Coordinators of the Center


Director of Undergraduate Studies in Biological Anthropology
Carson Murray

Director of University and External Relations
Bernard Wood



Department Directory

Core Faculty

W. Andrew Barr

W. Andrew Barr

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Paleoecology, Ecomorphology, Paleoanthropology

Brenda J. Bradley

Brenda J. Bradley

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Evolutionary genomics, Molecular ecology, Primatology

David R. Braun

David R. Braun

Professor of Anthropology
Archaeology, Paleoanthropology, Africa

Alison S. Brooks

Alison S. Brooks

Professor of Anthropology
Paleolithic archaeology, Paleoanthropology, Ethnoarchaeology

Shannon C. McFarlin

Shannon C. McFarlin

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Primate life history evolution, Growth and development, Hard tissue biology

Carson M. Murray

Carson M. Murray

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Primate social behavior, Mother-infant relationships, Female competition

Chet C. Sherwood

Chet C. Sherwood

Professor of Anthropology
Evolutionary neuroscience, Cerebral cortex, Primates

Francys Subiaul

Francys Subiaul

Associate Professor of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences
Social cognition, Imitation learning

Bernard A. Wood

Bernard A. Wood

University Professor of Human Origins
Human evolution, Comparative morphology, Dental morphology

Resource Faculty

In addition to core faculty members, CASHP includes resource faculty members based at other GW departments, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and National Zoological Park, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and elsewhere. These individuals collaborate with core CASHP faculty, provide laboratory rotations and other training opportunities for students and serve on PhD dissertation committees.

Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History Collaborators

Anna K. Behrensmeyer
Senior Research Geologist and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology

Briana L. Pobiner
Research Scientist and Education Program Specialist, Human Origins Program

Richard Potts
Curator of Biological Anthropology, Peter Buck Chair of Human Origins Director


The George Washington University


Other Institutions

  • Rui Diogo, Associate Professor of Anatomy, Howard University College of Medicine
  • David Hunt, Assistant Collections Manager, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Marilyn R. London, Forensic Anthropologist, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Lydia Luncz, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Rob O'Malley, Project Director, Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion, American Association for the Advancement of Science 
  • David B. Patterson, Faculty in Biology, University of North Georgia


  • Michael L. Power, Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Institution National Zoological Park
  • Christopher B. Ruff, Professor of Functional Anatomy and Evolution, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Douglas Ubelaker, Curator of Physical Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Erin Marie Williams-Hatala, Associate Professor of Biology, Chatham University
  • Jonathan G. Wynn, Associate Professor, School of Geosciences, University of South Florida





Photo of Somaye Khaksar

Somaye Khaksar

Somaye received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her research is focused on the efficiency and function of stone tools during the Pleistocene to understand reasons underlying change and variation in early hominins` stone tool kits.  As a postdoctoral associate at GWU Somaye is currently working on some African lithic collections that are being studied for the first time since their excavations decades ago. This project will contribute to our understanding of early human behavior in Africa.





Former Students and Postdocs

Shara Bailey – Professor, Department of Anthropology, New York University

Katharine Balolia – Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology, Australian National University

Nicole Barger - Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Anatomy, Howard University College of Medicine

Sarah Barks – Director, STEM Career Community, Grinnell College

Susana Carvalho – Professor in Palaeoanthropology, School of Anthropology & Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford

Christine Charvet – Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, Auburn University

Paul Constantino – Associate Professor, Chair of Department of Biology, Saint Michael's College

Aida Gómez-Robles – Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University College London

Adam Gordon – Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University at Albany, State University of New York

Mark Grabowski – Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology, School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University

Elaine Guevara – Lecturer of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University

Ashley Hammond –Associate Curator of Biology Anthropology, Curator-in-Charge of Old World Archaeology, and Division Chair Associate Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Sarah Hlubik - College Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University

Aminu Imam - Lecturer, Department of Anatomy. University of Ilorin

Rachel Jacobs – Wildlife Forensic Scientist, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory

Fenna Krienen – Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Princeton University

Michael Lague – Associate Professor of Biology, School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Stockton University

Sean Lee - Data Scientist, KennedyC

A. Catherine Markham – Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University

Shannon McPherron – Senior Scientist - Research Group Leader, Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Julio Mercader – Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary

Gerard Muntané Medina – Postdoctoral Researcher, Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili (IISPV) / Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (UPF), University Pompeu Fabra

Enquye Negash - Postdoctoral Researcher, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University

Rob O'Malley – Project Director, Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Melissa Panger – Senior Science Advisor, US Environmental Protection Agency

Osbjorn Pearson – Professor and Regents Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico

Varsha Pilbrow – Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in Archaeology, La Trobe University, Australia

John Polk – Associate Professor and Director of Human Biology, Department of Anthropology. University at Albany. 

