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University of Wyoming

Jim Ahern

Associate Professor

(New) Anthropology Building Room 216

Tel: 307-766-4911
Dept. 3431, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071


1998 - University of Michigan, Ph.D. (Anthropology)
1993 - Northern Illinois University, M.A. (Anthropology)
1991 - Beloit College, B.A. (Anthropology)

Research & Teaching Interests

Biological Anthropology, Human Evolution; Europe, Africa

• Modern Human Origins

• Neandertals

• Australopithecines, Hominid Origins

• Systematics, Species Concepts

• Variation: Inter- and Intra-specific

• Small, Fragmentary Fossil Samples

• Sexual Dimorphism

• Growth & Development
More on research . . .

Recent Publications

Kesterke M and Ahern JCM. 2007. Is the late Neandertal mandibular sample from Vindija Cave (Croatia) biased? Collegium Antropologicum. 31: 315-319.

Karavanic I, Ahern JCM, Sosic R, and Vukosavljevic N. 2007. Pecina Zala. Hrvatski Arheoloski Godisnjak. 3/2006: 213-216.

Ahern JCM. 2006. Variation within the Krapina frontal sample and a descriptive note on the newly associated frontal specimen, Kr 27-28. Periodicum Biologorum. 108 (3): 289-297. [Republished in: D. Frayer, A. Mann, and J. Monge (eds.). 2007. New Perspectives on the Krapina Neandertals.  Zagreb: Hrvatski Prirodoslovni Muzej] (pdf)

Wolpoff MH, Hawks J, Senut B, Pickford M, and Ahern JCM. 2006. An ape or the ape? Is Toumaï TM 266 a hominid? PaleoAnthropology. 2006: 36-50. (link)

Jankovic I, Karavanic I, Ahern JCM, Brajkovic, Lenardic JM, and Smith FH. 2006. Vindija Cave and the modern peopling of Europe. Collegium Antropologicum. 30: 457-466. (pdf)

Ahern JCM. 2006. Non-metric variation in recent humans as a model for understanding Neandertal - early modern human differences: Just how 'unique' are Neandertal unique traits? In Harvati K & Harrison T (Eds.): Neanderthals Revisited: New Approaches and Perspectives. New York: Kluwer. (pdf)

Ahern JCM. 2005. Hominid Fossils: An Interactive Atlas. Produced with Science Technologies. San Francisco: Wadsworth. ISBN 0534638414.

Ahern JCM, Hawks JD, & Lee S-H. 2005. Neandertal taxonomy reconsidered . . . again. Journal of Human Evolution. 48: 647-652. (pdf)

Ahern JCM. 2005. Foramen magnum position variation in Pan troglodytes, Plio-Pleistocene hominids, and recent Homo sapiens: implications for recognizing the earliest hominids. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 127: 267-276. (pdf)

Ahern JCM & Smith FH. 2005. Aspects of supraorbital torus morphology in the Le Moustier 1 adolescent Neandertal. In Ullrich H (Ed.): The Neandertal Adolescent Le Moustier 1 - New Aspects, New Results. Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

For a full list of publications, go here.


Teaching Links

• Spring 2008: Online content for all classes is available via WyoWeb

• Introduction to Biological Anthropology (ANTH 1100)

• Biological Anthropology (ANTH 5020)

Making Learning Real website

Teaching Statement

Like a lot of people in my field, I have been fascinated with bones, fossils, and human evolution since I was a kid. This childhood interest became my course of study in college and graduate school. Many mentors along the way have inspired me, and I aspire to motivate my own students as much as these people inspired me. I enjoy teaching my two main courses, Introduction to Biological Anthropology (ANTH 1100) and Evolution and Hominid Fossils (ANTH 4215/5215), and I am especially happy with the collaborative research that I have been able to do with students. I am very interested in applications of instructional technology. Perhaps most notable has been my use of QuickTime VR to provide students with more authentic experiences than are offered by text or photographs. Students and I have put together a collection of QTVR media, ranging from the human skeleton to tours of archaeological sites, as part of the Making Learning Real project, funded by the Ellbogen-CTL. I have also put together an interactive atlas of hominid fossils that utilizes QTVR. I feel honored to have received awards for my teaching, including the Beatrice Gallatin Beuf Golden Apple of the Hesperides Award for Outstanding Freshman Teaching (2003) and the College of Arts and Sciences Extraordinary Merit Award for Teaching (2005).

2005 Zala Cave (Croatia) excavation crew. From left to right: Ivor K., Jim, Ivor J., Rajna, Nikola, Dado, & Mary.