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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Denné N. Reed

Professor Ph.D., Stony Brook University

Associate Professor
Denné N. Reed

Contact

  • Phone: Office (512) 471-7529, Lab (512) 232-6380
  • Office: SAC 5.146
  • Campus Mail Code: C3200

Biography

Denné is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin who studies the influences of ecology and environment on hominin adapations and behavior. His research interests include human evolution, terrestrial paleoecology, taphonomy, GIS and remote sensing.

Denné teaches courses on introductory physical anthropology, early hominin evolution and paleoecology, applied data analysis, GIS and remote sensing. He has research projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya and Morocco. Learn more about active research here.


ancient tablet written in Ge'ez

Photograph of an ancient tablet written in Ge'ez, an extinct semitic language of Ethiopia.

The University of Texas at Austin has an excellent graduate degree program in Physical Anthropology. If you are a student considering graduate studies at UT Austin be sure to check out the departmental web page and the physical anthroplogy subdiscipline web page. Also feel free to send an email with questions or interests.

Interests

Human evolution, micromammal paleoecology, taphonomy, GIS, remote sensing; Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco

ANT 324L • Gis/Rem Sns Archaeol/Paleo

31692 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 1.402
(also listed as GRG 356T )
show description

This course will introduce methods/techniques for srifact analysis.  Beyond the theoretical premises of artifact analysis and interpretation will be the hands-on experience of working with an artifact set.  Materials (lithics, ceramics, etc) will be brought into the classroom and students (either individually or as small groups) will undertake an analysis and interpretation of the data set.  The analysis will then be written up as part of an archaeological report that may be published.  Ideally, every student will experience post-excavation requirements of the professional archaeologist: analysis, write-up, and publication (and the range of research for each step).

ANT 301 • Physical Anthropology

31060-31085 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 1100am-1200pm WEL 2.122
show description

 This course is an introduction to the principles and the methods of physical anthropology.  Physical anthropology is the study of human beings in a biological context, and seeks to explain our relationship to other primates and to the rest of the natural world.  In other words, who are we? how are we unique? how, why, an when did we come to be the way we are?The study of physical anthropology requires many different types of knowledge.  Throughout the course, we will examine anatomical, behavioral, and genetic similarities and differences among living primates, learn the basic mechanisms of the evolutionary process, and trace a pathway of human evolution as reconstructed from the fossil record.  The main goal of the course is to obtain a clear understanding of our place in nature.

ANT 324L • Gis/Rem Sns Archaeol/Paleo

31400 • Fall 2013
Meets MW 200pm-300pm SAC 5.172
(also listed as GRG 356T )
show description

This course surveys archeological and paleontological applications of remotely sensed data such as aerial photography and satellite imagery for use in locating field sites, planning field logistics and conducting landscape analysis. The remote sensing component of the course covers remote sensing data acquisition, image georectification, image processing and classification.

 

The GIS component of the course builds on the remote sensing component and adds to it the analysis of map features stored in databases. The course introduces databases theory and practice, and moves through the various stages of GIS workflow: the planning and design of GIS projects, building geospatial datasets, various methods of geospatial analysis and a short introduction to map layouts and reports.

 

This course covers GIS and remote sensing from an applied perspective and students are expected to invest lab time in completing tutorials on GIS and RS methods as well as applying these methods to individual projects.

ANT 388 • Applied Data Analysis

31555 • Fall 2013
Meets T 100pm-400pm SAC 5.112
show description

This course provides an overview of applied data analysis, geared toward research questions in physical anthropology and ecology. The course is designed to give students hands-on training in the conventional scientific workflow that follows data collection, including database management, exploratory data analysis and visualization, statistical analysis and interpretation. Statistical topics will focus on advanced techniques that are rarely covered in introductory statistics courses, but frequently used by biologists.  Topics will include univariate and multivariate hypothesis testing, general linear models, likelihood and Bayesian estimation, structural equation modeling, as well as more specific tools suited to student interests. The course focuses on the practical side of implementing these techniques, using the statistical programming language R, while also introducing students to other useful software tools (e.g., SQLite, Unix shell). Throughout, emphasis will be placed on when and how to use these methods in practice, and students are encouraged to use their own datasets in the course.

 

ANT 324L • Gis/Rem Sns For Archaeol/Paleo

31280 • Spring 2013
Meets W 1100am-100pm SAC 5.172
(also listed as GRG 356T )
show description

This course surveys archeological and paleontological applications of remotely sensed data such as aerial photography and satellite imagery for use in locating field sites, planning field logistics and conducting landscape analysis. The remote sensing component of the course covers remote sensing data acquisition, image georectification, image processing and classification.

