M. Kathleen Pitirri Ph.D.

Biography:

Dr. Pitirri is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Richtsmeier Lab. She recently received her PhD in Biological Anthropology from the University of Toronto, where her research focused on increasing our understanding of primate and human evolution by improving approaches to studying fossil mandibular fragments. Currently, Dr. Pitirri is quantifying the morphology of the chondrocranium as it develops in embryonic mice. This research is critical for the understanding of the complex relationship between the cartilaginous and bony aspects of the skull as it develops, which will help answer important questions regarding the evolution of the skull in vertebrates. Dr. Pitirri is also currently involved in paleoanthropological fieldwork in Europe, as well as research on fossil catarrhine taxonomy and biogeographic and functional factors driving mandibular shape variation in living great apes. Her main research interests include primate and human evolution, quantitative morphology, and studying the cellular mechanisms involved in genotype-phenotype correlations that drive evolutionary changes in craniofacial morphology in primate evolution.