Human Evolutionary Anatomy Laboratory

The Human Evolutionary Anatomy Laboratory was established in 1998 to help scholars devise creative laboratory tests for hypotheses about human evolution and to support research into the functional and developmental morphology of the musculoskeletal system. It shares a 19th-century townhouse with faculty and staff of the Anthropology Department and the Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology.

Work in the laboratory involves

  • the study of fossilized footprints, about 1.5 million years old, found in Kenya
  • assessing the functional and evolutionary significance of hominin fossil morphology, including fossils we recover in the field
  • the study of functional morphology of trabecular bone
  • the biomechanics of tools and throwing

The laboratory includes diverse equipment for the analysis of most aspects of bone morphology, growth, and function. We have equipment for radiography, 3-D digitization, thin-section preparation and analysis (polarized and fluorescent light). In an associated facility on E Street, we have equipment to record and analyze in vivo electromyographic (EMG), strain gauge, and kinematic data from humans and other animals.

The lab was funded with generous support from the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, and by National Science Foundation grants to Profs. Joel Kuipers, Alison Brooks, and Daniel Lieberman. It is affiliated with the Human Origins Program at the National Museum of National History, directed by Dr. Rick Potts.

The Human Evolutionary Anatomy Lab is located in 2114 G Street, NW (Building BB), Room 106.