 

The GIS component of the course builds on the remote sensing component and adds to it the analysis of map features stored in databases. The course introduces databases theory and practice, and moves through the various stages of GIS workflow: the planning and design of GIS projects, building geospatial datasets, various methods of geospatial analysis and a short introduction to map layouts and reports.

 

This course covers GIS and remote sensing from an applied perspective and students are expected to invest lab time in completing tutorials on GIS and RS methods as well as applying these methods to individual projects. 

ANT 388 • Gis For Anthropology

31445 • Spring 2013
Meets T 1200pm-100pm SAC 5.172
show description

This course surveys archeological and paleontological applications of remotely sensed data such as aer- ial photography and satellite imagery for use in locating field sites, planning field logistics and conducting landscape analysis. The remote sensing component of the course covers remote sensing data acquisition, image georectifica- tion, image processing and classification.

The GIS component of the course builds on the remote sensing component and adds to it the analysis of map fea- tures stored in databases. The course introduces databases theory and practice, and moves through the various stages of GIS workflow: the planning and design of GIS projects, building geospatial datasets, various methods of geospa- tial analysis and a short introduction to map layouts and reports.

This course covers GIS and remote sensing from an applied perspective and students are expected to invest lab time in completing tutorials on GIS and RS methods as well as applying these methods to individual projects. 

ANT 301 • Physical Anthropology

30875-30925 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 300pm-400pm WEL 1.308
show description

 This course is an introduction to the principles and the methods of physical anthropology.  Physical anthropology is the study of human beings in a biological context, and seeks to explain our relationship to other primates and to the rest of the natural world.  In other words, who are we? how are we unique? how, why, an when did we come to be the way we are?The study of physical anthropology requires many different types of knowledge.  Throughout the course, we will examine anatomical, behavioral, and genetic similarities and differences among living primates, learn the basic mechanisms of the evolutionary process, and trace a pathway of human evolution as reconstructed from the fossil record.  The main goal of the course is to obtain a clear understanding of our place in nature.

ANT 324L • Gis/Rem Sns Archaeol & Paleo

31035 • Fall 2011
Meets W 1100am-1200pm SAC 5.172
(also listed as GRG 356T )
show description

Research in the historical sciences rely ever more on geospatial data and analysis. This course is designed to give upper level majors in the fields of archaeology, physical anthropology and paleontology a basic working foundation in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) and the analysis of remotely sensed data from satellites and aerial photographs. The course introduces students to the workflow of processing remote sensing data, starting with data acquisition and moving on to image georeferencing, image enhancement and filtering, and image classification. The GIS component of the class instructs students in the design, construction and maintenance of geodatabases and GIS coverages. It goes on to cover spatial analysis, and geospatial statistics. The course is designed to give students hands-on experience and a solid foundation for utilizing GIS and Remote Sensing in research applications.

ANT 348K • Early Hominid Evolution

31060 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm SAC 5.172
show description

 This course examines the early stages of human evolution in Africa starting from the last common great-ape ancestor up through the origin of the Genus Homo. We will examine closely the fossil record of the earliest hominins, which has benefited from many recent discoveries, looking at the behavioral and morphological adaptations that characterize the earliest stages of human evolution. We’ll approach these adaptations from the perspective of paleoecology, looking at the possible interplay between paleoclimatic change, paleoenvironment and human evolution. The seminar will integrate aspects of human anatomy, functional morphology, systematics, biogeography, and climate change, along with evolutionary and behavioral ecology.

ANT S301 • Physical Anthropology

81935 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am SAC 5.172
show description

This course is an introduction to the principles and the methods of physical anthropology.  Physical anthropology is the study of human beings in a biological context, and seeks to explain our relationship to other primates and to the rest of the natural world.  In other words, who are we? how are we unique? how, why, an when did we come to be the way we are?The study of physical anthropology requires many different types of knowledge.  Throughout the course, we will examine anatomical, behavioral, and genetic similarities and differences among living primates, learn the basic mechanisms of the evolutionary process, and trace a pathway of human evolution as reconstructed from the fossil record.  The main goal of the course is to obtain a clear understanding of our place in nature.

ANT 301 • Physical Anthropology

31080-31120 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 300pm-400pm JGB 2.324
show description

In addition to lecture, students must register for a lab section.  This course is an introduction to the principles and the methods of physical anthropology.  Physical anthropology is the study of human beings in a biological context, and seeks to explain our relationship to other primates and to the rest of the natural world.  In other words, who are we? how are we unique? how, why, an when did we come to be the way we are?The study of physical anthropology requires many different types of knowledge.  Throughout the course, we will examine anatomical, behavioral, and genetic similarities and differences among living primates, learn the basic mechanisms of the evolutionary process, and trace a pathway of human evolution as reconstructed from the fossil record.  The main goal of the course is to obtain a clear understanding of our place in nature.

