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Anatomy, Evolutionary History and Biogeography of Baboons

Friday, September 30 at 12:00 PM
Des Moines University, Student Education Center (SEC) 115, Des Moines, IA, 50312 Show Map

Part of the Des Moines University Friday Seminar Series

Kaila Folinsbee, Ph.D.
Kaila Folinsbee, Ph.D.

Kaila Folinsbee, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, Anthropology, Iowa State University

I am a palaeoanthropologist interested in the evolutionary history of the primates. My current research centers on the African papionin monkeys – the group that includes baboons  and mandrills. I am describing new fossils from Pleistocene aged (~2 million year old) deposits in the Sterkfontein Valley, South Africa in order to determine how many species of primate were present in the past, what they would have looked like and in what kind of environment they were living. I am also working on reconstructing papionin phylogeny, using both morphological and molecular characters from extinct and living monkeys to assess their evolutionary relationships. My research interests include: Primate evolution and functional anatomy, cercopithecoid monkeys, hominoid evolution, historical biogeography, phylogenetic systematics, palaeontology, and comparative anatomy.

Primate biogeography is another focus of my research; I use phylogenetic techniques to explore the history of primate dispersal over space and time. With my collaborator, Dan Brooks, I found that humans and apes (the hominoids) show correlated episodes of dispersal out of ancestral areas at the same time as other large mammal groups like hyaenas and elephants. Using phylogenetic biogeography allows us to reconstruct ancient dispersal patterns among non-related groups of organisms. I’m currently working on a method for time-calibrating biogeographic events with my colleague David Evans, in order to assess more precisely when dispersal events occurred in the past.

Research interests
Primate evolution and functional anatomy, cercopithecoid monkeys, hominoid evolution, historical biogeography, phylogenetic systematics, palaeontology, and comparative anatomy.


  1. Describe the evolutionary history of baboons.
  2. Assess the data for geographic range change in primates over time.

Disclosure statement

Everyone in a position to control the content of this educational activity will disclose to the CME provider and to attendees all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. They will also disclose if any pharmaceuticals or medical procedures and devices discussed are investigational or unapproved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Determination of educational content for this program and the selection of speakers are responsibilities of the program director. Firms providing financial support did not have input in these areas.

CME credit

AOA: Des Moines University Continuing Education and the AOA Council on Continuing Medical Education approve this program for a maximum of 1.0 hour of AOA Category 2-A CME credits.

Other: Attendees will be awarded 1.0 hour of continuing education credit.

Des Moines University (DMU) prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preference. The University also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to University facilities. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend DMU sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the DMU Continuing Medical Education office at 515-271-1541 or cme@dmu.edu prior to the program.