I am a biological anthropologist and organismal evolutionary biologist studying human evolution, life history, and the growth and development of the skeletal system. I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Anthropologisches Institut und Museum at the Universität Zürich in Switzerland where I am working on a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation investigating population dynamics and natural selection on the dentition of pre-Industrial modern humans. I was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California Berkeley where I did my PhD in Integrative Biology, and I have a BA in cultural anthropology from Princeton University and a MA in biological anthropology from San Francisco State University. I have published first-author papers in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Journal of Mammalian Evolution, Palaeontologia Electronica, PaleoBios, Journal of Anthropology of Sport and Physical Education, the Anatomical Record, and Ecology and Evolution (in press), and I have co-authored publications in Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences. While at Berkeley, I was the host and producer of a well-known science radio talk show called The Graduates on KALX 90.7 FM, and I have been invited to give talks and interviews about my work with the BBC, Inverse.com, the University of Dubuque, the Squaxin Island Tribe, Marin Science Seminar, East Bay Science Cafe, among others. I was head instructor of IB35AC Human Biological Variation at UC Berkeley Summer and Fall 2017.

All the details of my professional life, including information about my research, outreach, teaching, and curriculum vitae, can be found on this website.



Recent Posts

New paper out in Ecology and Evolution

I am happy to report that our new study came out this week in Ecology and Evolution! The paper is open-access and freely available.

This new research investigates the diversity of tooth morphology in mammals, finding that, contrary to previous assumptions, diet does not play a dominant role in the evolution of dental proportions. Instead, the study points to stabilizing selection as a key factor in understanding the diversity of tooth morphology in mammals. The study, a collaboration between scientists in the United States and France, looked at the teeth of more than 1,500 mammals held in museum collections in six countries to investigate the role of ancestry and diet on the evolution of dental proportions. This is the largest investigation of dental proportions to date.

The citation for the article is:

Monson TA, et al. (2019) Evidence of strong stabilizing effects on the evolution of boreoeutherian (Mammalia) dental proportionsEcology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5309

  1. Future PI at Western Washington University Leave a reply
  2. Integrative Human Evolution Symposium 2019 Leave a reply
  3. New paper out on machine learning and human evolution Leave a reply
  4. New paper out on the science of arm span in sports Leave a reply
  5. New interview with Planet Forward Leave a reply
  6. Moved to the Anthropologisches Institut at UZH! Leave a reply
  7. New paper out in PNAS: Mother’s Milk Leave a reply
  8. We won Best Poster in Ecology and Evolution! Leave a reply
  9. AAPA meetings (2018) Leave a reply