ANT 324L • Gis/Rem Sns Archaeol/Paleo

31345 • Spring 2011
Meets TH 200pm-500pm SAC 5.112
show description

Research in the historical sciences rely ever more on geospatial data and analysis. This course is designed to give upper level majors in the fields of archaeology, physical anthropology and paleontology a basic working foundation in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) and the analysis of remotely sensed data from satellites and aerial photographs. The course introduces students to the workflow of processing remote sensing data, starting with data acquisition and moving on to image georeferencing, image enhancement and filtering, and image classification. The GIS component of the class instructs students in the design, construction and maintenance of geodatabases and GIS coverages. It goes on to cover spatial analysis, and geospatial statistics. The course is designed to give students hands-on experience and a solid foundation for utilizing GIS and Remote Sensing in research applications.

ANT 391L • Applied Data Anly & Statistics

30350 • Fall 2010
Meets M 900am-1200pm MEZ 2.120
show description

This course provides an overview of applied data analysis, geared toward research questions in physical
anthropology and ecology. The course is designed to give students hands-on training in the conventional
scientific workflow that follows data collection, including database management, exploratory data analysis and
visualization, statistical analysis and interpretation. Statistical topics will focus on advanced techniques that are
rarely covered in introductory statistics courses, but frequently used by biologists. Topics will include
univariate and multivariate hypothesis testing, general linear models, likelihood and Bayesian estimation,
structural equation modeling, as well as more specific tools suited to student interests. The course focuses on
the practical side of implementing these techniques, using the statistical programming language R, while also
introducing students to other useful software tools (e.g., SQLite, Unix shell). Throughout, emphasis will be
placed on when and how to use these methods in practice, and students are encouraged to use their own datasets
in the course.

ANT 324L • Gis/Rem Sns For Archaeol/Paleo

30295 • Spring 2010
Meets M 300pm-600pm GRG 206
(also listed as GRG 356T )
show description

GIS/Remote Sensing for Archeology and Paleontology

Overview: This course surveys archeological and paleontological applications of remotely sensed data such as aerial photography and satellite imagery for use in locating field sites, planning field logistics and conducting landscape analysis. The remote sensing component of the course covers remote sensing data acquisition, image georectification, image processing and classification.

 

The GIS component of the course builds on the remote sensing component and adds to it the analysis of map features stored in databases. The course introduces databases theory and practice, and moves through the various stages of GIS workflow: the planning and design of GIS projects, building geospatial datasets, various methods of geospatial analysis and a short introduction to map layouts and reports.

 

This course covers GIS and remote sensing from an applied perspective and students are expected to invest lab time in completing tutorials on GIS and RS methods as well as applying these methods to individual projects.

 

Prerequisites and Expectations: This course is designed to compliment ANT 324L Digital Data Systems in Archeology, which has a greater emphasis on data acquisition and field methods.  This is NOT an introductory course in GIS and remote sensing. This is an accelerated course is GIS and RS fundamentals. There are no enforced prerequisites, but students should have a comfortable working knowledge of computers and an introductory GIS course is definitely beneficial.

 

Required textbooks:

Bolstad, P (2008) GIS Fundamentals: A first text on geographic Information systems 3ed., Eider Press: White Bear Lake, MN.

 

Lillesand, TM, Kiefer R, Chipman J (2008) Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation 6ed. Wiley and Sons: New York.

 

Recommended Textbooks:

The following book is recommended for those who are brand new to GIS using ESRI software:

Ornsby T et al. (2004) Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop: Basics of ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo. ESRI Press: Redlands, CA.

 

Lectures meet on Monday from 3-4 PM in EPS 2.136. Labs are held from 4-6 PM in GRG 206. In the labs we will be using ESRI ArcGIS software and Leica ERDAS Imagine software for remote sensing. Each student will have access to their own GIS/RS workstation.

Grades for this course are assessed from lab work, and two practical exams. Weekly Labs 10 x 6% = 60%, Midterm Exam 20%, Second Exam 20%.

Syllabus: This is a tentative syllabus and is subject to change throughout the semester.

Schedule

Date

Topic

Readings and Lab

18 Jan

MLK Holiday NO CLASS

NO LAB

25 Jan

Introduction to GIS

What is GIS?

