Evolution and Variation in Pleistocene Homo

This seminar will touch on a variety of subjects related to variation and evolution of Pleistocene Homo, including virtual reconstructions of fragmentary fossils, quantitative approaches to cranial shape variation and development of the calvaria in juvenile individuals. These different avenues more beyond merely describing variation to a deeper understanding of the developmental and evolutionary factors influencing cranial variation among and within extinct species of Homo from two million to perhaps 60,000 years ago.

Dr. Karen Baab is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy at Midwestern University in Arizona. Before this she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stony Brook University, both in the United States. Dr. Baab is a paleoanthropologist who studies variation and evolution of the skull in fossil hominins, particularly early Homo. Much of her research centers on the systematics, evolutionary history and development of Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis. Her most recent work focuses on quantitative genetics approaches to the human fossil record and virtual fossil reconstructions. Her lab is currently funded by a National Science Foundation grant of $330k to study adaptationist scenarios of Plio-Pleistocene hominins related to chewing biomechanics. She is currently collaborating with international scholars working at both Gona, Ethiopia and Drimolen, South Africa.

Date & time

Fri 19 Apr 2024, 1–2pm


Room 246, Gould Building


Karen L. Baab, Associate Professor, Midwestern University


Stacey Ward


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