My research interest revolves around the key issue of how we became human through evolutionary processes. My research program focuses on the discovery and interpretation of hominin fossils and their environments with emphasis on fieldwork designed to acquire new data on early hominid skeletal biology, environmental context, and behavior. I also employ recently developed imaging and visualization techniques to investigate internal and external fossil anatomies.
My research as a cultural anthropologist examines the scientific cultures within museums. I study how museum collections are currently being re-evaluated as sites for mining new kinds of data across disciplines, such as genetic sampling or as preserved cultural heritage. My ethnographic research explores the behind-the-scenes spaces of museums, where I work alongside scientists in the collections, laboratories and biorepositories to study the cultural practices of collecting, preserving and understanding the diversity of life.