Thesis Title: Quantification of the peroneus longus groove in primate cuboids: implications for Ardipithecus ramidus
Current Employment: Study Abroad Coordinator, Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE), Stony Brook University, SBS Building Room N-541, Stony Brook, NY 11794
I am a physical anthropologist interested in conservation and primate behavior, in particular in Madagascar.
I first became interested in anthropology as a freshman in college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I took an introductory course in physical anthropology. After a brief detour as a French major, I decided to pursue a degree in anthropology. As an undergrad I took courses in physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology, but I was especially interested in primate behavior and evolution. As a junior I began working in the Physical Anthropology Lab under the supervision of Dr. Laurie R. Godfrey and Dr. Stephen King. Initially I learned lab techniques such as skeletal maceration, dental molding, and casting, but later I began to conduct my own research project on dental complexity in primates. This research used the OPC method developed by Evans et al. (2007) to quantify differences in diet among many primate genera.
As a senior, I traveled to Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar as part of a study abroad program run by Stony Brook University and the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE). Here, I look courses in primate behavior, biodiversity, and Madagascar ecosystems, while also gaining hands-on experience in the field. Additionally, I received two grants, a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) NSF grant and the LeBovidge Undergraduate Research Scholarship from UMass, to conduct independent research while in Madagascar. Working with Dr. Patricia Wright, I collected behavioral data on Milne-Edwards' sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi) and analyzed differences in locomotor behavior between age groups. This research culminated in my undergraduate thesis project: "Growing old in Ranomafana National Park: Locomotor proficiency in young and old Propithecus edwardsi."
From 2010 - 2012 I attended graduate school at Stony Brook University, working with Dr. Patricia Wright. In addition to coursework, I conducted a research project on differences in diet between reproductive and non-reproductive female sifakas (Propithecus edwardsi). Working with Drs. Fred Grine, Biren Patel, Caley Orr, and Karen Baab, I completed my Masters thesis in August 2012. This research related to locomotion in early hominin ancestors: "Quantification of the peroneus longus groove in primate cuboids: Implications for Ardipithecus ramidus."
Currently, I am employed at the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE), where I work on various projects relating to the conservation of lemurs and their rainforest habitat at Ranomafana National Park.