Kelly Ostrofsky

Kelly Ostrofsky

Email:
[email protected]

Kelly Ostrofsky is interested in postcranial functional morphology and anatomy, particularly as it relates to the locomotor behavior of early hominins. Her current research aims to characterize locomotor behavior in wild African apes in a way that better informs functional interpretations from skeletal anatomy. For her dissertation, she combines traditional observational methods with novel techniques for video-based motion analysis in the field to provide more detailed information about how apes move in their natural environments. A better understanding of locomotion and posture in the living African ape taxa will leave us better equipped to make functional inferences about morphological variation, which will ultimately provide insight into the evolution of locomotor diversity in our fossil ancestors.

 

 

Education

MPhil, Human Paleobiology, The George Washington University, 2016

B.S., Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University, 2012


Year Entered GW Program: 2013

Advisor: Sergio Almécija

Publications

See Publications page.

Journal articles

Thompson NE, Ostrofsky KR, McFarlin SC, Robbins MM, Stoinski TS, and Almécija S. (2018). Unexpected terrestrial hand posture diversity in wild mountain gorillas. Am J Phys Anthropol 166:84-94. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23404

Roach NT, Du A, Hatala KG, Ostrofsky KR, Reeves JS, Braun DR, Harris JWK, Behrensmeyer AK, and Richmond BG. (2018). Pleistocene animal communities at a 1.5 million-year-old lake margin grassland and their relationship to Homo erectus paleoecology. J Hum Evol 122:70-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2018.04.014

Hatala KG, Roach NT, Ostrofsky KR, Wunderlich RE, Dingwall HL, Willmoare B, Green DJ, Braun DR, Harris JWK, Behrensmeyer AK, and Richmond BG. (2017). Hominin track and trackway assemblages from Okote Member deposits near Ileret, Kenya and their implications for understanding fossil hominin paleobiology at 1.5 Ma. J Hum Evol 112:93-104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.08.013

Hatala KG, Roach NT, Ostrofsky KR, Wunderlich RE, Dingwall HL, Villmoare B, Green DJ, Harris JWK, Braun DR, and Richmond BG. (2016). Footprints reveal direct evidence of group behavior and locomotion in Homo erectus. Sci Rep 6(28766). http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep28766

Roach NT, Hatala KG, Ostrofsky KR, Villmoare B, Reeves JS, Du A, Braun DR, Harris JWK, Behrensmeyer AK, and Richmond BG. (2016). Pleistocene footprints show intensive use of lake margin habitats by Homo erectus groups. Sci Rep 6(26374). http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep26374

Ostrofsky KR, and Churchill SE (2015). Sex determination by discriminant function analysis of lumbar vertebrae. J Forensic Sci 60(21). http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.12543

Williams SA, Ostrofsky KR, Frater N, Churchill SE, Schmid P, Berger LR. (2013) The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba. Science 340(6129). http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1232996

Book chapters

Richmond, B.G., Roach, N.T., and Ostrofsky, K.R. (2016). Evolution of the Early Hominin Hand. in (Kivell, T., Lemelin, P., Richmond, B.G., Schmitt, D., eds) The Evolution of the Primate Hand: Perspectives from Anatomical, Developmental, Functional, and Paleontological Evidence. Springer. 

Conference Abstracts

Ostrofsky KR, Thompson NT, McFarlin SC, Robbins MM, Stoinski S, and Almécija S. (2018). Capturing 3-D locomotor kinematics in wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). Am J Phys Anthropol 165, S66:195. (Honorable Mention, Student Prize Competition)

Thompson NT, Ostrofsky KR, McFarlin SC, Robbins MM, Almécija S. (2018). Preliminary 3-D kinematic data of wild mountain gorilla terrestrial locomotion: Using lab-based methods in ape environments. Am J Phys Anthropol 165, S66:274.

Roach NT, Hatala KG, Ostrofsky KR, Villmoare B, Reeves JS, Du A, Braun DR, Harris JWK, Behrensmeyer AK, and Richmond BG. (2016). Homo erectus paleoecology and behavior based on 1.5 million year old footprints from northwestern Kenya. Am J Phys Anthropol 159, S62: 270.

