NYCEP Alumnus Profile

Siobhán Cooke

Assistant Professor Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


B.A. 2002, Barnard College, Columbia University M.Phil. 2007, City University of New York Ph.D. 2011, City University of New York


Tel: 773-442-5688

Overview of Research

My research focuses on the paleobiology and biogeography of the South American primates from the Miocene to the present. In particular, I use dental morphology to reconstruct diet and, more broadly, to better understand an animal’s ecological niche and adaptations. Using high-resolution virtual models of teeth, I collect measures of dental function and quantify shape, analyze how teeth fit together to process food, study how wear patterns differ across primates of different dietary guilds, and explore the relationship between an animal’s phylogenetic history and functional morphology.


In addition to my laboratory-based work on dental morphology, I also have two ongoing field-based paleontological projects: the first project focuses on Pleistocene cave deposits across Hispaniola, while the second is at the Miocene locality of La Venta, Colombia. While markedly different paleontologically, both projects investigate patterns of fauna distribution through time and across space with a particular emphasis on gaining a better understanding of factors contributing to extinction.


Allen, K.L., Cooke, S.B., Gonzales, L.A., Kay, R.F. 2015. Dietary Inference from Upper and Lower Molar Morphology in Platyrrhine Primates. PLoS ONE 10 (3): e0118732. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118732

Cooke, S.B., Terhune, C.E. 2015. Form, function, and geometric morphometrics. The Anatomical Record 298: 5-28.

Terhune, C.E., Cooke, S.B., Otárolo-Castillo, E. 2015. Form and function in the platyrrhine skull: A three-dimensional analysis of dental and TMJ morphology. The Anatomical Record 298: 29-47.

Rosenberger, A.L., Cooke, S.B., Halenar, L., Tejedor, M.F., Hartwig, W.C., Novo, N.M., Munoz-Saba, Y. 2015. Fossil Alouattines and the origins of Alouatta: Craniodental diversity and interrelationships. In: Kowalewski, M., Garber, P.A., Cortes-Ortiz, L., Urbani, B., Youlatos, D., (Eds.) Howler Monkeys: Examining the Evolution, Physiology, Behavior, Ecology and Conservation of the Most Widely Distributed Neotropical Primate. Springer, New York. ISBN 978-1-4939-1956-7

Winchester, J.M., Boyer, D.M., St. Clair, E.M., Gosselin-Ildari, A., Cooke, S.B., Ledogar, J. 2014. Dental topography of platyrrhines and prosimians: convergences and contrasts. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 153: 29-44.

Rosenberger A.L., Klukkert, Z. Cooke, S.B., Rímoli, R. 2013. Rethinking Antillothrix: The mandible and its implications. American Journal of Primatology 75: 825-836.

Velazco, P.M., O’Neill, H., Gunnell, G.F., Cooke, S.B., Rosenberger, A.L., Rímoli, R., Simmons, N.B. 2013. Quaternary bat diversity in the Dominican Republic. American Museum Novitates 3779: 1-20.

Cooke, S.B., Tallman, M. 2012. New endemic platyrrhine femur from Haiti: description and locomotor analysis. Journal of Human Evolution, 63 (3): 560-567.

Cooke, S.B. 2011. Paleodiet of extinct platyrrhines with emphasis on the Caribbean forms: three-dimensional geometric morphometrics of mandibular second molars. The Anatomical Record, 294: 2073-2091.

Rosenberger, A.L., Halenar, L.B., Cooke, S.B. 2011. The making of platyrrhine semi-folivores: models for the evolution of folivory in primates. The Anatomical Record, 294: 2112-2130.

Cooke, S.B., Rosenberger, A.L., Turvey, S. 2011. An extinct monkey from Haiti and the origins of the Greater Antillean primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108: 2699-2704.

Rosenberger, A.L., Cooke, S.B., Rímoli, R., Ni, X., Cardosa, L. 2010. First skull of Antillothrix bernensis, an extinct relict platyrrhine from the Dominican Republic. Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Sciences, B.

Rosenberger, A.L., Tejedor, M., Cooke, S.B., and Pekar, S. 2009. Platyrrhine Ecophylogenetics in Space and Time. In P. Garber, A. Estrada, J.C.  Bicca-Marques, E.W. Heymann, K.B. Strier (eds.) South American primates: comparative perspectives in the study of behavior, ecology and conservation (pp. 69-116). New York: Springer.

Rosenberger, A.L., Halenar, L., Cooke, S.B. and Hartwig, W. 2008. Morphology and Evolution of the Spider Monkey, Genus Ateles. In C. Campbell (ed) Spider Monkeys: The Biology, Behavior and Ecology of the Genus Ateles (pp. 19-49).  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.