Heather F. Smith

Keywords: Anatomy, biological anthropology, genetics, geometric morphometrics, human evolution, cranial morphology, cecal appendix


Heather F. Smith is an Assistant Professor of Anatomy at Midwestern University. She has a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology (Arizona State University, 2008), M.A. in Biological Anthropology (Stony Brook University, 2003), and B.A. in Anthropology (Arizona State University, 2001). She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Arizona College of Medicine—Phoenix (2009). Her primary research focus is the 3D cranial morphology of humans and other primates. In particular, she studies the relationship between cranial shape and phylogeny with the goal of characterizing patterns observed in extant species, using them to interpret the primate fossil record, and addressing questions relating to evolution, ontogeny, and migration of human populations and nonhuman primate species. She has also conducted research on the cecal appendix, focusing on interpreting the evolutionary history of the appendix, tracking its distribution in mammals, and attempting to identify its function(s).