Who killed the giant lemurs?

A murder mystery with applications for conservation efforts in Madagascar

Jen Tinsman - Jen Tinsman is a NYCEP PhD student in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University studying the landscape genomics of endangered lemurs.
April 24, 2015

Ring-tailed mothers and infants

Madagascar’s combination of unique organisms and the threat of extinction they face due to human activities make it one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. All of the world’s more than 100 surviving species of lemur are endemic to Madagascar, as were the 17 species known to have gone extinct. These extinct lemurs were “giant,” all . . .

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My First Time (at the AAPAs)!

Inspiration from experienced NYCEP members

Alexandra DeCasien - Alex is a Ph.D. student at NYU/NYCEP concentrating on the evolution of primate sexual dimorphism.
April 13, 2015


Over the past year, I have often heard these adjectives used to describe my recent career change. My friends jokingly refer to me as “an up-and-coming monkey doctor” who lived her past life as “a former Wall Street cog”. Many of my NYCEP peers have heard my full . . .

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Meet the Scientist at the AMNH

Public perceptions of human evolution

Kristen Ramirez - Kristen is a Ph.D. student at CUNY/NYCEP concentrating on the evolution of the upper limb in the genus Homo
April 03, 2015

The American Museum of Natural History, here in New York, offers many opportunities to connect the public with active scientists in the many fields represented among the exhibits. The Sackler Educational Lab for Comparative Genomics and Human Origins in the Hall of Human Origins hosts the Meet the Scientist series. For a few hours on the . . .

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Let’s Talk About Sex(ual Dimorphism)

Investigating Sex Differences in Modern Human Skulls

Claudia Astorino - Claudia Astorino is a Ph.D. candidate at CUNY/NYCEP studying ranges of sexual dimorphism in the modern human skull
March 25, 2015


Staring on the subway is simply not polite. I learned this lesson the hard way many times over after first moving to NYC from small-town Pennsylvanian suburbia. Even though I know the rules now, I still occasionally transgress—particularly when I see an amazing pair of eyebrows. I’m not talking about the ubiquitous brow liner . . .

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The Fear of Asking

Women and Negotiation in Academia

Natalie O'Shea - Natalie O’Shea is a PhD student at CUNY/NYCEP concentrating on craniofacial growth and development
March 13, 2015

Women in academia face a tough balancing act. We must appear competent and intellectually critical, while simultaneously engendering a sense of warmth that puts others at ease. Fail to stand your ground and you run the risk of being walked over, but advocate your point too strongly and you may instead be considered abrasive and condescending. . . .

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Calories! Calories! Read All About It!

Herman Pontzer - Herman Pontzer is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College and a NYCEP faculty member who specializes in human and ape energetics and locomotor biomechanics.
February 27, 2015

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“Isn’t it amazing,” I recall saying to my dad, “that, no matter how much happens in a day, it all fits perfectly in the newspaper?” I was 12, had stolen the line from a stand-up routine I heard on TV, and delivered it for comedic effect as my dad tried to enjoy his newspaper. My dad chuckled politely, but his expression clicked to . . .

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¡Viva La Venta!

My summer in search of primate fossils of the Colombian Miocene

Brian Shearer - Brian is a Ph.D candidate at CUNY/NYCEP studying the role of soft-tissues in the evolution of primate locomotion
January 30, 2015

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"Tortuga!", shouted our desert guide. He had found another fossil turtle shell. One of a great many. Get a GPS point, grab it if it's interesting or potentially diagnostic; we all knew the drill at this point. Turtle shells were definitely plentiful, but as annoyed as we were getting with their seeming superabundance, . . .

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