NYCEP Alumnus Profile

Wendy Dirks

Lecturer School of Dental Sciences Newcastle University


B.A. 1991, Hunter College M.A. 1995, New York University Ph.D. 2001, New York University



Overview of Research

My research focuses on reconstructing dental development using incremental markers in dental hard tissues. I utilize polarized light microscopy to reconstruct the timing of dental development, which correlates with important life history variables such as weaning and first reproduction. I am currently working on a variety of mammals, from modern humans and nonhuman primates to extinct elephants. I am also working on several 55 million year old fossil species, including some of the earliest primates.


Anemone RL, Skinner MM, Dirks W. Are there two distinct types of hypocone in Eocene primates? The 'pseudohypocone' of notharctines revisited. Palaeontologia Electronica 2012, 15(3), 26A.

Shepherd TJ, Dirks W, Manmee C, Hodgson S, Banks DA, Averley P, Pless-Mulloli T. Reconstructing the life-time lead exposure in children using dentine in deciduous teeth. Science of the Total Environment 2012, 425, 214-222.

Dirks W, Bromage TG, Agenbroad LD. The duration and rate of molar plate formation in Palaeoloxodon cypriotes and Mammuthus columbi from dental histology. Quaternary International 2012, 255, 79-85.

Dirks W, Humphrey LT, Dean MC, Jeffries TE. The relationship of accentuated lines in enamel to weaning stress in juvenile baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis). Folia Primatologica 2010, 81(4), 207-223.

Anemone RL, Dirks W. An anachronistic Clarkforkian mammal fauna from the Paleocene Fort Union Formation (Great Divide Basin, Wyoming, USA). Geologica Acta 2009, 7(1-2), 113-124.

Bromage TG, Lacruz RS, Hogg R, Goldman HM, McFarlin SC, Warshaw J, Dirks W, Perez Ochoa A, Smolyar I, Enlow DH, Boyde A. Lamellar bone is an incremental tissue reconciling enamel rhythms, body size, and organismal life history. Calcified Tissue International 2009, 84(5), 388-404.

Dirks W, Anemone RL, Holroyd PA, Reid DJ, Walton P. Phylogeny, life history and the timing of molar crown formation in two archaic ungulates, Meniscotherium and Phenacodus (Mammalia, “Condylarthra”). In: Koppe, T; Meyer, G; Alt, KW, ed. Comparative Dental Morphology. Basel: Karger, 2009, pp.3-8.

Humphrey L, Dirks W, Dean M, Jeffries T. Tracking dietary transitions in weanling baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) using strontium/calcium ratios in enamel. Folia Primatologica 2008, 79(4), 197-212.

Dirks W, Bowman JE. Life history theory and dental development in four species of catarrhine primates. Journal of Human Evolution 2007, 53(3), 309-320.

Dirks W. Effect of Diet on Dental Development in Four Species of Catarrhine Primates. American Journal of Primatology 2003, 61(1), 29-40.

Bromage TG, Dirks W, Erdument-Bromage H, Huck M, Kulmer O, Oener R, Sandrock O, Schrenk F. A life history and climate change solution to the evolution and extinction of insular dwarfs: a Cypriot experience. In: Waldren, W.H., Ensenyat, W.H, ed. World Islands in Prehistory: International Insular Investigations. V Deia International Conference of Prehistory. Oxford, UK: Archaeopress, 2002, pp.420-427.

Dirks W, Reid DJ, Jolly CJ, Phillips-Conroy JE, Brett FL. Out of the mouths of baboons: Stress, life history, and dental development in the Awash National Park hybrid zone, Ethiopia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 2002, 118(3), 239-252.

Dirks W. Histological reconstruction of dental development and age at death in a juvenile gibbon (Hylobates lar). Journal of Human Evolution 1998, 35(4-5), 411-425.