GIS software components

GIS data types and data models

Introduction to ESRI ArcGIS

Readings: Bolstad Chap. 1 & 2

1 Feb

Introduction to Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing Platforms

ERDAS Imagine Session

Import-Export

Compression formats

Image Subsetting

Image Mosaics

Lab 1 Image Preparation

Bolstad Chap. 6

8 Feb

Coordinate Systems

History of Geographic Coordinates

Ellipsoids and Spheroids

Datums

Map Projections

Coordinate Calculator

Projected Coordinate Systems

  UTM

  State Plane

  PLSS

Reprojecting Raster Images

Lab 2 Coordinate Systems & Projections

Bolstad Chap. 3

 

15 Feb

Planning and Creating a GIS

Building a GIS Database

GIS and RS data sources

Metadata

Digitizing

GPS

Image Rectification

Lab 3 Creating a Geodatabase

Bolstad Chap. 4

22 Feb

Editing & Geoprocessing Spatial Data

Locating Errors

Accuracy Standards

Basic Editing

Topology

Edgematching

Geoprocessing

Python

Lab 4 Editing & Geoprocessing

Bolstad Chap. 5

1 Mar

Attribute Data

DB structures

Editing DB schemas

Adding data

Joins

Queries

Expressions

Cross Tabs

Summaries

Lab 5 Managing Attribute Data

Bolstad Chap. 8

8 Mar

Midterm Exam

 

15 Mar

Spring Break

NO LAB

22 Mar

Image Enhancement

Image Bands

Type of Resolution

Convolution Filtering

Fourier Tranforms

Resolution Merge

Lab 6 Image Enhancement

ERDAS Field Guide 155-242

29 Mar

Classification

Classification theory

Ground Truthing

Unsupervised classification

Accuracy Assessment

Lab 7 Classification

ERDAS Field Guide 155-242

5 Apr

Terrain Mapping

Sources of elevation data

Building terrain models

DEM, TINS

Aspects of Terrain Mapping

Image Draping

3D Visualization

Lab 8 Terrain Mapping

Bolstad Chap. 11

12 Apr

Map Design and Layouts

Principles of Cartography

Key elements of a map

Designing map layous

Lab 9 Map Layouts

19 Apr

Spatial Analysis 1

Measuring Distance

Pattern Analysis

Spatial Autocorrelation and Variagrams

Interpolation and Kriging

Lab 10 Vector Spatial Analysis

Bolstad Chaps. 9,12

26 Apr

Spatial Analysis 2

Raster Data Formats

GRID

Map Calculator

Cost Surfaces

Zonal Analysis

Comparing Raster and Vector Data

Lab 11 Raster Spatial Analysis

Bolstad Chap. 10

3 May

Second Exam

NO LAB

 

 

 

 

ANT 301 • Physical Anthropology

30160-30210 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 200pm-300pm UTC 2.112A
show description

Introduction to Physical Anthropology
ANT 301 Fall 2009

Unique numbers: 30160, 30165, 30170, 30175, 30180, 30185, 30190, 30195, 30200, 30210

INSTRUCTORS

Denné Reed - Professor
office hours: M 1-2; T 4-5
office: EPS 1.102; Lab 4.146
e-mail: reedd@mail.utexas.edu
phone: 471-7529   

Amber Heard - Head TA
office hours: Th 4-5
office: EPS 2.104
e-mail: anheard@mail.utexas.edu
phone: 232-3905   

Matthew Chimera - TA
office hours: W 1-2
office: EPS 4.146
e-mail: mdc5027@psu.edu
phone: 232-6380

Krista Church - TA
office hours: F 1-2
office: EPS 4.146
e-mail: krista.church@mail.utexas.edu
phone: 232-6380   

Kelsey Ellis office hours: T 11-12 office: 2.104
e-mail: kelso21@hotmail.com
phone: 232-3905


Lectures: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2-3 in UTC 2.112A

Laboratory Sections: Each student enrolls in one two-hour lab section that meets each week in EPS 2.102.

Grading: Grading in this course is based on three exams and lab work. The three exams combined will count for 70% of your grade and the labs for 30%. Lab grades are based on a combination of class participation, problem sets, and lab practical exams.

Course Textbook: Boyd, R and Silk J. (2006) How Humans Evolved. Fifth Ed. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Web Site: http://courses.utexas.edu. To use the course Blackboard site, go to the link at left and select the login button located in the upper left portion of the screen. Once you have logged in you will see all of your classes listed. Simply click on ANT 301 to access the course page. In order to access the Blackboard web site, students will need their UT EID number and password  Tutorials on how to use blackboard are available at http://www.utexas.edu/cc/blackboard/tutorials/student/.

