My name is Robert McCarthy. I am a biological anthropologist studying the ontogeny, structure, and evolution of the primate and hominin skull. Another name for what I do is paleoanthropology, which is a field that lies at the intersection of paleontology, anthropology and evolutionary biology. On the paleontology side, I am interested in the types of information that can be extracted from the fossil record by looking at skull morphology: clues about the evolutionary history of the human life cycle, the size and shape of the speech apparatus and brain, and the taxonomic and phylogenetic status of particular hominin fossil remains. On the anthropology side, I am interested in how variability impacts one's decisions to put specimens into different species. On the evolutionary biology side, I am interested in how and why humans evolved to look the way they do. These interests are combined in my study of Neanderthals and other middle and late Pleistocene hominins. I am an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, and I am currently teaching human anatomy and human evolution to Biology undergraduate students. Benedictine has a very strong undergraduate program that prepares students for careers in medicine and allied health professions. I received my B.A. in Anthropology at Rutgers University and my M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Hominid Paleobiology at The George Washington University, and I have taught at Florida Atlantic University, Harvard, Washington University in St. Louis, and University at Albany. I am currently working on reconstructing vocal tract shapes and speech capabilities in Neanderthals and other pre-modern humans and synthesizing Neanderthal speech sounds. Click on "Research" above for more information about these research projects.

Contact Information:

Department of Biological Sciences
Benedictine University
Birck Hall Room 336
5700 College Road
Lisle, IL 60532

phone: 630-829-6577
fax: 630-829-6547
email: rmccarthy [at]

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