October 1, 200910/1/09 0 commentsTafline Crawford, Ph.D., is a faculty member in the anatomy department at Des Moines University specializing in primate comparative anatomy and evolution.
As an undergraduate, Crawford acquired her first formal research experiences excavating and analyzing material from archaeological sites in southern Florida, the Bahamas and South Africa. Despite the wealth of stone tools and ceramics discovered, her interest was most intensely piqued by the recovery and analysis of human skeletal remains. As a result, she focused her graduate research on human osteology, primate comparative anatomy and hominoid (human and ape) evolution.
Her master’s research at Southern Illinois University focused on describing and analyzing the previously unknown radiocarpal morphology of an 18 million year old fossil ape (Kenyapithecus africanus).
Crawford’s doctoral research at Washington University in St. Louis involved the excavation and comparative analysis of ~3 million year old fossil humans (Australopithecus africanus) from Makapansgat, South Africa.
Today, her primary research focuses on reconstructing the functional adaptations and phylogenetic relationships of South African australopithecines. Beyond her primary paleoanthropological research, she actively pursues research in modern human and primate functional, clinical and evolutionary anatomy.