Labs: Students are required to attend the lab section in which they are enrolled. Excused absences from lab require appropriate WRITTEN documentation (e.g. doctor’s note) and arrangements should be made with the TA to attend another section. Contact your TA during the week of the missed lab in order to attend an alternate lab, otherwise credit for the lab will be lost. Students are expected to bring printed copies of the lab materials with them to class. Lab assignments are available in pdf format from the course blackboard website under the assignments section).

Academic Honesty: The University of Texas at Austin Standard of Student Conduct requires its students to maintain absolute integrity and a high standard of individual honor in scholastic work and to observe standards of conduct appropriate for a community of scholars. In accordance with these principles, any student found cheating on an exam will receive a grade of zero for the test and will be referred to the dean’s office for further disciplinary action. On exam days, students will be allowed to take only a writing implement to their seat. All backpacks, book bags, purses, etc. must be left on the dais at the front of the auditorium.

Classroom Protocol: Civil and courteous behavior is expected during lectures and labs (It’s a good idea outside of class too). Cell phone ringers must be turned off prior to the beginning of lecture.

Special Accommodations: If you require special accommodations for exams (e.g., a reduced-distraction environment or extra time), you MUST contact your instructor and teaching assistant in ADVANCE in order to discuss the necessary arrangements. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Proof of qualification for accommodations from the UT Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office must be provided.

Schedule
Aug.    26    Course Introduction    Boyd & Silk: Prolog
                   NO LAB   
           31    Introduction to Evolution    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 1
Sept.    2    Mendalian Genetics    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 2 pp. 24-36
                  LAB 1 Scientific Method   
            7    LABOR DAY    
            9    Molecular Genetics    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 2 pp. 37-52
                  NO LAB   
           14    Population Genetics    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 3 pp. 53-68
           16    Microevolution    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 3 pp. 68-84
                   Lab 2 Genetics   
           21    Speciation    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 4 pp. 85-99
           23    Phylogenetic Systematics    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 4 pp. 99-113
                   Lab 3 Systematics   
           28    Human Variation    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 14
           30    Primate Diversity    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 5 pp. 116-135
                   LAB REVIEW   
Oct.    5    FIRST EXAM   
          7    Ecology: FOOD    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 5 pp. 135-147
                Lab 4 Primate Behavior   
          12    Female Reproductive Strategies: SEX    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 6 pp. 148-161
          14    Male Reproductive Strategies: MORE SEX    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 6 pp. 161-175
                 Lab 5 Primate Diets   
          19    Sociality    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 7
          21    Life History and Intelligence    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 8
                LAB REVIEW   
          26    SECOND EXAM   
          28    Introduction to Paleobiology    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 9 pp. 218-227
                Lab 6 Functional Morphology   
Nov.    2    Primate Evolution    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 9 pp. 228-245
          4    Earliest Hominins    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 10 pp. 246-254
               Lab 7 Primate Evolution   
           9    Australopithecines    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 10 pp. 255-281
          11    Hominin Lifeways    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 11
               Lab 8 Fossil Record of Australopithecus   
          16    Origin of the Genus Homo    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 12 pp. 305-322
          18    Later Homo    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 12 pp. 322-341
                Lab 9 Fossil Record of Homo   
          23    Upper Paleolithic Revolution?    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 10 pp. 342-358
          25    Homo sapiens    Boyd & Silk: Chap. 10 pp. 358-384
              Lab 10 MP and UP Behavior   
          30    Closing Remarks   
Dec    2    THIRD EXAM

ANT 301 • Physical Anthropology

81285-81290 • Summer 2009
Meets MTW 100pm-230pm JGB 2.218
show description

 This course is an introduction to the principles and the methods of physical anthropology.  Physical anthropology is the study of human beings in a biological context, and seeks to explain our relationship to other primates and to the rest of the natural world.  In other words, who are we? how are we unique? how, why, an when did we come to be the way we are?The study of physical anthropology requires many different types of knowledge.  Throughout the course, we will examine anatomical, behavioral, and genetic similarities and differences among living primates, learn the basic mechanisms of the evolutionary process, and trace a pathway of human evolution as reconstructed from the fossil record.  The main goal of the course is to obtain a clear understanding of our place in nature.

