Meet the Speakers


TODD DISOTELLTodd Disotell, Ph.D.
Professor, New York University

Prof. Disotell received his BA from Cornell University from an interdisciplinary major combining mathematics, computer science, and biological anthropology and went on to receive his MA and PhD from Harvard University in Biological Anthropology.  While originally there to study ape evolution through an anatomical and paleontological research perspective he shifted to molecular systematics.  He took a position at New York University in 1992 where he remains to this day. His research centers around the evolution of Old World monkeys and apes, though he is also involved in studies involving New World monkeys, lemurids and lorisids, human population history, ape and monkey conservation and behavioral genetics, forensic applications, cryptozoology, and molecular evolutionary studies of diseases such as AIDS and malaria.  He and his research group have recently embarked on several new projects using Second Generation Sequencing technologies in a variety of applications from sequencing whole genomes, exomes, and environmental DNA.

JOHN HAWKSJohn Hawks, Ph.D.
Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor, University of Wisconsin

John Hawks, PhD, is a paleoanthropologist and anthropological geneticist and a Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Hawks worked as part of the Rising Star Expedition which discovered Homo naledi and researches population dynamics of modern and ancient peoples. His current work is to build and pioneer new open science projects in human evolution. He also manages a blog and has been interviewed in multiple documentaries.

HINDE, KatieKatie Hinde, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Prof. Katie Hinde, earned a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington in 1999, a Ph.D. in Anthropology from UCLA in 2008, was a post-doctoral scholar in Neuroscience in the Brain, Mind, and Behavior Unit, California National Primate Research Center, UC Davis from 2009-2011, and served as an Assistant Professor in Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. In addition to dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, Hinde co-edited “Building Babies: Primate Developmental Trajectories in Proximate and Ultimate Perspective” released by Springer in 2013. Hinde is an associate editor and writer for SPLASH! Milk Science Update, executive council member for the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation, and showcases research on mother’s milk, breastfeeding, and lactation for the general public, clinicians, and researchers at her blog “Mammals Suck… Milk!” or follow on twitter.

BARBARA J. KINGBarbara J. King, Ph.D.
Chancellor Professor of Anthropology, College of William and Mary

Prof. King studies great ape communication, human evolution, the intersections of religion and science, with a focus on the formation of meaning created by small groups and communities She has published numerous books, including: The Dynamic Dance (2004), Evolving God (2007), Being with Animals (2010), and How Animals Grieve (2014), and Personalities on a Plate (2016), among others. Dr. King has won several teaching awards at the University and state level, and promotes outreach with her active blogs for NPR and Scientific American.

2015_12_15_profile_mkMarc Kissel, Ph.D
Lecturer, Appalachian State University

Marc Kissel received his PhD in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Notre Dame from 2014-2017, where he worked on a project on the evolution of human symbolic thought that, intersecting with scholars from philosophy, theology, psychology and other related disciplines. He is currently a lecturer in anthropology at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. He has published on various topics such as early hominin mandibles, semiotics, and the processes by which hominins became human. His first book, written with Nam Kim, Emergent Warfare in Our Evolutionary Past will be published early next year.  His research includes the study of modern human origins, Neandertals, and the evolutionary arc of human warfare. He is also part of the team behind March Mammal Madness. You can follow him on Twitter where he talks about his research on human evolution and his love of the Simpsons.

Martin_2Robert Martin, Ph.D.
Curator Emeritus, Field Museum

Robert (“Bob”) Martin originally trained as a zoologist at the University of Oxford, and followed with a DPhil (Oxford’s idiosyncratic label for “PhD”) a few years later. After a two-year spell of postdoctoral research at the General Ecology division of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Brunoy, near Paris (France), he took up his first academic post on the faculty of University College London.  During the 17 years that he spent in London, he also held posts as Senior Research Fellow at the Zoological Society of London, as Visiting Professor at Yale University and as Visiting Professor at the Musée de l’Homme, Paris. He then spent fifteen years as Director of the Anthropological Institute in Zürich (Switzerland) before taking up an appointment at the Field Museum in Chicago in 2001. He initially served as Provost there for five years and then occupied the post of A. Watson Armour III Curator of Biological Anthropology until his retirement at the end of 2013. In parallel, he has held adjunct appointments at the University of Chicago as a member of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology and as Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Martin has published more than 300 items, including the widely used 1990 textbook Primate Origins and Evolution and his widely read book for a general audience, How We Do It: The Evolution and Future of Human Reproduction.  As a result of his academic travels, he is completely fluent in French and German. Dr. Martin currently writes a blog, How We Do It, on Psychology Today that examines the reproduction of humans and other primates to understand the ways we conceive and raise infants.

