David Pilbeam

Research interests


I am interested in a wide range of topics involving human and primate evolution.  I am currently working with Michel Brunet and colleagues on the description and analysis of the new hominin from Chad, Sahelanthropus tchadensis, and I have long-term and continuing interests in the behavioral reconstruction and phylogenetic relationships of Miocene apes, which broadens to include more theoretical aspects of phylogenetics.  Another long-term interest is the analysis of faunal change and its relationship to environmental change, in particular based on our extensive faunal record from the Neogene Siwalik Series of Pakistan.  More recently I have become interested in evolutionary developmental biology, and particularly in the development and evolution of the anthropoid axial skeleton. 


Partial Curriculum Vitae


Recent Publications

Brunet M, Guy F, Pilbeam D, Lieberman DE,  Likius A,  Mackaye HT, de Leon MSP, Zollikofer CPE, Vignaud P. 2005. New material of the earliest hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad. Nature 434(7034):752-755.


Guy F, Lieberman DE, Pilbeam D, de Leon MP, Likius A, Mackaye HT, Vignaud P, Zollikofer C, Brunet M. 2005. Morphological Affinities of the Sahleanthropus tchadensis (Late Miocene hominid from Chad) cranium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 102(52):18836-18841.


Pilbeam DR. 2004. The Anthropoid Postcranial Axial Skeleton: Comments on Development, Variation, and Evolution. Journal of Experimental Zoology (Mol Dev Evol) 302B:241-267


Pilbeam DR, Young NM. 2004. Hominoid Evolution: Synthesizing Disparate Data. C.R. Palevol. 3(4), 303-319.


Pilbeam DR. 2002. Perspectives on the Miocene Hominoidea. in: W. Hartwig (Ed.), The Primate Fossil Record. pp.303-310 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.


Pilbeam DR, Young NM. 2001. Sivapithecus and hominoid evolution: some brief comments. In: L de Bonis, G Koufos, and P Andrews (eds.), Hominoid Evolution and Climatic Change in Europe, Volume Two: Phylogeny of the Neogene Hominoid Primates of Eurasia. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 349-364.


Pilbeam DR. 1996. Genetic and morphological records of the Hominoidea and hominid origins: A synthesis. Mol Phylo Evol 5:155-168.


Recent PhD's

Nathan Young (Ph.D. 2003, Postdoctoral Researcher, University California at San Francisco)

Dissertation: “Homology and Homoplasy in the Hominoid Postcranium


Sherry Nelson (Ph.D. 2002, Assistant Professor, Boston University)

Dissertation: “Faunal and Environmental Change Surrounding the Extinction of Sivapithecus, A Miocene Hominoid, in the Siwaliks of Pakistan