Paleoanthropology and Paleoecology


PAPER Lab Logo


The Paleoanthropology and Paleoecology Lab (PAPER) is dedicated to the studying of human evolution in Africa from an environmental and ecological perspective. This lab uses a combination of field and laboratory approaches. 

There are many projects currently underway in this lab including Paleoecology and Paleoanthropology of Laikipia, Kenya and Mille-Logya, Ethiopia. The lab is also home to a 3D comparitive osteology collection.

Current Projects


"...we have surprisingly limited direct evidence of the impact of global climate on evolutionary events such as the origin of Homo and the split between the hominin and panin lineages. I conduct fieldwork and apply quantitative analytical methods in the lab aimed at filling these knowledge gaps."

W. Andrew Barr

Assistant Professor in Anthropology, PAPER Lab PI

Select Publications

Geraads D, Barr WA, Reed DN, Laurin M, Alemseged Z. New remains of Camelus grattardi (Mammalia, Camelidae) from the Plio-Pleistocene of Ethiopia and the phylogeny of the genus. Journal of Mammalian Evolution. In Press.

Tóth, AB, Lyons SK, Barr WA, Behrensmeyer AK, Blois JL, Bobe R, Davis M, Du A, Eronen J, Faith JT, Fraser D, Gotelli NJ, Graves GR, Jukar AM, Miller JH, Pineda-Munoz S, Soul LC, Villaseñor A, Alroy J. 2019. Reorganization of surviving mammal communities after the end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinction. Science. 365:1305-1308. doi:10.1126/science.aaw1605

Patterson DB, Braun DR, Allen K, Barr WA, Behrensmeyer AK, Biernat M, Lehmann SB, Maddox T, Manthi FK, Merritt SR, Morris SE, O’Brien K, Reeves JS, Wood BA, Bobe R. 2019. Comparative isotopic evidence from East Turkana is consistent with a dietary shift between early Homo and Homo erectus. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 3:1048-1056. doi:10.1038/s41559-019-0916-0

Barr WA. Ecomorphology. 2018. In: Croft DA, Simpson SW, and Su DF (eds.), Methods in Paleoecology: Reconstructing Cenozoic Terrestrial Environments and Ecological Communities. Springer (Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series), Cham, Switzerland. 339-349. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-94265-0

Fraser D, Haupt R, Barr WA. 2018. Phylogenetic signal in tooth wear dietary niche proxies: What it means for those in the field. Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.4540

Barr WA. 2018. The morphology of the bovid calcaneus: function, phylogenetic signal, and allometric scaling. Journal of Mammalian Evolution. doi:10.1007/s10914-018-9446-9

For more information see the PAPER Lab website.


Lab Researchers