Applications for graduate studies are due to the Department of Anthropology on December 1st every year.

I recruit students for advanced studies in skeletal biology, functional anatomy, and evolutionary modeling. See below for more specific information about my preferences for graduate students, especially candidates for doctoral studies. If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies with me, I strongly advise that you contact me directly well in advance of the December application deadline.

The general criteria on which I select students for the doctoral program is the same as those used by the Department of Anthropology’s doctoral program at The University of Tennessee. Please go to this page for a list of these criteria. I only accept new doctoral students who have already completed a Master's degree (or advanced professional degree). Prospective applicants with a bachelor's degree will need to apply to complete a M.A. with me, or complete a M.A. before pursuing a Ph.D. While I do not have absolute criteria beyond these, I prefer to take students who have the following qualities:

  • Demonstrated ability for independent, sophisticated scholarship and research
  • Familiarity with coding (especially R or Matlab) and data analysis
  • Statistical acumen and aptitude
  • A background in basic skeletal biology, anatomy, and evolutionary theory
  • Well-developed verbal and written communication skills

  • All graduate students pursuing their studies under my supervision have developed their own thesis or dissertation research questions. I do not hand out research projects for theses or dissertations, though I help students as much as possible to hone initial research interests into feasible projects. My doctoral students are expected to complete their dissertations between five and six years after entering the program. Master's students are expected to complete their thesis in no more than three years.

    Master's thesis and doctoral dissertation topics that I will supervise may encompass any of the following general topics:
  • Functional anatomy and mechanics
  • Evolutionary modeling of phenotypic traits
  • Hard tissue microstructure and/or histology
  • Bone biology
  • Development of the skeleton
  • Phenotype-environmental interactions in human evolution

  • Students who plan to study with me will be required to take human gross anatomy within two years of entering the doctoral program. Master's students may take gross anatomy their second or third year in the program. Most of the doctoral students I have supervised have held teaching assistantships in anatomy while at UT, and I emphasize in depth anatomical training for all of my doctoral students. This is essential for achieving better research and also gives more opportunities for future employment.

    Ideally, all students completing their doctoral studies with me are strongly encouraged to have at least two peer-reviewed publications before graduating. In addition, all students are expected to compete for external grant funding for research while studying at UT. Eligible students should apply for a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship either before enrolling at UT or during the first year in the program.

    If the above information appeals to you, I look forward to hearing from you!
    Site design by B.M. Auerbach. Last updated: August 2023