Human Evolutionary Sciences (HES)

Fred Foster

Fred FosterPhD Student
Advisor: Robert Scott
Program: Human Evolutionary Sciences (HES)
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Research Interests: Dietary adaptation and sympatry in hominin and primate evolution, tooth enamel microstructure and function.

The goal of my research is to infer the unobservable diets of fossil species by revealing the form-function relationships that exist in the observable diets of living primates and their enamel microstructure. I use indentation methods from material science engineering to describe the mechanical behavior of tooth enamel in living primates and imaging methods (SEM, AFM, HIM) to visualize structural adaptations in tooth enamel at the smallest scales. These methods help me to test ideas about how the structure of teeth and their properties reflect diet and adaptation. My research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies at Rutgers.

I received my Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Victoria in 2006 and my Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology from Simon Fraser University in 2010. I completed my Master of Science at the University College of London in 2012, where I investigated raw material transport and ranging behavior in Homo erectus, at Olduvai Gorge. My practical training includes a focus on fieldwork in palaeontological, archaeological, and forensic contexts with field seasons in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada.