Erik Otárola-Castillo | HOME

Harvard Fellow

Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University


Mailing Address:

Department of Human Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University
11 Divinity Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone 631-796-7331

E-mail: eotarolacastillo@fas.harvard.edu


I study the evolution, ecology and diversity of phenotypes and their effects on population and community dynamics. Particularly, I am interested in measuring the fitness effects of variation in resource availability and distribution on the co-evolution of morphology, foraging behavior, habitat choice, and life history of human and non-human primates. I integrate behavioral data from modern and prehistoric Homo populations, statistical methods, and optimization theory to answer evolutionary questions regarding morphology and foraging behavior as a response to ecological change.

My dissertation project revolves around the ecology of Homo sapiens groups living during the Paleoindian period of the North American Great Plains, some 12-8 thousand years ago. I am applying Optimal Foraging models and spatially explicit paleoenvironmental reconstructions of the Great Plains, to generate predictions of modern and prehistoric Homo sapiens' foraging and habitat selection strategies, to be assesed using empirical archaeological data.



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