ANT 301 • Physical Anthropology

81432-81433 • Summer 2009
Meets MTWTH 100pm-230pm JGB 2.218
show description

 This course is an introduction to the principles and the methods of physical anthropology.  Physical anthropology is the study of human beings in a biological context, and seeks to explain our relationship to other primates and to the rest of the natural world.  In other words, who are we? how are we unique? how, why, an when did we come to be the way we are?The study of physical anthropology requires many different types of knowledge.  Throughout the course, we will examine anatomical, behavioral, and genetic similarities and differences among living primates, learn the basic mechanisms of the evolutionary process, and trace a pathway of human evolution as reconstructed from the fossil record.  The main goal of the course is to obtain a clear understanding of our place in nature.

ANT 324L • Gis/Rem Sns For Archaeol/Paleo

29880 • Spring 2009
Meets T 1000-1100 EPS 2.136
(also listed as GRG 356T )
show description

This course will introduce methods/techniques for srifact analysis.  Beyond the theoretical premises of artifact analysis and interpretation will be the hands-on experience of working with an artifact set.  Materials (lithics, ceramics, etc) will be brought into the classroom and students (either individually or as small groups) will undertake an analysis and interpretation of the data set.  The analysis will then be written up as part of an archaeological report that may be published.  Ideally, every student will experience post-excavation requirements of the professional archaeologist: analysis, write-up, and publication (and the range of research for each step).

Research


Dikika Research Project

Early human evolution in Ethiopia.

In the remote Afar triangle of northeastern Ethiopia a team led by Zeresenay (Zeray) Alemseged has discovered spectacular fossil remains of a young Australopithecus afarensis. My work examines the micromammalian fauna associated with this fossil and the paleoecological context of our early adaptation and evolution. Our study area, called Dikika, is remarkably fossiliferous and every season yields exciting fossil discoveries. Check out Zeray's TED conference presentation!


Micromammal Spatial Ecology

Taphonomy and spatial distribution of rodents and insectivores in a savanna ecosystem.

This research in the Serengeti ecosystem of northern Tanzania examines the spatial abundance patterns of small mammals based on their occurence in owl-pellet assemblages. Owl pellets are an excellent and efficient method for biodiversity survey. Understanding the spatial ecology of small mammals that occur in owl assemblages provides the baseline data needed to improve our interpretation of fossil micromammal assemblages, many of which were created by owls hunting in the ancient past.


Amboseli Taphonomy

The process of fossilization in a savanna ecosystem.

Taphonomy is the study of how bones become fossils. Kay Behrehnsmeyer has been researching taphonomy in savanna landscapes for many years. Working with Kay and others in Amboseli I have been exploring the fate of small mammal remains accumulated by both mammalian and avian predators.


Grotte de Contrebandiers

Archaeozoology on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

Grotte de Contrebandiers (Smuggler's Cave) preserves Middle Stone Age and Aterian artefacts. The Aterian is a stone tool culture spread throughout the Maghreb but it is poorly understood. Research at Contrebandiers seeks to understand the origin and context of the Aterian. My work focuses on archaezoological analysis of the micromammals from Contrebandiers and their implications for past environments at the site.


Vegetation Modeling

Vegetation structure in modern savanna ecosystems.

The study of modern savanna ecosystems plays a critical role in understanding paleoenvironments and the ecological context of human evolution. Using satellite imagery and GIS data, I have been exploring vegetation structure in the Serengeti Ecosystem. pdf. serengeti vegetation map.

Recent Publications

In reverse chronological order

Reed DN, and D Geraads. 2012. Evidence for a Late Pliocene faunal transition based on a new rodent assemblage from Oldowan locality Hadar A.L. 894, Afar Region, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 62(3):328–337. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2011.02.013. pdf

Reed DN 2011. New murid (Mammalia, Rodentia) fossils from a late Pliocene (2.4 Ma) locality, Hadar A.L. 894, Afar Region, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(6):1326–1337. doi: 10.1080/02724634.2011.620676. pdf

Reed D, Denys C. (2011) The taphonomy and paleoenvironmental implications of the Laetoli micromammals. In: Harrison T, (Ed.) Paleontology and Geology of Laetoli: Human Evolution in Context. Volume I: Geology, Geochronology, Paleoecology & Paleoenvironment. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. pdf

Reed D. (2011) Serengeti micromammal communities and the paleoecology of Laetoli, Tanzania. In: Paleontology and Geology of Laetoli: Human Evolution in Context. Volume I: Geology, Geochronology, Paleoecology & Paleoenvironment. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. pdf

McPherron SP, Alemseged Z, Marean CW, Wynn JG, Reed D, Geraads D, Bobe R, and Bearat, HA. (2010) Evidence for stone-tool-assisted consumption of animal tissues before 3.39 million years ago at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 466(7308):857-860. doi: 10.1038/nature09248. pdf

