Kate McGrath

Kate McGrath

Email:
katemcgrath@gwu.edu
Kate McGrath is interested in using teeth to reconstruct the health and developmental histories of individual primates. Her dissertation focuses on linear enamel hypoplasia, a condition marked by horizontal grooves on the tooth surface, which is known to record instances of physiological stress during development. She is applying novel imaging and analytical methods to the dental remains of Virunga mountain gorillas for which over 40 years of in vivo behavioral, health, and climate data are available, allowing her to test correspondence between major life events and enamel defect formation.
 

Education

BS in Anthropology, Minor in Geology, College of Charleston, 2010

MPhil, Human Paleobiology, The George Washington University, 2015


Year Entered GW Program: 2012
Advisor: Shannon C. McFarlin

Publications

Journal articles
 
Zipkin, A.M., Wagner, M., McGrath, K., Brooks, A.S., Lucas, P.W. (2014). An experimental study of hafting adhesives and the implications for compound tool technology. PLoS ONE 9(11): e112560. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112560
 
Conference abstracts
 
(submitted) McGrath K, El Zaatari S, Cranfield MR, Stoinski TS, Mudakikwa A, Bromage T, McFarlin SC. 2016. Quantifying linear enamel hypoplasia in Virunga mountain gorillas and other great apes. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
 
(submitted) Erikson AB, McGrath K, Aida Gómez-Robles, Schroeder L, Massey JS, Bromage TG, Mudakikwa A, Stoinski TS, Cranfield MR, Tocheri M, McFarlin SC, Cramon-Taudadel N. Facial fluctuating asymmetry in free-ranging Virunga mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
McGrath K, Guatelli-Steinberg D, Arbenz-Smith K, Reid DJ, Cranfield MR, Stoinski TS, Mudakikwa A, Bromage TG, McFarlin SC. 2015. Linear enamel hypoplasia prevalence in wild Virunga mountain gorillas from Rwanda. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156(S60):221.
 
Veatch E.G., Tocheri M.W., Rokus Due Awe, Saptomo E. Wahyu, Sutikna T., Jatmiko, Sri Wasisto, McGrath K.J., Meijer H.J.M., Helgen K.M. 2014. "The Postcranial Functional Anatomy of the Endemic Rats from Liang Bua, Flores, Indonesia". Poster presented at the 23rd annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society meeting, Calgary, Canada. PaleoAnthropology: 2014: A27.
 
Zipkin, A.M., Wagner, M., McGrath, K., and Brooks, A.S. (2013) “The Role of Loading Agent Particle Size and Mineralogy in Formulating Compound Hafting Adhesives.” Talk presented at the 78th annual meeting of the Society of American Archaeology. Society of American Archaeology: 455.
 
McGrath, K.J., Cope, D.A., Westgate, J.W. (2011) “Intra-and Interspecific Variation in Middle Eocene Mytoniians with a Further Assessment of the Validity of the Genus Mytonius.” Poster presented at the 80th annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Minneapolis, MN. Abstract published in American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144 (Supplement): 211-212.
 

Research Experience

2012-present  Mountain Gorilla Skeletal Project; Co-Director Shannon McFarlin, GWU, Rwandan Office of Tourism and National Parks, the New York University College of Dentistry, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, and the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project

2012-present  Histologic preparation, microscopic imaging and analysis of mountain gorilla dentition in the Hard Tissue Research Laboratory, The George Washington University, with advisor Shannon McFarlin

2015-16  Visiting researcher: scanning confocal profiling (Sensofar Plu Neox) of great ape dental replicas, Paleoanthopology, Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment, University of Tübingen, Germany, with Sireen El Zaatari

2016  Visiting researcher: great ape canine histologic data collection, Anthropological Institute and Museum, University of Zürich, Switzerland

2016  Visiting researcher: great ape canine histologic data collection, The Royal College of Surgeons, London, United Kingdom

2014-15  Lab rotation: small object photogrammetry methods development, The George Washington University, with David Braun

2015  Graduate Student Fellowship: “Investigating stress-related enamel defect expression and etiology in wild Virunga mountain gorillas of documented life history”, Division of Mammals and Human Origins Program, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, with Kristofer Helgen and Rick Potts

2015  Visiting researcher: great ape canine histologic data collection, Newcastle University, UK, with Wendy Dirks

2014  Lab rotation: mountain gorilla dental replica analysis, Department of Anthropology, The Ohio State University, with Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg

2011-14  3D imaging specialist/Research Student: analysis of giant rat dentitions of Flores, Indonesia, Division of Mammals, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, with Matthew Tocheri and E. Grace Veatch

2013  Visiting researcher: yellow baboon dental impression collection, Amboseli National Park and National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya

2012  Lab rotation: geometric morphometric analysis of mountain gorilla crania, The George Washington University, with Aida Gomez-Robles

2012  Paleolithic archaeology project: fracture mechanics of plant resin hasting adhesives, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The George Washington University, with Andrew Zipkin

2010  Undergraduate research: Eocene primate dental analysis, Washington University in St. Louis and the Natural History Museum of San Diego, with Dana Alan Cope

2009  Koobi Fora Paleoanthropological Field School, Rutgers University and National Museums of Kenya


CASHP Blog Entries

 

Distinctions

2016  The National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, “Doctoral Dissertation Research: Understanding enamel hypoplasia in great apes of known life history” ($13,961)

2016  The Leakey Foundation Research Grant, “Understanding stress-related enamel defects in wild mountain gorillas” ($14,827)

2016  Lewis N. Cotlow Award, Department of Anthropology, The George Washington University ($1,800)

2015 Graduate Student Fellowship, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History

2015 Lewis N. Cotlow Award, Department of Anthropology, The George Washington University

2014 Honorable Mention NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

2014 Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research

2013 Honorable Mention NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

2013 Zelma Reidling Warren Bannister and William Warren Graduate Fellowship Award

2010 Mays Grant from the College of Charleston

2009 Catherine Wood Parker Memorial Departmental Award from the Anthropology Department at the College of Charleston