Claire Terhune

Claire Terhune

Lead Investigator

Claire received a BS in anthropology and a BA in biology from the College of Charleston in 2002. She went on to graduate school at Arizona State University where she received her MA (2005) and PhD (2010) in anthropology. In 2009, Claire joined the Physician Assistant Program in the Duke University Medical Center, where she served as the primary instructor for Physician Assistant Anatomy and assisted in the Body and Brain course in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and was a research instructor in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology. She joined the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas in January 2014.

Not only has Claire worked in museum collections throughout North America and Europe, she has also worked extensively as an archaeologist in Arizona, excavated dinosaur remains in northern Mexico, worked on Paleolithic sites in France and Spain, done bioarchaeological fieldwork on the island of Cyprus, worked at the paleoanthropological locality of Hadar in Ethiopia, and observed howler monkeys in Costa Rica.

Ashlyn Barton

Ashlyn Barton

Undergraduate Researcher

Ashlyn is a Fulbright College sophomore pursuing a BS in Anthropology, a BA in Biology and a minor in Classical Studies. After graduating in 2023, she plans on going to medical school to become a forensic pathologist. Currently, she is assisting Ashly Romero in using geometric morphometrics to analyze the asymmetry of macaque skulls.

Amber Cooper

Amber Cooper

Undergraduate Researcher

Amber is a Fulbright College junior pursuing a BS in Anthropology with a minor in Archaeology. After graduating in 2022, she plans to attend graduate school where she will work towards a master’s and PhD. Amber’s honors thesis research is focused on examining the anatomy of the olfactory system in primates and she is also assisting Caitlin Yoakum with her PhD work. 

Owen Knox

Owen Knox

Undergraduate Researcher

Owen is a Fulbright College sophomore pursuing a major in Anthropology. After graduating in 2023, he plans to attend graduate school. In the Terhune Lab he currently assists Ashly Romero by scoring macaque tooth wear.

Ashly Romero

Ashly Romero

PhD Student

Ashly uses geometric morphometrics to study craniofacial fluctuating asymmetry (FA). She is interested in characterizing patterns of FA and stress in primates and further investigating developmental stability in these taxa. Ashly’s Master’s thesis examined FA in chimpanzees and gorillas in comparison with growth rate, and her dissertation project investigates FA, its heritability, and stress in rhesus macaques. Her previous research includes examining craniofacial and dental effects of PCB-180 in rats at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and investigating how brain size correlates with morphological defense level in mammal groups at her undergraduate institution (CSULB).

Autumn Sanders

Autumn Sanders

Undergraduate Researcher

Autumn is a Fulbright College junior pursuing a BA in Archaeology with a minor in Criminal Justice. After graduating in 2021, she plans to find a job in archaeology or archaeological research. Her work in the Terhune Lab focuses on processing microCT scans and 3D data of mammal skulls and teeth to aid Caitlin Yoakum with her dissertation. This is her first time working in a research lab and this experience will give her hand-on experience to help her with future archaeological research.

Alice Stubbs

Alice Stubbs

Undergraduate Researcher

Alice is a Fulbright College sophomore pursuing a major in Anthropology and thinking about double majoring. After graduating in 2023, she hopes to get lots of field research experience, and travel the world. This is her first time working in a research lab, and this will help her make new connections that will aid her in studies and the everyday world. She works in the lab as an assistant curator of soft tissue specimens and is helping Caitlin Yoakum with her PhD research.

Parker Taylor

Parker Taylor

PhD Student

Parker holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a focus on Primate Behavioral Ecology and a Master’s degree in Human Evolution and Behaviour from University College London. During his time at UCL, Parker focused on using Bayesian Phylogenetic Comparative Methods to determine the driving factors involved with Natal Coat evolution in primates. As a PhD student in the Terhune Lab at the University of Arkansas, Parker is interested in the hyoid bone and its surrounding musculature and how it may covary with the masticatory apparatus. 

