Evolutionary Anthropology

Thomas Conte

Graduate Advisor: Lee Cronk
Evolutionary Anthropology program

My research interests center on pastoralism in Mongolia, China, and Central Eurasia. More broadly, I'm interested in the evolution of prosocial behaviors: namely, why people do nice things for one another.

Melanie Fenton

Evolutionary Anthropology program
Graduate Advisor: Ryne Palmobit

I am interested in the evolution of reproductive strategies in primates and the co-evolution of these strategies in males and females.

K. Padmini Iyer

Evolutionary Anthropology program
Graduate Advisor: Lee Cronk

Research interests: Risk management; East African pastoralists; social networks

Mareike Janiak

Mareike Janiakmareike.janiak@rutgers.edu
Evolutionary Anthropology program
Graduate Advisor: Rob Scott

Research Interests:primate dietary ecology, dietary adaptations, evolution of digestive enzymes

Research project: For my dissertation I am planning a cross-species and cross-site comparison of pepsinogens in New World monkeys, in order to investigate how differences in diet act as a selective force on enzymes in the digestive system.

Alysse Moldawer

Advisor: Erin Vogel
I am interested in an interdisciplinary approach to understanding home range quality and stress of wild, female, Bornean orangutans in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. My current research goals are to examine how wild female orangutans respond and adapt to inter-related factors of interest that include: forest and nutrient ecology, orangutan density, presence of anthropogenic effects, and the sociology and history of human land use within the proposed research site. I am also exploring field and laboratory methods for examining orangutan physiology.

Research Interests: orangutan behavior and ecology, political ecology, environmental anthropology, primate physiology

Darshana Shapiro

DarcyEmail: darshana.shapiro@rutgers.edu
Evolutionary Anthropology program
Graduate Advisor: Rob Scott

Research interests: Miocene apes, functional anatomy of the pelvis, reconstructing primate locomotion in the fossil record.  My dissertation focuses on using the internal trabecular anatomy of the pelvis in conjunction with its external morphology to reconstruct locomotion in extinct primates, particularly Miocene apes and australopithecines.  I am interested in testing locomotor hypotheses via high-resolution X-ray computed tomography and contributing to ongoing debates in paleoanthropology about the evolutionary context of the rise of bipedalism in hominins.

Dennis Sonkoi

dennisdolesonkoi@yahoo.com, dss210@anthropology.rutgers.edu
Graduate Advisor: Lee Cronk
Evolutionary Anthropology program

Research Interests: Generosity and Traditional risk pooling mechanisms among the Maasai of Loita in Kenya. To particularly explore how the Maasai in the strive for generosity shared pasture, water, land and other natural resources to avert the negative effects of natural calamities.

Rene Studer-Halbach

Advisor: Susan Cachel

Research interests: My research is focused on South African, Plio-Pleistocene hominin and cercopithecoid communities. My aim is to determine whether interspecific competition can be detected through microevolutionary adaptations in extinct sympatric species, and if so, to quantify the competition coefficients between species. In other words, I am trying to understand the competitive relationships among species in extinct ecological communities, focusing on South African monkeys and hominins.