Neil Roach – Lecturer, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Paul Sandberg – Lecturer, Department of Anthropology. University of Colorado Boulder.

Natalie Schenker-Ahmed – Senior Researcher, Human Longevity, Inc.

Gary Schwartz – Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

Muhammad Spocter – Director and Professor, Department of Anatomy, Des Moines University

Nicky Staes – Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp & Behavioural Ecology and Ecophysiology Group, University of Antwerp

Margaret Stanton – Assistant Professor, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of New England

Dietrich Stout – Professor, Department of Anthropology, Emory University

David Strait – Professor, Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis

Christian Tryon – Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Connecticut

Andrey Verendeev – Science Writer, BrainPOP

Brian Villmoare – Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Erin Vogel – Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University

Erin Marie Williams-Hatala – Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Chatham University

Barth Wright – Professor, Department of Anatomy, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences


Former PhD Students

Kimberly Foecke, Ph.D. 2022
Dissertation title: Deconstructing the δ15N paleodietary proxy: implications of culturally-mediated food behavior for trophic position reconstruction
Current position: Associate Researcher. Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Natural History

Lawrence Fatica, Ph.D. 2021
Dissertation title: Skeletal phenotypic variation in Gorilla: ecological, phylogenetic, and ontogeneic perspectives
Current position: Instructor, The Unviersity of Arizona College of Veterniary Medicine

Elizabeth Tapanes, Ph.D. 2021
Dissertation title: The impact of ecology, demography, and genetics on primate pelage
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego

Eve Boyle, Ph.D. 2019
Dissertation title: Testing hypotheses about the relationship between diet and torso morphology in extant primates:  Implications for human evolution 
Current position: Associate Director of Training and Engagement Strategy. Howard University. 

Sean Lee, Ph.D. 2019
Dissertation title: Female activity budgets and offspring development in wild bonobos and chimpanzees
Current position: Data Scientist. KennedyC.

Enquye Negash, Ph.D. 2019
Dissertation title: Woody cover in modern African ecosystems: Implications for hominin landscape dynamics
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Postdoctoral Research Scientist. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Kelly Ostrofsky, Ph.D. 2019
Dissertation title: Using behavioral and kinematic methods to characterize arboreal behavior of Bwindi mountain gorillas
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow. Rocky Vista University.

Jonathan Reeves, Ph.D. 2019
Dissertation title: Movement ecology and hominin behavioral evolution: perspectives from East Turkana 
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Plank Institute. 

Laurence Dumouchel, Ph.D. 2018
Dissertation title: A multi proxy analysis of Australopithecus anamensis paleoecology in the Omo Turkana Basin
Current position: Quantitative User Experience (UX) Researcher, Linked In. 

Kate McGrath, Ph.D. 2018
Dissertation title: From the inside out: Understanding stress-related enamel defects in great ape canines
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, SUNY Oneonta 

Vance Powell, Ph.D. 2018
Dissertation title: Patterns of variation and covariation in anthropoid limb proportions: Implications for interpreting the hominin fossil record
Current position: Instructor of Anatomy, Howard University College of Medicine

Cassandra Turcotte, Ph.D. 2018
Dissertation title: Behavioral reconstruction and the effects of habitual activity on the bone-muscle interface
Current position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anthropology, New York University

Kaitlin Wellens, Ph.D. 2018
Dissertation title: Social behavior in wild male chimpanzees: development and maternal relationships
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Trinity Washington University

Chrisandra Kufeldt, Ph.D. 2017
Dissertation title: Trees from teeth: investigating the potential of dental microstructure for phylogeny reconstruction
Current position: Instructor, School of Professional and Continuing Education, James Madison University

Jordan Miller, Ph.D. 2017
Dissertation title: Chimpanzee third party behavior: insights into the evolution of human conflict management
Current position: Director of Marketing, IdeaRoom

Kathryn Ranhorn, Ph.D. 2017
Dissertation title: Cultural transmission and lithic technology in Middle Stone Age Eastern Africa
Current position: Assistant Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

Laura Reyes, Ph.D. 2017
Dissertation title: Tool-use and the chimpanzee brain: an investigation of gray and white matter, and a focused study of inferior parietal microstructure
Current position: Scientific Program Analyst, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health

