Steven E. Churchill

Steven E. Churchill

Professor in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

External address: 
Duke University, Evolutionary Anthropology, 130 Science Drive, Room 108, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90383, Durham, NC 27708-0383
Phone: 
(919) 660-7314

Overview

I am a human paleontologist studying morphological and behavioral adaptation in archaic and modern humans of the Middle and Late Pleistocene. Through comparative functional-morphological analysis of human fossil remains, coupled with investigation of the archeological record of prehistoric human behavior, my students and I conduct research in the following inter-related areas:

1) The ecology, energetics and adaptive strategies of premodern members of the genus Homo (especially the Neandertals [Homo neanderthalensis] of Europe and western Asia and Middle Pleistocene archaic humans of Africa [variously attributed to H. heidelbergensis, H. rhodesiensis or H. helmei] ) and early members of our own species [H. sapiens] in Africa, the Near East and Europe.

2) The evolution of human subsistence strategies across the Middle and Late Pleistocene, with an emphasis on the nature of the hunting methods employed by various groups.

3) The evolution of subsistence technology, especially the origins of true long-range projectile weaponry.

4) The community ecology of humans and large-bodied carnivores in Pleistocene Europe and Africa.

In addition to this basic research, our team is also actively engaged in fieldwork in southern Africa, with the goal of improving our understanding of the morphology and behavior of Middle Stone Age-associated early modern humans and their immediate ancestors (African Middle Pleistocene archaic humans).

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico 1994

  • M.A., University of New Mexico 1989

  • B.S., Virginia Polytech Institute and State University 1981

Berger, Lee R., et al. “Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa..” Elife, vol. 4, Jan. 2015. Epmc, doi:10.7554/eLife.09560. Full Text

Cieri, R. L., et al. “Craniofacial feminization, social tolerance, and the origins of behavioral modernity.” Current Anthropology, vol. 55, no. 4, Jan. 2014, pp. 419–43. Scopus, doi:10.1086/677209. Full Text

Schmid, Peter, et al. “Mosaic morphology in the thorax of Australopithecus sediba..” Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 340, no. 6129, Apr. 2013. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1234598. Full Text

Williams, Scott A., et al. “The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba..” Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 340, no. 6129, Apr. 2013. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1232996. Full Text

de Ruiter, Darryl J., et al. “Mandibular remains support taxonomic validity of Australopithecus sediba..” Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 340, no. 6129, Apr. 2013. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1232997. Full Text

Churchill, Steven E., et al. “The upper limb of Australopithecus sediba..” Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 340, no. 6129, Apr. 2013. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1233477. Full Text

DeSilva, Jeremy M., et al. “The lower limb and mechanics of walking in Australopithecus sediba..” Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 340, no. 6129, Apr. 2013. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1232999. Full Text

Di Vincenzo, Fabio, et al. “The Vindija Neanderthal scapular glenoid fossa: comparative shape analysis suggests evo-devo changes among Neanderthals..” Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 62, no. 2, Feb. 2012, pp. 274–85. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2011.11.010. Full Text

Pickering, Robyn, et al. “Australopithecus sediba at 1.977 Ma and implications for the origins of the genus Homo..” Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 333, no. 6048, Sept. 2011, pp. 1421–23. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1203697. Full Text

Kibii, Job M., et al. “A partial pelvis of Australopithecus sediba..” Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 333, no. 6048, Sept. 2011, pp. 1407–11. Epmc, doi:10.1126/science.1202521. Full Text

Pages

Macias, Marisa E., and Steven E. Churchill. “Functional morphology of the Neandertal scapular glenoid fossa..” Anatomical Record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007), vol. 298, no. 1, 2015, pp. 168–79. Epmc, doi:10.1002/ar.23072. Full Text

Ostrofsky, Kelly R., and Steven E. Churchill. “Sex determination by discriminant function analysis of lumbar vertebrae..” Journal of Forensic Sciences, vol. 60, no. 1, 2015, pp. 21–28. Epmc, doi:10.1111/1556-4029.12543. Full Text

Ostrofsky, Kelly R., et al. “Australopith lumbar vertebral morphology: Insights from Australopithecus sediba.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 153, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014, pp. 202–202.

Reed, Nichelle D., et al. “Pelvic sexual dimorphism in the hominin fossil record.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 153, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2014, pp. 218–19.

Williams, Scott A., et al. “The number of vertebrae in early hominins: insights from Australopithecus sediba..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 150, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013, pp. 292–292.

Reed, Nichelle D., and Steven E. Churchill. “Acetabulocristal buttressing in hominins.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 147, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2012, pp. 246–246.

Desilva, Jeremy M., et al. “The primitive aspects of the foot and ankle of Australopithecus sediba..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 147, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2012, pp. 129–129.

Yokley, Todd R., et al. “Decreased maintenance energy expenditure in modern human and the resultant demographic displacement of archaic humans.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 147, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2012, pp. 308–09.

Walker, Christopher S., et al. “Morphological correlates of human hip osteoarthritis..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 147, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2012, pp. 296–296.

Macias, Marisa E., et al. “Size and shape in the primate forelimb..” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 147, WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2012, pp. 198–99.

Pages