TRACE Tuesday – Artists, Scholars, and Innovators Lecture I

“The Bounty of Bones: Views of Human Behavior”

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 | 9:45 am – 10:45 am | Virtual (live, remote)


Presented by Dr. Habiba Chirchir

  • Assistant Professor in the Biological Sciences Department
  • Recipient of the 2018-2019 Marshall University Distinguished Artists & Scholars Award (Junior Recipient in All Fields)

Lecture Abstract:

When you think about human bones, what comes to mind? Maybe a dairy company commercial telling us that drinking milk builds stronger bones? Or maybe the song “Dem Bones”, which starts, “The toe bone is connected to the foot bone…”, and so on? While human bones serve many important functions in our bodies through their interaction with muscles, they can also help us infer human behavior in the past and in the present. For instance, analysis of bones can tell us the subsistence strategy of people, such as did they walk a lot, or were they sedentary? Did they use tools to process their foods? Bones can also tell us about our ancestral history in the fossil record, and how we are related to pre-historic humans.

This talk will discuss some of the specific changes that we see in human bone morphology, how they relate to behavior, and how we can use that to infer evolutionary change and its implications for increased modernization.