Amelia Villaseñor, Ph.D. 2017
Dissertation title: Diversity in the Middle Pliocene: a multi-proxy analysis of climate's effect on vegetation and mammalian community structure with implications for human evolution
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas

Andrew Du, Ph.D. 2016
Dissertation title: The role of scale and ecological inference: implications for interpreting hominin paleoecology
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and Geography, Colorado State University

David Patterson, Ph.D. 2016
Dissertation title: Ecosystem evolution and hominin ecology between 2.0 and 1.4 Ma at East Turkana, northern Kenya
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of North Georgia

Jennifer Baker, Ph.D. 2015
Dissertation title: From comparative genomics to synthetic biology: using ancestral gene reconstruction approaches to test hypotheses regarding proximate mechanisms in our evolutionary history
Current position: Program Manager, Illuminating the Druggable Genome, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH

Serena Bianchi, Ph.D. 2015
Dissertation title: Neuroanatomical correlates of attention-getting sounds in captive chimpanzees: towards understanding the evolution of flexible, learned, vocal communication
Current position: Editor, SFARI, Autism BrainNet, Simons Foundation

Elizabeth Renner, Ph.D. 2015
Dissertation title: Social and asocial learning in humans and orangutans 
Current position: Research Associate, Department of Psychology, Durham University, UK

Andrew Zipkin, Ph.D. 2015
Dissertation title: Material symbolism and ochre exploitation in middle stone age east-central Africa
Current position: Associate Scientist, Inductively Coupled Plasma Group at Eurofins EAG Laboratories

Amy Bauernfeind, Ph.D. 2014
Dissertation title: Comparative protein expression of human and chimpanzee brains
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Kevin Hatala, Ph.D. 2014
Dissertation title: Fossil hominin footprints and the dynamics of footprint formation
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Chatham University

Habiba Chirchir, Ph.D. 2013
Dissertation title: When and why did low trabecular bone density evolve in humans? A comparative and experimental study of trabecular density
Current position: Assistant Professor, Division of Biological Sciences, Marshall University

Kes Schroer, Ph.D. 2013
Dissertation title: The role of extant primate models for interpreting premolar crown variation in fossil hominins
Current position: Senior Consultant, Deloitte

Felicia Gomez, Ph.D. 2012
Dissertation title: Genetic variation at ICAM-1 and CD36: a study of malaria resistance candidate loci in diverse global human populations
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Oncology Division, Stem Cell Biology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Nicolaas Fourie, Ph.D. 2012
Dissertation title: Hair cortisol in wild and captive primates: environmental effects and behavioral phenotypes

Janine Chalk-Wilayto, Ph.D. 2011
Dissertation title: The effects of feeding strategies and food mechanics on the ontogeny of masticatory function in the Cebus libidinosus cranium
Current position: Assistant Professor, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Mercer University School of Medicine

Erin Marie Williams-Hatala, Ph.D. 2011
Dissertation title: Biomechanical strategies during Oldowan and Acheulean stone tool production
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Chatham University

Rui Diogo, Ph.D. 2011
Dissertation title: Origin, homologies and evolution of primate head, neck, pectoral and upper limb muscles and the use of myological characters to investigate the phylogenetic relationships within the primate clade
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy, Howard University College of Medicine

J. Tyler Faith, Ph.D. 2011
Dissertation title: Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions in Southern Africa’s Cape Floral region
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, The University of Utah

David Green, Ph.D. 2010
Dissertation title: Shoulder functional anatomy and development: implications for interpreting early hominin evolution
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy, Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Amanda Henry, Ph.D. 2010
Dissertation title: Plant foods and the dietary ecology of Neandertals and modern humans
Current position: Associate Professor, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University

Catherine Haradon, Ph.D. 2010
Dissertation title: The ecological context of the Achulean to Middle Stone Age transition in Africa
Current position: Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, California State University, Northridge

Nicole Griffin, Ph.D. 2009
Dissertation title: Comparative forefoot kinematics and bone architecture in extant hominids
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Education and Data Science, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Lisa Nevell, Ph.D. 2009
Dissertation title: Hominin cranial base evolution and genes implicated in basioccipital development: role of Pax7, Fgfr3 and Disp1 in basioccipital development and integration
Current position: Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Boston University

Robin Teague, Ph.D. 2009
Dissertation title: The ecological context of the Early Pleistocene hominin dispersal to Asia
Current position: Olde Ipswitch Tours

