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Sherry Nelson

Associate Professor
Director, Paleoecology Lab

Photo: Sherry Nelson

Evolutionary Anthropology

(505) 277-0264
Curriculum vitae

Recent Courses:

  • Evolution and Human Emergence (ANTH 150)
  • Human Origins (ANTH 357)
  • Topics in Human Behavioral Evolution (ANTH 450/550) including Primate Evolution and Paleoecology Lab
  • Paleoanthropology (ANTH 457/557)


Duke University, Biology/Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, BS cum laude 1994

Harvard University, Anthropology, PhD 2002
Dissertation: “Faunal and Environmental Change Surrounding the Extinction of Sivapithecus, a Miocene Hominoid, in the Siwaliks of Pakistan”


Paleoecology of Miocene apes, hominids; stable isotopic and dental microwear analyses; Asia, Africa, Europe.

Recent Publications:

Nelson, S., 2014. The Paleoecology of early Pleistocene Gigantopithecus blacki inferred from stable isotopic analyses. American Journal of Physical Anthropology DOI 10.1002/ajpa.22609.

Nelson, S., 2013. Chimpanzee fauna isotopes provide new interpretations of fossil ape and hominin ecologies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280: 20132324.

Morgan, M, A. Behrensmeyer, C. Badgley, J. Barry, S. Nelson, D. Pilbeam, 2009. Lateral trends in carbon isotope ratios reveal a Miocene vegetation gradient in the Siwaliks of Pakistan. Geology 37: 103-106.

Badgley, C., J. Barry, M. Morgan, S. Nelson, A. Behrensmeyer, T. Cerling, and D. Pilbeam, 2008. Ecological changes in Miocene mammalian record show impact of prolonged climatic forcing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105: 12145-12149.

Nelson, S., 2007. Isotopic reconstructions of habitat change surrounding the extinction of Sivapithecus, a Miocene hominoid, in the Siwalik Group of Pakistan. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 243: 204-222.

Nelson, S., 2005. Paleoseasonality inferred from equid teeth and intra-tooth isotopic variability. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 222: 122-144.

Nelson, S., 2003. The Extinction of Sivapithecus: Faunal and Environmental Changes Surrounding the Disappearance of a Miocene Hominoid in the Siwaliks of Pakistan. American School of Prehistoric Research Monograph 1. Boston: Brill Academic Publishers.