6047 Silsby Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
nathaniel.j.dominy at dartmouth.edu
I conduct research at the intersection of primate behavior, ecology, and evolution. I am interested in how humans and nonhuman primates acquire, process, and assimilate food, and the relationship of such behaviors to the evolution of anatomical form and function. My research philosophy is based on the principles of comparative and integrative biology, and combines behavioral and mechanical measures in the field with lab-based molecular, nutritional, and isotopic analyses.
My doctoral and post-doctoral research emphasized the visual ecology of nonhuman primates and the foraging advantages of trichromatic color vision. I have since focused on the dietary adaptations of early human ancestors, with the aim of testing the hypothesis that starchy plant resources were vital foods and drivers of anatomical hallmarks in the human lineage.
My current research is focused on the evolution of the human pygmy phenotype. Such a phenotype has been viewed as an adaptation to hunting and gathering limited food resources, particularly in rain forest habitats, or the ability to move economically while foraging amid dense vegetation. To explore these ideas further I am working with colleagues to study how, why, and when the human pygmy phenotype evolved in parallel across the tropics. We are working with hunter-gatherer populations in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Uganda.
To learn more about this research, and the research of my students, please visit my lab page: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~njdominy
Last Updated: 10/13/10