Middle and Late Pleistocene hominin evolution, Asia, quantitative methods, craniofacial morphology
Current Research Projects: My research focuses on human evolution in the Middle and Late Pleistocene. I look at patterns of craniofacial variation within and among populations of Middle Pleistocene Homo in order to understand the role of these populations in modern human origins. I am particularly interested in questions of phylogeny and systematics–that is, who was related to whom in the Pleistocene? I try to apply the most appropriate and powerful quantitative methods to these questions, and include a critical examination of how different methodological approaches can lead to differing analytic conclusions.
Currently I am conducting fieldwork in Gujarat, western India that has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. My fieldwork experience also includes participating in the Narmada Basin Paleoanthropology Project in the central Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh. I have worked on excavations at Lower and Upper Paleolithic sites in France and a Harappan site in western India. I have also conducted research in museums throughout Europe, Asia and Africa looking at the original fossils of most Middle Pleistocene specimens.
ANTH 201- Introduction to Anthropology
ANTH 225- Introduction to Biological Anthropology
ANTH 427- Human Variation
ANTH 601- Biological Anthropology
ANTH 648- Issues in Human Evolution Theory
ANTH 649- Origin and Evolution of the Genus Homo
Current Graduate Students:
Bonny Christy, Brittany Staff, Hyein Kim
Selected and Recent Publications:
2015 Athreya S. Modern human emergence in South Asia: A synthesis of morphological and genetic evidence. In Proceedings of the Symposium on the Emergence of Modern Human Behavior in Asia, Kaifu, Y, Izumi M and Goebel FE (eds). Texas A&M University Press. Chapter 5: 61-79.
2014 Brophy JK, DJ de Ruiter, S Athreya and TJ DeWitt. Quantitative morphological analysis of bovid teeth and implications for paleoenvironmental reconstruction of Plovers Lake, Gauteng Province, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science 41:376-388.
2013 Wu X and Athreya S. A description of the geological context, discrete traits and linear morphometrics of the Middle Pleistocene hominin from Dali, Shaanxi Province, China. American
Journal of Physical Anthropology 150(1): 141-157.
2013 Bruner E, Athreya S, de la Cuétara JM and Marks, T. Geometric variation of the frontal squama in the genus Homo: Frontal bulging and the origin of modern human morphology. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 150(2): 313-323.
2012 Athreya S. The frontal bone in the genus Homo: functional and phylogenetic sources of variation. (Invited review) Journal of Anthropological Sciences 90:1-22.
2009 Athreya S. A comparative study of frontal bone morphology among Pleistocene hominin fossil groups. Journal of Human Evolution 57(6): 786-804.