Swallow Hall, a 19th Century Gothic Building,
home of the Department of Anthropology

Colleen B. Young

Paleontology, Ecuador, megatherium, eremotherium, fossil
Biological Anthropology
(805) 305 - 0697
Office Hours: 
By appointment only. Email me @ cbyrm5@mail.missouri.edu.

Advisor: Libby Cowgill

Other advisors: Karthik Panchanathan and Carol Ward

Previous advisors: Tim D. White, Kent Lightfoot, Patrick Kirch, Jun Sunseri, Anthony Barnosky, and Lise Mifsud

Education: B.A. in Anthropology; University of California at Berkeley, highest honors

Bio: California grown with a passion for education, science, and positive change. In 2009 I transferred from Cuesta Community College to UC Berkeley to major in Anthropology and minor in Native American Studies. My interdisciplinary interests in biology, ecology, and evolution led me to the Department of Integrative Biology where I took many classes, including: Evolutionary Medicine, Medical Ethnobotany, Anatomy (with lab), Vertebrate Morphology (with lab), Human Osteology (with lab), Human Paleontology (with lab), and Primate Biology Group; and worked in the Human Evolution Research Center (HERC) under the advisement of Tim D. White. In HERC I digitized the late F. Clark Howell's reprint collection; identified, catalogued, and packed for repatriation the Omo Ethiopian paleontological collection; edited the third edition of Human Osteology textbook; and identified human skeletal remains in the Hearst Museum of Anthropology for NAGPRA. During my senior year, I began working with Kent Lightfoot, Patrick Kirch, and Jun Sunseri on my senior thesis that used a zooarchaeological collection from a Late Holocene site on Santa Cruz Island, California, to identify human impacts on biodiversity levels through time. Throughout my time at UCB, I was a leader for positive change and heavily involved in activities that opposed tuition hikes and the diminishment of campus resources. I graduated UC Berkeley with Highest Honors, and was awarded the Ted McCown Scholarship ($1500) for my overall excellence in the community and research, and a Certificate of Departmental Recognition for my leadership in activities that prevented reduction of library hours of the Anthropology Library. 



"... the past never says things quite the way the present needs them said." - Bohannan and Glazer.

I've spent the majority of my undergraduate and graduate research interested in how anthropologists can use archaeological and paleontological datasets to address contemporary biological issues. As an undergraduate, I used a zooarchaeological assemblage from Santa Cruz Island, California, to understand changes in biodiversity levels throughout the Late Holocene. To do so, I identified over 2000 bird and terrestrial mammal specimens and measured how species richness and evenness changed with corresponding changes in archaeological materials through time. Currently, I am interested in how body size and shape changes in insular human and non-human populations, and the types of heterochrony involved in these shifts. I am working with island fox, insular human, and hominin datasets to better understand how insularity affects morphology. Importantly, this recent project will help with interepretations of body size of modern humans in resource scarce or stressful environments, as well as understanding body size and shape changes in hominin fossil taxa. 

Travel / field experience: Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand -- Kiwi bird and Maori cultural preservation (2008); Ecuador -- paleontology field assitant (2011); Navajo Reservation -- Bennett Freeze Rehabilitaion efforts (2010); Baja California, Mexico -- visited museums and collections (2014). 

Collection experience: California Amerindians at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology (UC Berkeley); Avifauna and mammals from the Museum of Vertebrate Paleontology (UC Berkeley); Megatherium and eremotherium fossils (University de Libertad, Ecuador); Omo, Ethiopian, paleontological assemblage (Human Evolution Research Center, UC Berkeley); Pliocene and Pleistocene hominin casts (Human Evolution Research Center, UC Berkeley); Pliocene and Pleistocene hominin casts (University of Missouri, Columbia); Baja California skeletal collection (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia); Cozumel carnivore collection (Department of Wildlife, University of Missouri, Columbia); Island and mainland fox collections (Vertebrate Zoology, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, UC Santa Barbara). 

Technical experience: FileMaker Pro, Xray radiography, Geometric morphometrics, 3D scanner of human crania.


In addition to my outlined teaching experience below, while at UC Berkeley I took a 2-year seminar with the Student Learning Center that instructed on teaching pedagogy, student collaboration, and alternative forms of classroom education.

2008 - 2009 - Cuesta Community College Tutor: Biology, Anthropology, Astronomy, and English

2008 - 2013 - Cuesta Community College Reader

2009 - 2012 - UC Berkeley Study Group Leader, Student Learning Center, for Biological Anthropology and Archaeology

2011 - UC Berkeley Archaeology Outreach

2013 - University of Missouri, Columbia Teaching Assistant, Human Origins

2014 - University of Missouri, Columbia Teaching Assistant, Human Osteology 


Selected Publications: 

2015 “Carnivores and Primates on Islands: Taxonomy and Management Conundrums” In prep. with Matthew E. Gompper

2015 “What Does the Fox Say? Body Proportions of Island Foxes and Implications for Insular Dwarfism.” In prep.

2014 “Analysis of Bird Remains from a Late Holocene Chumash Site on Santa Cruz Island, California” In prep.

2009-2011 “Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology skeletal reports”; Skeletal Reports Human Evolution Research Center, University of California, Berkeley Supervisor: Dr. Tim D. White