D69264_17Anna Osterholtz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Mississippi State University

Anna Osterholtz, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at Mississippi State University. She gained her BA in anthropology at New Mexico State University, her MS in biological anthropology at the University of New Mexico, and her PhD in Bioarchaeology at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She is a specialist in the analysis of commingled and fragmentary human remains from a variety of contexts, from the American Southwest to the Bronze Age Mediterranean. She is the co-editor of Commingled and Disarticulated Human Remains: Working Toward Improved Theory, Method, and Data (2014) and the editor of Theoretical approaches to the analysis of Commingled Human Remains (2016), and has worked to develop data collection protocols and to promote the contextualization of human remains into larger archaeological interpretations. She is also the coauthor of Bodies and Lives: Health in Ancient America (2016, with Debra Martin). Her current research interests involve the exploration of identity and migration on the island of Cyprus and the poetics of body processing and violence.

REAGAN, NataliaNatalia Regan, M.A.
Film maker, Science Educator; Boas Network

Natalia Reagan is an anthropologist, primatologist, producer, host and comedienne. She is the co-founder and chief creative director of BOAS Network, a non-profit organization that brings the field of anthropology to the mainstream via fun and educational videos and works as a StarTalk All-Star on StarTalk Radio. Natalia also was a regular animal expert on Nat Geo Wild’s Everything You Didn’t Know About Animals. Most recently, she was a regular host for Discovery Communications DNews, Seeker, & TestTube. She has appeared on the TODAY Show, Fox News, Arise 360, HuffPost Weird News Podcast, and various podcasts & radio shows weighing in on different scientific subjects, from the evolution of boobs and butts to how pheromones play a role in human mating. As a primatologist, Natalia conducted a survey of a critically endangered subspecies of spider monkey, the Azuero spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi azuerensis) in rural Panama. Her ultimate goal is to meld her two passions, humor and science, to educate the public about the fascinating world around them all while making them do a spit-take.


SHERIDAN, Susan GuiseSusan Guise Sheridan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame

Prof. Sheridan is a bioarchaeologist who specializes in reconstructing daily life in antiquity. She has worked for the majority of her career in the Near East. Her projects integrate information from the biological, archaeological, and cultural records of a people into a holistic blueprint for studying the past. Sheridan’s has worked on several Near East human skeletal collections, including the remains from a large Byzantine monastic community in Jerusalem, the massive Early Bronze Age site of Bab adh-Dhra’ on the southern Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea, graves excavated in the 1950s at Qumran (site of the Dead Sea Scrolls discoveries), and from the Late Bronze/Early Iron Age site of Tel Dothan in the West Bank. She has also worked on populations from Sudan (Nubians) and the American Southwest (Hohokam). Sheridan headed a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates bioarchaeology program for 12-years studying these Near Eastern collections. She is also the founder and main administrator for the large BioAnthropology News Network (follow on: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram).

FUENTES, AgustinAgustín Fuentes, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Notre Dame

Agustín Fuentes, PhD, is a professor and the chair of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology. Dr. Fuentes examines human evolution from several perspectives, and his research sheds light on some of the most common misconceptions about human nature, specifically in the areas of race, sex and aggression. He is the author of “Evolution of Human Behavior,” which examines how and why humans evolved behaviorally, and “Health, Risk and Adversity,” which provides a comparative approach to the analysis of health disparities and human adaptability and focuses on the pathways that lead to unequal health outcomes. Fuentes writes a blog for Psychology Today called “Busting Myths About Human Nature.” His perspectives and research have also been covered in The Atlantic, Scientific American, The Huffington Post, and on NPR.


Julia Prince-Buitenhuys, M.A.
Ph.D. Student, University of Notre Dame

Julia Prince-Buitenhuys is a doctoral student and Presidential Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. She received her M.A. in Anthropology at California State University, Chico, and her B.A. in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology at University of California, San Diego. Her master’s thesis investigated ethnic dietary variation in late 19th/ early 20th century Santa Clara County, California, using stable isotopic and skeletal analysis. Julia employs bioarchaeological, forensic anthropological, and stable isotopic methods to research the embodiment of structural violence and social inequality in historic and modern populations. She is also interested in how social structures, theory, epistemology, and ontology shape the interpretations of osteological and stable isotopic data and methods themselves.