Reed DN, Barr WA. (2010) A preliminary account of the rodents from Pleistocene levels at Grotte des Contrebandiers (Smuggler's Cave), Morocco. Historical Biology. 22:286-294. pdf

Geraads D, Alemseged Z, Bobe R, Reed D. (2010) Nyctereutes lockwoodi n. sp., a new canid (Carnivora: Mammalia) from the middle Pliocene of Dikika, Lower Awash, Ethiopia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 30(3):981-987. doi:10.1080/02724631003758326. pdf

Reed D, Anderson TM, Dempewolf J, Metzger K, Serneels S. (2009) The spatial distribution of vegetation types in the Serengeti ecosystem: The influence of rainfall and topographic relief on vegetation patch characteristics. Journal of Biogeography.36(4):770-782. pdf

Wynn JG, Roman DC, Alemseged Z, Reed D, Geraads D, Munro S, (2008) Stratigraphy, depositional environments, and basin structure of the Hadar and Busidima Formations at Dikika, Ethiopia. In: Quade J, Wynn J, (Eds.) The Geology of Early Humans in the Horn of Africa. Vol. 446. Geological Society of America, Boulder, Co. pp. 87-118. pdf (large 4.6 MB)

Anderson TM, Dempewolf J, Metzger KL, Reed DN, Serneels S. (2008) Generation and Maintenance of Heterogeneity in the Serengeti Ecosystem. In A. Sinclair (ed). Serengeti III: The Future of an Ecosystem. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pdf (large 4.4 MB)

Reed DN. (2007) Serengeti micromammals and their implications for Olduvai paleoenvironments. In: R Bobe, Z Alemseged and K Behrensmeyer (eds.) Hominin environments in the East African Pliocene an assessment of the faunal evidence. New York: Kluwer Academic Press. pdf

Wynn JG, Alemseged Z, Bobe R, Geraads D, Reed D, Roman D. (2006) Geology and palaeontological context of a Pliocene juvenile hominin at Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 443:332-336.

Alemseged Z, Spoor F, Kimbel W, Bobe R, Geraads D, Reed D, Wynn J. (2006) A juvenile hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature 443:296-301. pdf

Alemseged Z, Wynn JG, Kimbel WH, Reed DN, Geraads D, Bobe, R. (2005) A new hominin from the Basal Member of the Hadar Formation, Dikika, Ethiopia, and its geological context. Journal of Human Evolution. 49:499-514.

Reed DN. (2005) Taphonomic implications of roosting behavior and trophic habits in two species of African owl. Journal of Archaeological Science. 32:1669-1676. pdf

Geraads D, Alemseged Z, Reed D, Wynn J. (2004) The Pleistocene fauna (other than Primates) from Asbole, lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia, and its environmental and biochronological implications. Geobios. 37:697-718. pdf

Reed D. (2003) Micriomammal Paleoecology: Past and present relationships between African small mammals and their habitats. PhD thesis. Stony Brook University. pdf

Technology Resources

Technology Resources

This page provides links to helpful web resources.


Guides and HOWTOs

Links to instructional pages.


Bioinformatics Resources

Data, schemas and resources for bioinformatics

  • Biodiversity Collections Index a central index of biological collections. Part of GBIF's Global Biodiversity Resources Discovery System (GBRDS).
  • Biodiversity Information Standards, also known as the Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG), is a not for profit scientific and educational association that is affiliated with the International Union of Biological Sciences.
  • Chronos Geochronology working group.
  • Darwin Core data structure and schema for biodiversity developed and maintained by the TDWG.
  • DELTA DEscription Language for TAxonomy. One of the first computer implimentations of a taxonomic system.
  • DiGIR Distributed Generic Information Retrieval. Biodiversity web services. A client/server protocol for distributing biodiversity data.
  • Dryad an online repository for published datasets in the basic and applied biosciences.
  • eSkeletons a digital database for comparative morphology.
  • ESRF Virtual Database a digitial specimen database for the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.
  • ETE database the Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems database at the Smithsonian.
  • GBIF the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Making biodiversity data available on the net.
  • Global Mammal Parasite Database a comprehensive collection of host-parasite records from the published scientific literature and supplemented with original data on taxonomy, sampling localities, and parasite characteristics, such as transmission mode. The data can be used to investigate mammalian socioecology, parasite "spillover" to humans, and human evolution.
  • MaNIS the Mammal Networked Information System. Data services on mammal biodiversity.
  • Morphobank an online workspace for phylogenetic research on phenotypes (e.g., morphology, behavior, development). A web application and database, it has a user-friendly interface for collaboration on phylogenetic matrices in real time in a private workspace, and intuitive media tools.
  • Morphobrowser a web tool tool for exploring digital morphological datasets.
  • Nomenclator Zoologicus a comprehensive database of taxonomic Genera since Linnaeus.
  • NOW the Neogene of the Old World database
  • NYCEP Morphometrics Group (NMG) a loose association of researchers who share an interest in analyzing morphological evolution of primates using three-dimensional geometric morphometric (3D GM) methods; GM is an approach to the quantitative interpretation of form utilizing coordinate data, which thus retains the relative placement of structures under study.
  • PaleoanthPortal provides links to active databases in paleoanthropology. The plan is for it to serve as a portal through which users may search such databases from a single entry point without visiting their sites directly; this may direct users to those databases which contain information of the type sought and avoid those which don't.
  • Paleobiology Datase a comprehensive database of paleontological occurrences, as reported in the paleontological literature.
  • Paleontology Portal a web portal for all things paleontological.
  • PRIMO the NYCEP PRImate Morphometrics Online database, is an open-access resource for a range of data types. Caliper data on teeth and skulls of cercopithecids (and a few hominoids) are posted now, and 3D Microscribe digitizer landmark data are being prepared for inclusion. Surface scans (as well as digital images) will be available later, as will additional geographical information.
  • RHOI specimen database the database for the Revealing Hominid Origins Initiative.

