Andrea R. Eller

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Doctoral Student, Department of Anthropology

Lab Manager and Assistant Curator, UO Comparative Osteological Collection

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University of Oregon

Evolution

T. Dobzhansky said "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" [1]. In biological anthropology we discuss molecular, cellular, organismal, populational, evolutionary, and cultural phenomena as they pertain to human evolution. Theoretical perspectives on selective pressures and adaptive stragies that unite these specialties are of particular interest, and importance. As we move into the next phase of the modern synthesis, I have particular focus on phenotypic-selective hypotheses, along with methodologies which integrate the diverse perspectives and datasets within our field.

Education

Education, individual and/or institutional, is one of the single most powerful forces a human can experience, and wield. As information becomes more available, the responsibilities for its use grow as well. We need more science-literate citizens with critical thinking, creativity, and compassion to surmount our current social and ecological challenges. We must have mentors who are willing to advocate for their knowledge, their students, and a sustainable future for us all. As an anthropologist, I am deeply committed to my roles as a scientist, a science educator, and a science advocate.

Morphology

Current projects focus on macaque population variance in body size, cranial size, and developmental pace. Data are osteological, for direct comparisons to the fossil record, and organismal, to expand our knowledge on primate evolution using extant taxa. Phenotypic variance in populations may be an important factor for surviving highly variable environments [2].

Ecology

Current projects focus on so-called "weed macaques", monkeys that exhibit considerable flexibility in their diet, social structures, and habitat range [3]. Such monkeys serve as excellent models for the variability exhibited in the human lineage, and serve as examples of the types of animals who can thrive in the anthropocene.