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Brian Villmoare

Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Expertise: Human paleontology, Human evolution, Evolutionary theory

About

Brian Villmoare received his Ph.D. in physical anthropology from Arizona State University in 2008. Working with Charlie Lockwood and Bill Kimbel, he focused on detailed analyses of the craniofacial morphology of early fossil hominins. For his dissertation he developed new geometric morphometric methods for quantifying morphological shape to address questions of systematics and craniofacial integration in the hominins.

His research interests range from broad questions of evolutionary theory to high-resolution studies of the internal structures of the hominin face. Current research projects include studying the role of selection and genetics in evolutionary change and extinction, the specific evolutionary constraints and selection pressures responsible for hominin craniofacial form, determining the homology of unique characters in the hominin cranium, and FEA biomechanical analyses of early hominins.

His fieldwork includes travels Makapansgat, South Africa, and Koobi Fora, Kenya. Since 2002, he has worked in the Afar region of Ethiopia, where he is currently a co-director of the Ledi-Geraru Project with Kaye Reed, Chris Campisano, and Ramone Arrowsmith. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Education

  • Ph.D., Anthropology, Arizona State University
  • M.A., Anthropology, Arizona State University
  • B.A., Philosophy, University of Virginia

Brian Villmoare In The News

Jul 31, 2017

In a 2016 interview with CNN, Anthony Scaramucci — President Donald Trump's new White House communications director — said that Earth, as well as human history, is just 5,500 years old. But ample evidence exists to prove that the world has been around for much, much longer.

Dec 15, 2015

Scientists trying to untangle the human evolutionary family’s ancient secrets welcomed a new set of tantalizing and controversial finds this year. A series of fossil discoveries offered potentially important insights into the origins of the human genus, Homo. Most notably, a group of South African fossils triggered widespread excitement accompanied by head-scratching and vigorous debate.

Articles Featuring Brian Villmoare

Brian Villmoare sits at a desk and holds a fossil
Dec 1, 2015
Research

By illuminating a dark period in human evolutionary history, a UNLV scientist gets his turn in the spotlight.


Brian Villmoare examines jawbone
May 5, 2015
Research

A 2.8-million-year-old jawbone fills in section missing from human evolution’s timeline.