Ostrofsky KR, and Richmond BG. (2015). Manual proportions in Australopithecus: A comparative analysis including new material from Sterkfontein. Am J Phys Anthropol 156, S60: 243.

Richmond BG, Roach NT, Hatala KG, Ostrofsky K, Behrensmeyer AK, Bobe R, Braun DR, Reeves J, Kiura P, and Villmoare B. (2015). What can footprint assemblages tell us about early hominin habitat preferences and social behavior? Am J Phys Anthropol 156, S60: 266.

Roach NT, Hatala KG, Ostrofsky KR, Reeves J, Behrensmeyer AK, and Richmond BG. (2015). Hominin paleoecology and land use based on 1.5 Ma footprint surfaces at Ileret, Kenya (abstract, Paleoanthropology Society)

Ostrofsky KR, Williams SA, Churchill SE, Berger LR, and Richmond BG. (2014). Australopith lumbar vertebral morphology: Insights from Australopithecus sediba. Am J Phys Anthropol 153, S58: 202.

Richmond BG, Hatala KG, Behrensmeyer AK, Bobe R, Braun DR, Dingwall HL, Green DJ, Kiura P, Ostrofsky K, Roach NT, Villmoare BA, Wunderlich RE, and Harris JWK. (2014). Hominin size, behavior, and ecology based on 1.5-million-year-old footprint assemblage from Ileret, Kenya. Am J Phys Anthropol 153, S58: 221.

Ostrofsky KR, and Churchill SE. (2013). Sex determination by discriminant function analyses of lumbar vertebrae. Am J Phys Anthropol 150, S56: 212.

Williams SA, Churchill SE, Ostrofsky KR, Schmid P, Frater N, and Berger LR. (2013). The number of vertebrae in early hominins: insights from Australopithecus sediba. Am J Phys Anthropol 150, S56: 292.

Research Experience

2016-present Establishing non-invasive field-based methods for three-dimensional kinematics, at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda; Karisoke Research Center, Rwanda; and Gombe National Park, Tanzania

2015-present Mountain Gorilla Skeletal Project, Karisoke Research Center, Rwanda. Supervisor: Shannon McFarlin. Collaborating institutions: The George Washington University, 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

2013-2014 Koobi Fora Field School and Research Project, Intern, George Washington University and the National Museums of Kenya

2012 Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Physical Anthropology Adopt-A-Student Intern, National Museum of Ethiopia, supervised by Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie

2012 Undergraduate honors thesis: “Sexual dimorphism in the lumbar vertebrae: Application to Australopithecus sediba,” Duke University, Advisor: Dr. Steven Churchill

2011 Dmanisi Paleoanthropology Field School, Georgian National Museum, Dmanisi Field Network, and Wellesley College


CASHP Blog Entries

Conference Time!

Chimpanzees: Not for your Entertainment

Endangered Apes

Distinctions

2018 Dean’s Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, The George Washington University ($23,500)

2018 Summer Dissertation Fellowship, The George Washington University ($3,000)

2018 Biological Anthropology – Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation ($12,052)

2018 Cosmos Scholars, Cosmos Club Foundation ($3,000)

2017 Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research, Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society ($1,000)

2017 Zelma Reidling Warren Bannister and William Warren Graduate Fellowship Award, Department of Anthropology, The George Washington University ($1,000)

2017 Dean’s Graduate Summer Research Travel Grant, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, The George Washington University ($1,400)

2016 The Leakey Foundation ($13,660)

2016 Zelma Reidling Warren Bannister and William Warren Graduate Fellowship Award, Department of Anthropology, The George Washington University ($500)

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

2015 Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research, Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society ($1,000)

2015 Lewis N. Cotlow Award, Department of Anthropology, The George Washington University ($1,800)

2014 Zelma Reidling Warren Bannister and William Warren Graduate Fellowship Award, Department of Anthropology, The George Washington University ($1,950)

2014 Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research, The George Washington University Chapter ($700)

2013 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship ($32,000/year for 3 years)

2011 Deans’ Summer Research Fellowship, Trinity College, Duke University ($2,500)