the phylogeny of robust Australopithecus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: 16200-16205.

Villmoare, B, Fish, J, and Jungers, W. 2011. Selection, morphological integration, and strepsirrhine locomotor adaptations. Evolutionary Biology, 38: 88-99.

Villmoare, B. 2005. Metric and non-metric randomization methods, geographic variation, and the single-species hypothesis for Asian and African Homo erectus. Journal of Human Evolution. 49: 680-701.

Villmoare, B. 2008. A geometric morphometric analysis of the midface of fossil hominins, great apes, and modern humans. PhD Dissertation. Arizona State University.

Villmoare , B. 2012. Review of Larsen, Clark (ed.) A Companion to Biological Anthropology. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 18(2): 472–473.

Field Work