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.

Blossom Amechi

Blossom Amechi

Undergraduate Researcher

Blossom Amechi is a Fulbright College junior pursuing a BS in Anthropology. After graduating in spring 2020, Blossom hopes to attend dental school. Her work in the Terhune lab will help her continue her passion for biological anthropology and develop her research experience.

Maureen Balcerzak

Maureen Balcerzak

Undergraduate Researcher

Maureen is a junior in the honors college pursuing a BS in Anthropology. After graduating in 2020, she hopes to attend graduate school. Her work in the lab is focused on carnivore taphonomy.

Amber Cooper

Amber Cooper

Undergraduate Researcher

Amber is a Fulbright College freshman 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. This is her first time working in a research lab, and this opportunity will grant her first-hand experience that she can later apply to her studies.

Logan Hearp

Logan Hearp

Undergraduate Researcher

Logan is a Fulbright Honors junior pursuing a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Latin American Studies, graduating in 2020. After graduation, she plans to get her Master’s and PhD, continuing research and teaching at the post-secondary level. Her work in the Terhune Lab is focused on organizing and processing microCT and 3D data of mammal skulls.

Rex Mitchell

Rex Mitchell

Postdoctoral Researcher

Rex is an Australian researcher and recent addition to the Terhune Lab. 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 fundamental 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 will be focusing on examining how primate craniofacial form varies in both normal and pathological conditions.

Ashly Romero

Ashly Romero

PhD Student

Ashly uses geometric morphometrics to study craniofacial fluctuating asymmetry (FA). She is interested in characterizing patterns of FA across the Primates order and further investigating developmental stability and canalization in these taxa. Previous work 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). In her free time, Ashly enjoys public outreach and volunteering at the UArk Collections Facility where she works with their zoological collection. Ashly received her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach and her Master’s degree from the University of Arkansas.

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 looks to utilize this method, along with other methods associated with the Terhune Lab, to tackle a variety of topics regarding primate (and mammalian) anatomy, behavior, and ecology. Parker is currently interested in the sagittal crest and how it relates to mastication and diet in primates, the evolution of tool use across the primate order, and primate hip morphology.

Caitlin Yoakum

Caitlin Yoakum

PhD Student

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.

  • Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
Anastasia Young

Anastasia Young

Undergraduate Researcher

Anastasia is a Senior pursuing a BA in History as well as Anthropology through Fulbright College. After graduating in 2020, she hopes to attend graduate school to continue and share her love for learning by moving into a teaching position at the secondary or university level. This is her first time conducting research in a lab, and hopes that she can use the skills she learns in her future studies.

Lab Alumni

  • 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 degree 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Patricia Ramos, undergraduate researcher and honors student. Patricia graduated with a BS in Anthropology (cum laude) in Spring 2017. She hopes to attend medical school in the future. Patricia’s Honors Thesis research in the Terhune lab was focused on examining the trabecular structure of the primate temporomandibular joint.