I am an Associate Professor in the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution at Griffith University. I previously held a professorship at Harvard University and fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
My research explores the evolution and development of the human dentition; teeth preserve remarkably faithful records of daily growth and infant diet - as well as stress experienced during birth - for millions of years. This has helped us to identify of the origins of a fundamental human adaptation: the costly yet advantageous shift from a “live fast and die young” strategy to the “live slow and grow old” strategy that has helped to make us one of the most successful mammals on the planet.
This research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, the Leakey Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. My work has been published in Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and highlighted in the New York Times, National Geographic, Nature, Science, Smithsonian, and Discovery magazines, as well as through NPR, PBS, History Channel, Voice of America and BBC broadcast media.