Matthew Skinner, Ph.D. 2008
Dissertation title: Enamel-dentine junction morphology in extant hominoid and fossil hominin lower molars
Current position: Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of Kent, UK

Alexandra de Sousa, Ph.D. 2008
Dissertation title: Hominoid brain organization: histometric and morphometric comparisons of visual brain structures
Current position: Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Bath Spa University, UK

Paul Constantino, Ph.D. 2007
Dissertation title: Primate masticatory adaptations to fracture-resistant foods
Current position: Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Saint Michael's College

Robert McCarthy, Ph.D. 2004
Dissertation title: Constraints on primate craniofacial growth and architecture
Current position: Associate Professor of Biology, College of Science, Benedictine University

Felicitas Bidlack, Ph.D. 2003
Dissertation title: The temporal resolution of oxygen stable isotope analyses in dental enamel
Current position: Associate Member of Staff, The Forsyth Institute

Former Master's Students

Katherine Auerswald, M.S. 2022
Thesis title: Sleeping around: social and ecological determinants of wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) sleeping site selection at Gombe National Park, Tanzania 

Giovana Delia, M.S. 2022
Thesis title: Animal coloration as an illustrative model of selection 

Sarah Mangelsdorf Grimm, M.S. 2022
Thesis title: Bird-brained: convergent evolution of cognition between birds and modern humans 

Hannah Jacobson, M.S. 2022
Thesis title: Big brain energy: the metabolic contributions of the gut microbiome and its implications for encephalization in early Homo

Suzanne Kunitz, M.S. 2022
Thesis title: An ethnoarchaeological comparison of bone surface modifications to the butchery of the Dobe !Kung San

Nina Lopergolo, M.S. 2022
Thesis title: The serotonin receptor HTR1A is generally conserved across primates and within a primate species (Sapajus apella

Gwyneth McNiff, M.S. 2022
Thesis title: Characterization of the relationship between executive functioning scores in preschoolers and performance on various imitation tasks

Alexander Průcha, M.S. 2022
Thesis title: Reconstructing anthropoid facial skeletal evolution, and predicting the facial skeletal morphology of the last common ancestors of apes and humans

Kailie Batsche, M.S. 2021
Thesis title: Ontogenetic variability in collagen fiber orientation at the midshaft femur of Virunga mountain gorillas

Annelise Beer, M.S. 2021
Thesis title: How have STEM courses ‘adapted’ to online learning during a pandemic?

Monica Cheung, M.S. 2021
Thesis title: Behavioral thermoregulation: assessing the influence of temperature on chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) ranging behavior at Gombe National Park, Tanzania

Audrey Tjahjadi, M.S. 2021
Thesis title: A phylogenetic analysis of two intestinal disaccharidases in primates

Warrenkevin Hendersen, M.S. 2021
Thesis title: Examining convergence in equids and ursids to understand potential hominin adaptiveness to the cold

Kristin Carline, M.S. 2021
Thesis title: A reexamination of the Oldowan's origin using hominin diversity and environmental variability in Eastern Africa

Molly Karl, M.S. 2021
Thesis title: Electron microscopy analysis of interspecific variation in mitochondria and synapses in the cerebral cortex across 18 mammalian species

Nicholas Burns, M.S. 2020
Thesis title: Is there evidence of competitive exclusion in eastern African later Miocene mammalian communities?

Leanne Chambers, M.S. 2019
Thesis title: Follow the leader: correlates of juvenile leadership in wild chimpanzees

Louis Gorgone, M.S. 2019
Thesis title: Ecological divergence in the medial cuneiform and talus of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei)

Ayla Riley-Horst, M.S. 2019
Thesis title: Testing techniques for sexing the subadult pelvic remains of modern humans from the African Diaspora

Courtney Sexton, M.S. 2019
Thesis title: Face to face: impacts of expressive communication and domestication on eye muscle morphology in canids

Samantha Lubrano, M.S. 2018
Thesis title: Is there sexual dimorphism in canine crown shape among extant hylobatids?

Angela Peña, M.S. 2018
Thesis title: Patterns of integration and modularity in the hominoid wrist

Daniel Wawrznyiak, M.S. 2018
Thesis title: Evolution of body size in the diverse lesser apes

Christyna Solhan, M.S. 2011
Thesis title: Hallucial tarsometatarsal joint morphology and function: a three-dimensional analysis of medial cuneiforms in extant and fossil hominids

Balazs Horvath, M.S. 2006
Thesis title: Beyond absolute brain size? The allure of allometry and the encephalization quotient