B. Holly Smith

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B. Holly Smith

Research Professor of Anthropology


Office Phone: (202) 994-6075

Dr. Smith is a biological anthropologist interested in the paleontology of growth and development in human ancestry in particular, but also more broadly in the deeper time record of primate evolution. She studies how hard tissue development is integrated into life history of living animals in order to reconstruct the paleobiology of extinct species and to gain a deeper understanding of life history of species in the present day.


Evolutionary biology; paleoanthropology; life history; dental anthropology.


Dr. Smith is currently comparing the life history of birth, infancy, weaning, tooth eruption and the transition to independent feeding among primates and other mammals.


Selected articles and book chapters:

1994 Smith, B. H., T. L. Crummett and K. L. Brandt. Ages of eruption of primate teeth: A compendium for aging individuals and comparing life histories. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 37:177-231.

1995 Smith, B. H. and R. L. Tompkins. Toward a life history of the Hominidae. Annual Review of Anthropology 24:257-79.

2009   Dean, M. C. and B. H. Smith.  Growth and development of the Nariokotome youth, KNM-WT 15000.  InF. E. Grine, J. G. Fleagle and R. F. Leakey (editors), “The First Humans:  Origin of the Genus Homo.”  New York:  Springer, pp. 101-120.

2009   Franzen, J. L., P. D. Gingerich, J. Habersetzer, J. H. Hurum, W. v. Koenigswald and B. H. Smith.  Complete primate skeleton from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany:  Morphology and paleobiology.  PLoS ONE 4(5): e5723

2010   Smith, B. H. and C. Boesch. Mortality and magnitude of the “wild effect” in chimpanzee tooth emergence.  Journal of Human Evolution 60(1):34-46.

2012   Bogin, B. and B. H. Smith.  Evolution of the human life cycle.  In: S. Stinson, B. Bogin, R. Huss-Ashmore and D. O’Rourke (editors), Human Biology:  An Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspective, Second edition. New York:  Wiley-Blackwell.


Ph.D. 1983, The University of Michigan

M.A. 1976, The University of Michigan

B.A. 1975, The University of Texas