Programming Resources

Computer programming languages, IDEs, libraries

  • Python An elegant language and perfect for acdademic programming
  • R A not-so-elegant but very powerful statistical programming language. Excellent for ecology and paleobiology.
  • R Studio An excellent cross platform IDE for R
  • Tinn-R A Windows based editor and IDE for R. For you poor souls who don't (yet) have macs.
  • ggplot2 Hadley Wickham's grammar of graphics. The best way to make plots in R. See also Andrew Barr's basic introduction to using ggplot2.
  • reshape Another great R package from Hadley Wickham for structuring data.
  • RPy A simple, yet robust, python interface to the R programming language. Two great tastes that taste great together.
  • Julia A high level programming language similar to python, perl and java.
  • Eclipse Cross-platform programming IDE for Java, C++, and Python (with PyDev)
  • PyDev A plugin to Eclipse that provides functionality for Python and Jython programming.
  • Boa Constructor Cross-platform IDE and GUI development for Python.
  • Xcode Apple's excellent IDE and GUI development platform. Now supports python via PyObjC.
  • Jython A wrapper for Python in Java
  • REALBasic If you simply must use basic. Nice GUI development and DB integration.
  • Python vs. Java? Comparison between the two languages.
  • TeXshop Typsetting for the fierce.
  • LyX The only way to LaTeX! A great open source document processor. What you see is what you mean
  • Sweave Embed R in your Lyx documents. That's right, dynamic document production with embedded R code!
  • Reproducible Research A new approach to scientific publishing.
  • JabRef Cross-platform bibtex database management tool.
  • LaTeX bibliography database A database of LaTeX bibliographic styles for different journals.
  • fink Open source package management tool for mac.
  • gentoo Brass knuckles linux distro for those who like to customize...everything! Great documentation and online support.
  • ubunto User friendly linux distro for those who don't need an extra headache.
  • Red Hat Tried and true enterprise ready linux distro.

Web Resources

HTML editors, Web Application Servers

  • Taco A nice, lightweight HTML editor for Mac.
  • Django Pythonic web application framework. Fantastic.
  • Zope A python based web application server.

Database Resources

Database management systems, DB clients

  • SQLite An open-source, light-weight, cross platform database engine
  • SpatiaLite A spatially aware open-source database engine.
  • PostgreSQL An open source relational database management system (RDBMS) that is geospatially enabled.
  • PostGIS PostGIS adds support for geographic objects to the PostgreSQL object-relational database.The stuff that makes PostgreSQL geospatially enabled.
  • XMLSpy A windows based XML editor
  • oXygen A mac based XML editor
  • DBVisualizer Cross-platform database administration and editing tool.
  • Database Spy Windows based database administration and editing tool. From the makers of XML Spy.

Project Servers

File servers, web servers and project resources

  • University of Texas Laits File Server File server for collaborative projects. Hosted at: file.laits.utexas.edu, ip:128.83.180.188. Accessible via ssh, sftp.
  • SSH Free ssh and sftp client for windows. This is the software needed to connect to the UT (and other) project file server.
  • FUGU Free sftp client for Mac. Note that you can also use ssh, sftp, rsync from the command line in a mac terminal window. rsync is ... powerful.
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