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Steven E. Churchill

Professor in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology
Evolutionary Anthropology
Duke Box 90383, Durham, NC 27708-0383
Duke University, Evolutionary Anthropology, 130 Science Drive, Room 108, Durham, NC 27708


I am a human paleontologist studying morphological and behavioral adaptation in the genus Homo. 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) Adaptive evolution during the emergence of the genus Homo, focusing on the functional morphology of Australopithecus sediba, H. naledi, and H. erectus.

3) 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.

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

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

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology · 2013 - Present Evolutionary Anthropology, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

University of New Mexico · 1994 Ph.D.
University of New Mexico · 1989 M.A.
Virginia Polytech Institute and State University · 1981 B.S.