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About Us

Welcome from the Chair

It is a pleasure and a privilege to introduce you to the Department of Anatomical Sciences.

We are one of the Basic Sciences departments in the Stony Brook University Medical Center, but we also have strong ties to and interactions with colleagues, students and departments in the SBU College of Arts and Sciences. Our academic and scientific missions are manifold, and we take great pride in our research, teaching and service activities.

As award-winning educators and organismal biologists, we proudly deliver the gross anatomy curriculum to biomedical students in the Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine and Health, Technology & Management and to select graduate students. Our newly renovated dissecting laboratories serve more than 300 students a year, and all professors, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students in our Department participate in this central responsibility. We firmly believe that dissection is the key to mastering human anatomy, and we are fortunate to manage a successful body donation program that supports this mission.

Our research interests are very diverse but almost all fall under the umbrella of “evolutionary morphology”. Some of us are field-oriented vertebrate paleontologists and/or paleoanthropologists with excavation sites in Madagascar, Mali, Kenya, South America, and North America. Others of us combine careful classical anatomical study with state-of-the-art, quantitative methods (e.g., geometric morphometrics, laser scanning, and CT-imaging) to capture aspects of skeletal form (size and shape) within comparative and explicitly evolutionary frameworks. Reconstructing phylogeny and biogeography are also core goals of several faculty, and modern phylogenetic methods and web-based resources are essential tools and data for this overarching endeavor. Our extramural funding derives primarily from the National Science Foundation and private agencies such as the National Geographic Society, the Jurassic Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Leakey Foundation.

Our Departmental Graduate Program is small, selective and dynamic. Inquiries about admission should be directed to Dr. Maureen O’Leary, our Graduate Program Director.  Members of our faculty also participate in other graduate programs including the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences and the Ecology and Evolution doctoral program. We are connected to The Turkana Basin Institute and involved in the Medical Scientist Training Program.


So please come in and click around to discover more about us!

Sincerely yours,

Susan Larson, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair