As a paleoanthropologist, I am broadly interested in Human and Primate Evolution, seeking to understand what the fossil record tells us about the patterns and processes involved in the evolution of humans and our primate relatives, the apes, monkeys, and prosimians. Early in my career I worked on the functional morphology of prosimian primates in relation to their patterns of locomotion, and on life history of apes and humans as revealed through an analysis of dental development. More recently I have focused my research on primate and human paleontology. My fieldwork has ranged widely across both geographic space (from the American West to Eastern and Southern Africa), and time (from the Late Cretaceous to the Pleistocene), and with respect to taxonomy (including studies of non-primate mammals, prosimian primates, apes and hominins). Recently I have been developing and field-testing predictive models for locating fossils based on the analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery and utilizing analytical approaches from Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I am also committed to using the tools provided by Anthropology to interrogate the multiple and complex meanings of Race and Human Diversity in American society through my scholarship, teaching and outreach.
My current project in the Great Divide Basin (GDB) of SW Wyoming focuses on aspects of the evolution of the earliest primates, which lived ca. 55 million years ago in sedimentary basins like the GDB in the American West as well as in parts of western Europe and Asia (notably China). The current focus of this project is on the development and testing of predictive models for the location of fossils based on the analysis of satellite imagery. It is currently supported by a $180,000 National Science Foundation grant (BCS-1227329) entitled Developing and Testing New Geospatial Approaches in Paleoanthropology.