• Robert Scott
  • Robert Scott
  • Associate Professor, Anthropology
  • Focus Area: Paleoanthropology
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    Rob Scott received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004. His research is united by an interest in environmental influences on hominid evolution. Previous work includes a strong quantitative and analytic program in evolutionary morphology and paleoanthropology including museum studies of fossil species, a record of fieldwork as part of international collaborations in Turkey, Hungary, and China, finite element modeling of the human tibia, and extensive work reconstructing ancient environments relevant to the evolution of the human lineage. Scott is the co-developer of a new repeatable method for quantifying primate and hominid dental microwear in three dimensions. This method has provided new insights into the diet of South African early hominins suggesting the importance of fallback food exploitation and was published in the journal Nature in 2005. Scott has a strong focus on late Miocene hominid paleoenvironments in Western Eurasia and is a leading expert in the application of the ecomorphology of fossil bovids and equids in the reconstruction of ancient environments.


    My research program involves questions about the influence of diet and dietary change in human evolution. These questions can be divided into three intersecting areas: 1) the influence of habitat and ecology on diet and selection pressures in human evolution, 2) dietary reconstructions in human evolution, and 3) adaptation related to diet. These areas are all fundamental to the discipline of anthropology – exploring both the characteristics of our own species and our close fossil relatives as well as issues of human variation. The central theme of my research (past and future) then is the evolution of hominid diet, which I consider the second most important topic in human evolution (sex is arguably more important).