When scientists first set out to study human origins, the Victorian armchair theorists figured it was our big brains that set us apart from the animal kingdom. They expected the fossils of our earliest ancestors to have voluminous noggins but not be built for walking. This walking business would emerge after we realized how useful it would be to have our hands free for making tools and sipping tea.
I am a graduate student in Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University and a Turkana Basin Fellow. I study the evolution of a group of extinct carnivorous mammals called creodonts, a group of mammals that once filled all the carnivorous niches of Africa before the continent was invaded by modern carnivores like dogs, cats, and hyenas. I was one of the teaching assistants for the Spring 2013 Field School. I'm originally from outside Cincinnati, Ohio and I did my undergraduate work at The Ohio State University where I studied Geology and Anthropology. I've done fieldwork in North Dakota, Utah, Madagascar, Egypt, Germany, Kenya and Oman.