Anthropology Faculty

Rolf Quam  Rolf Quam

   Associate Professor/Undergraduate Director
   PhD, Binghamton University, 2006
   Biological Anthropologist
   Science 1, Room 112A

Curriculum vitae (PDF, 179 KB)


Spring 2017 Undergraduate Advising Hours

Mondays   10 am-Noon
Tuesdays     3 pm- 5 pm 
And also by appointment.


Research interests

Rolf Quam is a paleoanthropologist whose research focuses on evolutionary aspects of the temporal bone, mandible and teeth in our fossil human ancestors. In particular he has been actively involved in reconstructing the hearing capacities in fossil humans. This marks the first time that an aspect of sensory perception has been reconstructed in our fossil human ancestors, and this line of research represents a new approach to one of the oldest questions in human evolutionary studies: the emergence of language.

He also participates in the ongoing fieldwork being carried out at the Pleistocene locality of Atapuerca in northern Spain. These sites contain some of the richest human fossil bearing deposits in the world and have recently yielded the oldest human fossil ever found in Europe. During the course of his research, he has personally studied a wide diversity of original human fossils from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Other Research Affiliations

Researcher, Human Paleontology Area, Centro UCM-ISCIII de Evolución y Comportamiento Humanos (Madrid, Spain)

Research Associate, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) (New York City, USA)

Selected Publications

Quam, R., Martínez, I., Rosa, M., Bonmatí, A., Lorenzo, C., de Ruiter, D.J., Moggi-Cecchi, J., Valverde, M.C., Jarabo, P., Menter, C.G., Thackeray, J., Arsuaga, J., 2015. Early hominin auditory capacities. Sci. Adv. 1(8), e1500355.

Arsuaga, J.L., Carretero, J.-M., Lorenzo, C., Gómez-Olivencia, A., Pablos, A., Rodríguez, L., García-González, R., Bonmatí, A., Quam, R.M., Pantoja-Pérez, A., Martínez, I., Aranburu, A., Gracia-Téllez, A., Poza-Rey, E., Sala, N., García, N., Alcázar de Velasco, A., Cuenca-Bescós, G., Bermúdez de Castro, J.M., Carbonell, E., 2015. Postcranial morphology of the middle Pleistocene humans from Sima de los Huesos, Spain. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 112(37), 11524-11529.

Arsuaga, J.L., Martínez, I., Arnold, L., Aranburu, A., Gracia-Téllez, A., Sharp, W., Quam, R., Falguères, C., Pantoja-Pérez, A., Bischoff, J., Poza-Rey, E., Parés, J., Carretero, J., Demuro, M., Lorenzo, C., Sala, N., Martinón-Torres, M., García, N., Alcázar de Velasco, A., Cuenca-Bescós, G., Gómez-Olivencia, A., Moreno, D., Pablos, A., Shen, C., Rodríguez, L., Ortega, A., García, R., Bonmatí, A., Bermúdez de Castro, J., Carbonell, E., 2014. Neandertal roots: Cranial and chronological evidence from Sima de los Huesos. Science 344(6190), 1358-1363.

Quam, R., De Ruiter, D., Masali, M., Arsuaga, J., Martínez, I., Moggi-Cecchi, J., 2013. Early hominin auditory ossicles from South Africa. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 110(22), 8847-8851.

Quam, R., Martínez, I., Arsuaga, J.L., 2013. Reassessment of the La Ferrassie 3 Neandertal ossicular chain. J. Hum. Evol. 64(4), 250-262.



NPR interview with Rolf Quam, May 27, 2015:  A murder case — more than 435,000 years old.

NPR interview with Rolf Quam, June 19, 2015: on the Sima de los Huesos crania study published in Science

The Atapuerca (Sima de los Huesos) research project

Last Updated: 1/17/17