Dr Caroline Phillips

caroline phillips

Departmental Lecturer in Palaeoanthropology

Research interests: Primate behavioural ecology and evolution (particularly diet and adaptation), human evolution and experimental palaeoecology (phytolith and stable isotope analyses).


I am a primatologist interested in understanding dietary intake of early hominins to further understand how humans became so highly adaptive, allowing for successful dispersals across multiple continents. I use extant primates as modern analogues to consider the modelling of adaption by early hominins inhabiting a mosaic of habitats (including reconstruction of environments with experimental palaeoecolgy) and also any selection pressures that drove us to adapt in different environments.

I obtained a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Protection at Bournemouth University (1999), an MSc in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University (2004) and my PhD in Biological Anthropology at University of Cambridge (2012). My thesis addressed using a multi-disciplinary approach to demonstrate that dietary interpretations for primates are significantly enhanced by using more than one method of analysis and critically assessed for the first time, methods commonly used for decades. I held a Leverhulme Study Abroad Scholarship and Claude Leon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand (2012-2017) studying resource utilisation in chimpanzees and early Homo.  I have joined ICEA as a fixed-term Departmental Lecturer in Palaeoanthropology from 2017.

Email: caroline.phillips@anthro.ox.ac.uk
Phone: 01865 612373



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