Caitlin Yoakum

Caitlin Yoakum

PhD Candidate

Caitlin received both her BA and MA in Anthropology at Texas Tech University with forensics and a classic minors. Her undergraduate thesis focused on blunt force trauma, specifically sequence and number of blows to the skull, while her MA thesis examined sexual dimorphism and the issues anthropologists face when attempting to assign sex to bioarchaeological remains using traditional secondary characteristic methods. With fieldwork focused in Belize and west Texas, an interest in European bioarcaehology, and morphometrics using 3D imagining, she joined the Terhune Lab in Fall 2016 to continue her career as a anthropologist at the PhD level at the University of Arkansas.

Lab Alumni

  • Blossom Amechi, undergraduate researcher and honors student. Blossom completed her BS in Anthropology (Cum Laude) in May 2020. Her honors thesis examined shape variation and masticatory biomechanics in several populations of modern humans. She is now attending dental school. 
  • Maureen Balcerzak, undergraduate researcher. Maureen completed her BS in Anthropology in May 2020. Her research in the lab focused on examining patterns of carnivore taphonomy.
  • Sarah Cumpston, undergraduate researcher. Sarah completed her BS in Anthropology in May 2016. Her interests focus on primate evolution and diet, and she completed an independent study in the Terhune Lab where she assessed statistical variation in the primate masticatory apparatus. 
  • Lydia Haake, undergraduate researcher and honors student. Lydia completed her BS in Anthropology (Cum Laude) in December 2018. Lydia’s honors thesis research in the Terhune Lab was focused on figuring out the best ways to process animal remains using dermestid beetles. 
  • Logan Hearp, undergraduate researcher and honors student. Logan received her BA in Anthropology with a minor in Latin American and Latino Studies, graduating Summa cum Laude in May 2020. Her work in the Terhune Lab focused on organizing and processing microCT and 3D data of mammal skulls, and her Honors Thesis research examined patterns of carnivore taphonomy. Logan is now attending graduate school to receive a Masters of Public Health. 
  • Jenifer Hubbard, undergraduate student and postbaccalaureate researcher. Jenifer received her BA in Biology and BS in Anthropology from the University of Arkansas in December 2014. Jen’s work in the Terhune lab focused compiling a faunal atlas of early Pleistocene European mammals, which she put to good use in Romania working on the Oltet Valley fossil collection in May 2016. Jen is now pursuing a career in secondary education, specializing in teaching science. 
  • David Rex Mitchell, postdoctoral researcher. Rex was part of the Terhune Lab from May 2019 to May 2020. He received his Bachelor of Zoology with honors in 2015, followed by his PhD from the University of New England, Australia in March 2019. His interests lie in community-level ecology and he explores this through the lens of functional morphology. By employing geometric morphometrics and finite element analysis, he examines skull shape and biomechanical performance across different species in order to identify relationships between form and function in the vertebrate masticatory apparatus. In doing so, he aims to illustrate how various adaptations and constraints associated with craniomandibular anatomy may mediate niche dynamics and ultimately influence community structure. His primary research has examined herbivorous diprotodont marsupials, with a focus on kangaroos and their relatives (Macropodiformes). In the Terhune Lab he is focused on examining how primate craniofacial form varies in both normal and pathological conditions.
  • Courtney Moore, undergraduate researcher. Courtney graduate with a BS in Anthropology in May of 2018. Her work in the Terhune Lab focused on examining the relationship between cervical spine posture and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), using X-ray analysis and geometric morphometrics. Courtney is now pursuing a degree in nursing. 
  • Patricia Ramos, undergraduate researcher and honors student. Patricia graduated with a BS in Anthropology (Cum Laude) in Spring 2017. Patricia’s honors thesis research in the Terhune lab was focused on examining the trabecular structure of the primate temporomandibular joint. Patricia is completing her medical degree at the University of Arkansas Medical School. 
  • Anastasia Young, undergraduate researcher. Anastasia received BAs in both History and Anthropology in May 2020. Her work in the Terhune Lab focused on 3D visualization techniques. Anastasia is now pursuing a degree in secondary education, specializing in history and social studies.