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Lab PI

Assistant Professor in Human Evolution, Dept of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

John Rowan

I received my PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology from Arizona State University as an affiliated student with the Institute of Human Origins working with Kaye Reed. My research focuses on the discovery and analysis of fossil hominoids (apes and humans) and their associated faunal and paleoecological context in eastern Africa. I currently direct the Lothagam Research Project and conduct field and lab work on other fossils sites in Ethiopia  and Kenya in collaboration with the Hadar Research Project, Ledi-Geraru Research Project, Lake Victoria Prehistory Project, Napudet Research Project, Omo Group Research Expedition, and Woranso-Mille Paleoanthropological Research Project.

CV (March 2024)

Graduate Students

PhD Student, Dept of Anthropology, UAlbany

Eve Omondi

Eve joined the lab as a Phase I PhD student in Fall 2022, after completing her BS in Zoology from Maasai Mara University and an Advanced Certificate in Paleoanthropology from the Turkana Basin Institute. At UAlbany, her graduate work focuses on the analysis of late Miocene taxonomic and ecological turnover in large mammal faunas from eastern Africa. She has participated in several field work expeditions in the Turkana Basin focusing on late Cenozoic geology and paleontology. Eve also held multi-year positions for paleontology and paleoanthropology collections housed at the National Museums of Kenya and the Turkana Basin Institute. Her studies at UAlbany are supported by a Leakey Foundation Baldwin Fellowship.

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PhD Student, Dept of Anthropology, UAlbany

Christianne Ormsby

Christianne joined the lab as a Phase II PhD student in Fall 2021, coming from East Tennessee State University where she completed her MSc in Geosciences (specialization in Paleontology). Christianne's MSc thesis investigated the functional morphology and paleoecology of Nimravides (Felidae) and Barbourofelis (Barbourofelidae) from the late Miocene of Florida using morphometric analyses. At UAlbany, Christianne's doctoral work focuses on convergent evolution of arboreal morphologies in primate and non-primate mammals using a combination of geometric morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative methods.

Sara Magee


Sara joined the lab in Fall 2021, after completing her BS in Evolutionary Anthropology from Rutgers University and an Honors Thesis investigating the relationship between feeding behavior and jaw morphology in mammals. At UAlbany, her graduate work investigates the relationships between human impacts, ecosystem change, and biodiversity loss in both the past and present. Her ongoing MA research focuses on early Holocene to Recent turnover in Malagasy mammal communities, which aims to provide insights on the ecological consequences of species loss in the present-day.

MA Student, Dept of Anthropology, UAlbany

Graduate Alumni

PhD Student, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

Linet Sankau

Linet joined the lab as an affiliated Master's student in Spring 2021. She received a BA in History and Archaeology from Maseno University and completed her MSc in Human Evolutionary Biology at Turkana University College (Chair: John Rowan, Committee: Kevin Uno, Daniel Green). Linet's MSc research combined stable isotopic analysis of fossil bovid teeth with body mass data to understand niche differentiation among herbivores at Lothagam. In Fall 2023, Linet joined the Evolutionary Anthropology PhD program at Arizona State University with Chris Campisano and Denise Su as co-chairs, and received a Leakey Foundation Baldwin Fellowship to support her doctoral studies. We are very proud to have Linet as a lab alum!

Undergraduate Almuni

James Cooper

Political Science BA & Anthropology BA, Depts of Political Science & Anthropology, UAlbany

James is interested in the cognitive evolution of humans and non-human primates, and the links between biology and culture during hominin evolution. After completing his undergraduate degrees at UAlbany, James plans to pursue his graduate studies in evolutionary biology and social organization in early hominins.


Human Biology BS & Anthropology BA, Dept of Anthropology, UAlbany

Elainna Jennings

Elainna is interested in studying the functional morphology of primate taxa, with a special interest in Gorilla and limb bones. Elainna is now completing her MA in Anthopology at UAlbany.


Eleanor McDonald

Human Biology BS & Anthropology BA, Dept of Anthropology, UAlbany

Eleanor is interested in human osteology and forensics. In the lab, she worked on a project studying covariation in cranial bone size across a recent human sample using 3D surface scans and morphometrics. Eleanor is now completing her MA in Anthopology at UAlbany.


Human Biology BS, Dept of Anthropology, UAlbany

Katharine Serio

Katharine is interested in dental biology and evolution in humans. In the lab, she worked on a morphological study of a large collection of isolated hominin teeth, including casts of Plio-Pleistocene taxa and modern human teeth donated from dental patients. Katharine is now completing her Masters in Public Health from UAlbany.


Anthropology BA, Dept of Anthropology, UAlbany

Alli Varian

Alli is interested in primate craniodental morphology and evolution. In the lab, she worked on the curation of primate skeletal material into a comprehensive online database used for teaching and research activities. Alli plans on pursuing biological anthropology in graduate school after graduating from UAlbany.

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