Raised on a balanced diet of nature documentaries and science fiction in the ‘Decade of the Brain,’ Kari began her career studying animal behavior and foraging ecology as an undergraduate at the University of Alaska Anchorage under Dr. Gwen Lupfer-Johnson. After a harrowing field season chasing monkeys in Costa Rica and a tour of duty in search of Miocene ape fossils in Hungary, she set her sights on graduate work in comparative neuroanatomy. She is working with Dr. Katerina Semendeferi in the Department of Anthropology, utilizing all non-invasive, non-destructive means to comparatively study postmortem brain tissue from all extant ape taxa, including humans, in the hopes of elucidating the means by which our species became so wonderfully strange. In the future, Kari hopes to work to ensure the conservation of valuable postmortem tissues in captive and wild primates alike.
Caroline received her B.A. at UC Berkeley with majors in Integrative Biology and Anthropology. While her initial goal was a career as a neurologist, she fell in love with biological anthropology the first semester of her freshman year in an Introduction to Biological Anthropology class, and has been hooked ever since. She spent her undergraduate research time studying hominin remains in Dr. Tim White’s Human Evolution Research Center, working on projects ranging from foramen magnum evolution, prehistoric osteochondrodystrophies, and damage of synchrotron scanning techniques on ancient fossil hominin remains. She united her love of the brain and hominin evolution with a graduate education in cognitive neuroscience, where she works under Dr. Katerina Semendeferi in the Laboratory of Human and Primate Comparative Neuroanatomy. Her research interest lies in the evolution of the social brain, and seeks to elucidate the neural correlates for the socio-emotional behavior and cognitive processing involved in social relationships that define human uniqueness. Her methods include comparative work between postmortem tissues of subjects with neuropathologies defined by a unique social phenotype and typically developing individuals, as well as comparisons with other postmortem ape tissue.
Corinna got her B.S. in human sciences at University College, London, where she developed her interest in primates. Her research is broadly concerned with animal behavioral ecology and the evolution of human behavior. In particular, her Ph.D. research concerns the development of social and cognitive skills in wild infant olive baboons. Her research brings together theoretical models and approaches from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, child development studies, and cognitive science. Her advisor is Dr. Shirley Strum, and, since 2010, Corinna has repeatedly visited her field site in Kenya to collect her research data, spending there a total of almost 2.5 years.
Samantha is a PhD student working with Dr. Amy Non. She is interested in using a biocultural approach to examine the ways in which stress faced by refugee women may be physically embodied to produce negative health outcomes. Samantha is especially interested in how subjective experiences of trauma, interpersonal violence, shifting gender roles, and anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments in the US may affect refugee women’s health outcomes.
Kyleb received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He received both his M.A. and his C.Phil. in anthropology from the University of California, San Diego. His research interests include biological anthropology, primatology, chimpanzee social behaviors, and the effects of violence and social hierarchy on female primates. His dissertation research was a 15 month study of wild chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda. His dissertation, which is in progress, is titled “Kanyawara Female Chimpanzee Social Strategies: Male aggression and immigrant integration”.