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Jill Shapiro

Title Lecturer
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology; Coordinator of interdepartmental program (major and concentration) in biological anthropology
Telephone (212) 854-5819
Professional Degree Ph.D., Anthropology, Columbia University, New York, 1995
Research Keywords Biological anthropology, hominoid systematics and evolution, human evolution, morphometrics, human and non-human primate skeletal morphology, biological and cultural concepts of race.
Research Description My research is synthetic in nature and includes several areas of biological anthropology. Among my foci is the analysis of interpopulational cranial variation in the orangutan as compared with that present in the African apes. This exploration complements current genetic and behavioral analyses of inter- and intra-island differences as researchers try to understand the complex and often paradoxical patterning of orangutan variability. Such morphometric analyses are also vital to the study of Miocene hominoid evolution, particularly for the comparative analysis and taxonomic assignment of fossil specimens.
Representative Publications B. O'Flaherty and J. Shapiro (2004). Apes, essences and races: What naturalists believed about human variation, 1700-1900. In D. Colander, R.E. Prasch and F.A. Sheth (eds.). Racism, Liberalism, and Economics, pp. 21-55. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

R..L. Holloway, M.S. Yuan, D.C. Broadfield, D. De Gusta, G. Richards, A. Silver, J.Shapiro and T.D. White (2002). The Missing Omo L338y-6 occipital -marginal sinus drainage pattern: Ground sectioning, CT scanning, and the original fossil fail to show it. The Anatomical Record (2002) 266:249-257.

Current Research My current research has systematics at its core though from two seemingly divergent approaches. One is centered on biological conceptions of race in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In addition to understanding the background for the scientific writers of the day who mark the birth of the field of biological/physical anthropology, I am interested in the interpretation and possible influence of scientific perspectives on the broader intellectual and popular spheres. On the other end of the spectrum, as part my ongoing study of interpopulational variability in the orangutan, I have begun an analysis of non-metric variation in this form.
Current Teaching

EEEB V1010 Human Species: Its Place in Nature

EEEB V4700 Race: The Tangled History of a Biological Concept

EEEB V3208 Explorations in Primate Anatomy

EEEB V3030 The Biology, Systematics, and Evolutionary History of "The Apes", also known as Apes, Apes, Apes

EEEB W3204 Dynamics of Human Evolution

EEEB W3215 Forensic Osteology