Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt

Palaeoanthropology

Dr. Jeremy Tausch


 Associated Researcher

 

 Jeremy Tausch

 

 

 

Adjunct Assistant Professor
City University of New York (CUNY)
Department of Science
899 10th Ave.
New York, NY. 10019
USA

 

In my Doctoral Dissertation ('A New Method for Examining Hominin Dietary Strategy: Occlusal Microwear Vector Analysis of the Sangiran 7 Homo erectus Molars'), I developed a novel method for visualizing and quantifying molar occlusal microwear. This method combined two emergent technologies; confocal microscopy and 3D VR surface scanning in order to produce high resolution insitu 3D reproductions of molar microwear. The microwear was spatially quantified and compared against a sample of historic hunter gatherers with known diet whose microwear was characterized in the same manner. The obtained data was then used to analyze chronostratigraphic dietary trends within the context of paleobiomic flux. Results indicate that the Sangiran 7 Homo erectus's diet changed from one which relied more primarily on herbaceous resources to a dietary strategy which began to incorporate more proteinaceaous foods. These results are currently being written up for publication.

My future scholarly pursuits are manifold. Initially, I intend to increase the comparative human and Javan H. erectus sample to more accurately characterize the above mentioned dietary shift. I will also expand the investigative scope of this method by analyzing various other African and Asian H. erectus populations. Further, I have complied a data set which consists of molar tooth absolute crown and cusp areas for all Homo erectus specimens. The purpose of this work is to compare and define each H. erectus metapopulation thru molar metrics and thus establish taxonomic, evolutionary and migratory trends. Opportunities for fieldwork also exist. Strong ties have been established with ongoing fieldwork overseen by Prof. Friedemann Schrenk of the Institute for Ecology, Evolution & Diversity (IEED) in Malawi, Africa. This work is oriented toward the continental scale effects of climate change over initial periods of human evolution.

I am currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Biology at various CUNY colleges but have been lecturing as an adjunct in NYC since 2001. I specialize in Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Human Anatomy and Physiology but have taught various diverse courses such as Histology, Biological Anthropology and Ecology.

In my spare hours, I spend as much time as possible in any large natural refuge (usually the Catskill Mountains of New York or Red River Gorge, Kentucky) unspoiled by the grubby hands of us strange, strange humans. Here I camp, hike, fish, canoe, build big campfires and generally enjoy the quiet peacefulness of Mother Nature....

 

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