CSHO faculty member Dr. Scott WilliamsAssistant Professor of Anthropology

Ph.D. 2011, University of Illinois; M.A. 2006, Northern Illinois University; B.A. 2003, Kent State University

Email:  sawilliams@nyu.edu

Phone:  212-992-9583

curriculum vitae

Office: 701

Evolutionary Morphology Laboratory



Research Interests

  • human evolution
  • fossil hominins
  • trunk
  • vertebral column
  • evolutionary functional morphology
  • bipedalism
  • axial skeleton


Other Affiliations

Assistant Professor, NYU Department of Anthropology

Core Faculty, New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology

Research Associate, Evolutionary Studies Institute and Centre for Excellence in PaleoSciences, University of the Witwatersrand

Faculty Mentor, Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE)

Associate Director, MA in Human Skeletal Biology

Associate Editor, Journal of Human Evolution


Current Projects

Australopithecus afarensis

Australopithecus sediba

Mammalian Vertebral Number Evolution

Rising Star Expedition,  South Africa

Selected Publications

[ Academia | ResearchGate ]

Russo, G. A. & Williams, S.A. 2015.  Giant pandas (Carnivora) and living hominoids (Primates) converge on lumbar vertebral adaptations to orthograde trunk posture. Journal of Human Evolution 88: 160-179.

Meyer, M.R., Williams, S.A., Smith, M., & Sawyer, G., 2015. Lucy’s back: Reassessment of fossils associated with the A.L. 288-1 vertebral column. Journal of Human Evolution 85: 174-180.

Williams, S.A.  2015.  Review of Apes and Human Evolution by R.H. Tuttle (2014). Current Anthropology.

Williams, S.A. & Russo, G.A.  2015.  Evolution of the hominoid vertebral column: the long and the short of it.  Evolutionary Anthropology 24(1): 15-32.

Williams, S.A. & Shattuck, M.R. 2015. Ecology, longevity, and naked mole-rats: confounding effects of sociality? Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 282(1802): 2014.1664.

Russo, G.A. & Williams, S.A.  2015.  Lucy (A.L. 288-1) had five sacral vertebrae.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156(2): 295-303.

Williams, S.A. 2014.  Earliest Hominins, in Access Science. McGraw-Hill Yearbook in Science and Technology.

Williams, S.A., Ostrofsky, K.R., Frater, N., Churchill, S.E., Schmid, P.,  & Berger, L.R. 2013.  The vertebral column of Australopithecus sediba. Science 340: 1232996.

Williams, S.A.  2012. Evolution of the Hominoid Vertebral Column: The Long and Short of It. Saarbrücken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Williams, S.A.  2012.  Modern or distinct axial bauplan in early hominins? Comments on Haeusler et al. (2011).  Journal of Human Evolution 63(3):  552-556.

Williams, S.A.  2012.  Placement of the diaphragmatic vertebra in catarrhines: implications for the evolution of dorsostability in hominoids and bipedalism in hominins. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 148(1): 111-122.

Williams, S.A. 2011. Evolution of the hominoid vertebral column. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL.

Williams, S.A.  2011.  Variation in anthropoid vertebral formulae: implications for homology and homoplasy in hominoid evolution.  Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular and Developmental Evolution) 318(2): 134-147.

Williams, S.A.  2010.  Morphological integration and the evolution of knuckle-walking.  Journal of Human Evolution 58(5): 432-440.

Shattuck, M R. & Williams, S.A. 2010.  Arboreality has allowed for the evolution of increased longevity in mammals.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107(10): 4635-4639.

Polk, J.D., Williams, S.A., Peterson, J.V., Roseman, C.C., & Godfrey, L.R.  2010.  Subchondral bone apparent density and locomotor behavior in extant primates and subfossil lemurs Hadropithecus and Pachylemur. International Journal of Primatology 31(2): 275-299.

Polk, J.D., Williams, S.A., & Peterson, J.V. 2009.  Body size and joint posture in primates.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 140(2): 359-367.

Williams, S.A.  2006.  Anatomical variation in the hand and wrist of African apes: evidence for a single origin of knuckle-walking adaptations. Master’s thesis, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL.


Updated on June 14, 2017