Assistant Professor/Undergraduate Director
PhD, Binghamton University, 2006
Science 1, Room 112A
Curriculum vitae (PDF, 307 KB)
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)
2014 Arsuaga, JL, Martínez, I, Gracia, A, Arnold, LJ, Aranburu, A, Gracia-Tellez, A, Sharp, WD, Quam, R, Falgueres, C, Pantoja, A, Bischoff, J, Poza-Rey, E, Pares, JM, Carretero, JM, Demuro, M, Lorenzo, C, Sala, N, Martinón-Torres, M, Garcia, N, Alcázar de Velasco, A, Cuenca-Bescos, G, Gómez-Olivencia, A, Moreno, D, Pablos, A, Shen, C, Rodríguez, L, Ortega, AI, García, R, Bonmatí, A, Bermúdez de Castro, JM and Carbonell, E. Neandertal roots: Cranial and chronological evidence from the Sima de los Huesos. Science. 344, 1358-1363.
2013 Quam, R, de Ruiter, D, Masali, M, Arsuaga, JL, Martínez, I and Moggi-Cecchi, J. Early hominin auditory ossicles from South Africa. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 110(22), 8847-8851.
2013 Martínez, I, Rosa, M, Quam, R, Jarabo, P, Lorenzo, C, Bonmatí, A, Gómez-Olivencia, A, Gracia, A and Arsuaga, JL. Communicative capacities in Middle Pleistocene humans from the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain. Quat. Int. 295, 94-101.
2013 Quam, R, Martinez, I and Arsuaga, JL. Reassessment of the La Ferrassie 3 Neandertal ossicular chain. J. Hum. Evol. 64, 250-262.
2012 Quam, R, Martínez, I, Lorenzo, C, Bonmatí, A, Rosa, M, Jarabo, P, Arsuaga, JL. Studying audition in fossil hominins: A new approach to the evolution of language? In (M. Jackson, Ed.) Psychology of Language. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Hauppauge, NY, pp 47-95.
NPR interview with Rolf Quam, May 27, 2015: A murder case — more than 435,000 years old. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/27/410122685/scientists-discover-evidence-of-a-435-000-year-old-murder
NPR interview with Rolf Quam, June 19, 2015: on the Sima de los Huesos crania study published in Science. http://www.npr.org/2014/06/19/322921368/how-to-build-a-neanderthal
The Atapuerca (Sima de los Huesos) research project http://www.atapuerca.tv/