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Modern humans faculty

Siobain Duffy

siobainAssociate Professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources

Siobain Duffy has been in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences since 2009.  Rutgers is her alma mater: she majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and conducted years of undergraduate microbiology research in the Food Science department.  Her PhD research at Yale University used experimental evolution to model RNA viral emergence on novel hosts, and her postdoctoral research at Penn State University centered on bioinformatic analysis of DNA viral evolution.

The Duffy lab focuses on fast-evolving viruses (those with RNA and single-stranded DNA genomes).  We are interested in how various viruses create and maintain the genetic variation they need to emerge in novel hosts, how epistasis affects evolutionary trajectories and improving how viral evolution is modeled, especially for public health applications.


Experimental evolution of cassava mosaic disease-causing viruses to understand insect-transmitted plant virus pathosystems

The evolutionary genetics of constraint and evolvability in an RNA bacteriophage

Evolution of cassava-infecting viruses in Eastern and Central Africa

Deep phylogenic relationships among the circular, eukaryote-infecting, Rep-containing single-stranded DNA viruses


Lab Website

Publications on PubMed

Gyan Bhanot

Associate Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry & Physics

Gyan Bhanot has been a Professor at Rutgers University since 2006 with joint appointments in the Departments of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and Physics. He obtained his PhD in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1980 and then did research in particle physics and statistical mechanics at Brookhaven Lab, IAS Princeton, ITP Santa Barbara, Florida State University and CERN until 1989. From 1989 - 2006, he worked at Thinking Machines Corporation and IBM Research on parallel supercomputer applications. His current research interests are in Computational Biology and Translational Medicine.

Evolutionary Genetics including human migration, phylogeny, disease association studies and patterns of mutations correlated with longevity and complex disease phenotypes.


Lab Website

Publications on PubMed

Lee Cronk

cronk lee 72ppiLee Cronk, a Professor in Rutgers' Department of Anthropology, is an evolutionary and cultural anthropologist. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1989. After receiving his degree, he taught at Texas A&M University for ten years. In 1999, he moved to Rutgers.

Dr. Cronk’s approach to the study of human behavior incorporates both evolutionary theory and the concept of culture. He and his students conduct research among living peoples in a wide variety of settings, using innovative theories and methods to examine the role of culture in current behavioral adaptations. He has conducted fieldwork among the Maa-speaking Mukogodo of Kenya on such topics as cultural change, ethnicity, parental care, and cooperation. In addition, he has conducted fieldwork in Honduras on the negotiation of familial roles and among ranchers in the American Southwest on patterns of mutual aid. He has also conducted laboratory studies in the U.S. to explore the impact of social coordination norms on behavior.

Dr. Cronk is co-director, with Athena Aktipis of Arizona State University, of the Human Generosity Project, a transdisciplinary effort to better understand the interrelationship between biological and cultural influences on human generosity through fieldwork, laboratory experiments, and computational modeling. To learn more about the Human Generosity Project, please visit our web site (

To learn more about Dr. Cronk, please visit his web page on the Department of Anthropology web site (

To contact Dr. Cronk, please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contact Us

The Center for Human Evolutionary Studies
Department of Anthropology
131 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1414

P: 848-932-9275
F: 732-932-1564