Briana L. Pobiner

Briana L. Pobiner
Associate Research Professor (she/her/hers)
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Paleoanthropology, zooarchaeology, taphonomy, faunal analysis, Paleolithic archaeology, evolution of human diet, evolution education and outreach. Regional focus: Africa.

To see Dr. Pobiner's complete CV, click here.

Current Research

Dr. Pobiner’s research centers on the evolution of human diet (with a focus on meat-eating), but has included topics as diverse as chimpanzee carnivory and cannibalism in the Cook islands. She has done fieldwork in modern ecosystems, conducted excavations, and studied fossil collections in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Indonesia, and Romania.

Ongoing projects:

  • Taphonomic survey of the modern Ol Pejeta Conservancy fauna, Kenya
  • Excavation and zooarchaeological and taphonomic analysis at Olorgesailie, Kenya
  • Field research at Ngare Sero, Tanzania


Ph.D. 2007, Anthropology, Rutgers University (with Certificate in Quaternary Studies)
M.A. 2002, Anthropology, Rutgers University
B.A. 1997, Evolutionary Studies, Bryn Mawr College magna cum laude


Selected Articles and Book Chapters

2019  Bertka, C., Pobiner, B., Beardsley, P., Watson, W. Acknowledging students concerns above evolution: a proactive teaching strategy. Evolution: Education and Outreach 12:3.

2019  Dunk, R. D. P., Barnes, M. E., Reiss, M. J., Alters, B., Asghar, A., Carter, B. E., Cotner, S., Glaze, A. L., Hawley, P, H., Jensen, J. L., Mead, L. S., Nadelson, L. S., Nelson, C. E., Pobiner, B., Scott, E. C.,Shtulman, A., Sinatra, G. M., Southerland, S. A., Walter, E. M., Brownell, S. E., Wiles, J. R. "Evolution education involves a complex landscape of interrelated factors." Nature Ecology and Evolution 3: 327-329.

2018  Pobiner, B., Beardsley, P., Bertka, C., Watson, W. 2018. "Using human case studies to teach evolution in high school A.P. biology classrooms." Evolution: Education and Outreach 11:3.

2016  Pobiner, B.L. "Accepting, understanding, teaching, and learning (human) evolution: obstacles and opportunities." American Journal of Physical Anthropology S61: 232-274.

2015  Pobiner, B.L. "New actualistic data on the ecology and energetic of scavenging opportunities." Journal of Human Evolution 80: 1-16.

2012  Pobiner, B.L. "Use human examples to teach evolution," American Biology Teacher 74(2): 71-72.

2011  Indriati, E., C.C. Swisher, C. Lepre, R.L. Quinn, R.A. Suriyanto, A.T. Hascaryo, R. Grún, C.S. Feibel, B.L. Pobiner, S.C. Antón. "Reassessing the age of the 20 meter Solo River Terrace, Central Java, Indonesia, and the survival of Late Homo erectus in Asia," PLOS One 6(6), June 26. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021562.

2008  Pobiner, B.L. "Paleoecological information in predator tooth marks," Journal of Taphonomy 63(3-4): 373-397.

2008  Braun, D.R., Pobiner, B.L., Thompson, J.C. "An experimental investigation of cut mark production and stone tool attrition," Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 1216-1223.

2007  Pobiner, B.L., J. DeSilva, W.J. Sanders, J.C. Mitani. "Taphonomic analysis of skeletal remains from chimpanzee hunts at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda," Journal of Human Evolution 52(6): 614-636.

2006  Blumenschine, R.J., B.L. Pobiner. "Zooarchaeology and the ecology of Oldowan hominin carnivory." In P. Ungar, ed., Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown and the Unknowable. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 167-190.

2005  Pobiner, B.L., D.R. Braun. "Strengthening the inferential link between cutmark frequency data and Oldowan hominid behavior: Results from modern butchery experiments," Journal of Taphonomy 3: 107-119.

2003  Pobiner, B.L., R.J. Blumenschine. "A taphonomic perspective on the Oldowan hominid encroachment on the carnivoran paleoguild," Journal of Taphonomy 1(2): 115-141.


Updated July

Classes Taught

Anth 3829: Lab Research Methods in Archaeology
Anth 6839: Faunal Analysis