Shara Bailey

Shara Bailey

Associate Professor of Anthropology; Faculty Director Women in Science Initiative

Ph.D., 2002, M.A., 1995, B.A., 1992, Arizona State University, Tempe

Office Address: Rufus D. Smith Hall 25 Waverly Place New York, NY 10003


Phone: 212-998-8550

Fax: 212-995-4014

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Research/Interest

Physical anthropology; paleoanthropology; dental morphology and morphometrics; Middle-Late Pleistocene hominins; Neandertals; modern human origins; Plio-Pleistocene hominin evolution; Europe; Africa.

Affiliated with other departments or programs

Faculty Director Women in Science Initiative

External Affiliations

Center for the Study of Human Origins
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany,

Selected Publications

Bailey SE, Benazzi S, Buti L, Hublin J-J. (2016) Allometry, merism, and tooth shape of the lower deciduous M2 and permanent M1.Am J Phys Anthropol. 159:93-105

Benazzi S, Slon G, Talamo S, Negrino F, Peresani M, Bailey SE, Sawyer S, Panetta D, Vicino G, Starnini E, Mannino MA, Salvadori PA, Meyer M, Pääbo S, Hublin J-J. 2015. The makers of the Protoaurignacian and implications for Neandertal extinction. Science. Doi: 10.1126/science.aaa2773

Benazzi S, Bailey SE, Peresani M, Mannino MA, Romandini M, Richards MP, Hublin J-J. 2014. Middle Paleolithic and Uluzzian human remains from Fumane Cave, Italy. J Hum Evol 70: 61-8.

Bailey SE, Benazzi S, Souday C, Astorino C, Paul K, Hublin J-J. 2014. Taxonomic differences in deciduous upper second molar crown outlines of Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo erectus. J Hum Evol. 72: 1-9.

Bailey SE, Benazzi S, Hublin J-J. 2014. Allometry, merism, and tooth shape of the upper deciduous M2 and permanent M1. Am J Phys Anthropol. 154(1): 104-114

Crevecoeur I, Skinner MM, Bailey SE, Gunz P, Bortoluzzi S, Brooks AS, Burlet C, Cornelissen E, DeClerck N, Maureille B, Semal P, Vanbrabant Y, Wood B. 2014. First early hominin from Central Africa (Ishango, Democratic Republic of Congo). PloS One. 9(1): 1-10.

Bailey SE, Skinner MM and Hublin J-J. 2011. What lies beneath? An evaluation of lower molar trigonid crests based on both dentine and enamel expression. Am J Phys Anth. 45: 505-518.

Bailey SE, Weaver TD and Hublin J-J. 2009. Who made the Aurignacian and other early Upper Paleoliethic industries? J Hum Evol. 57: 11-26.

Current News/Projects
Updated July 2016

The 2015-2016 academic year was a busy but exciting one for me and my students. This spring, I hooded my first PhD student, Alejandra Ortiz, who will begin a two year post-doctoral fellowship with the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University in the fall. I also graduated three MA students, one of whom will start a PhD program at Ohio State University in the fall.

I developed a new class last fall called “Why People Believe Weird Things: Science and Pseudoscience” for NYU’s Freshman Seminar series. It was a fun course on the nature of science and critical thinking and we tackled a lot including: horoscopes, aliens, Bigfoot, ghosts, homeopathy and climate change. Just imagine the discussions we had! I also developed a new graduate-level course called Neandertal Paleobiology and am considering offering it to advanced undergraduates in the future.

Research-wise it was a very productive year. Through an NYU Research Challenge grant I was able to travel to East (Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia) and South Africa to collect dental data for my book “The Evolution of the Human Dentition” (Cambridge University Press). The most recent trip to South Africa included a Dental Workshop on the new Homo naledi (Rising Star) material, sponsored by the Wenner Gren Foundation. It was exciting to spend four days with fellow dental nerds and work together on this new species. One of these days included a field trip to visit Rising Star and other early hominin sites in the Cradle of Humankind, as well as a stop at Maggie’s Farm for her famous chicken pies ( The new material I studied will be in the book but I also have several joint-authored publications planned for early 2017. In September I will take my last trip of the year – this time to Madrid, Spain - to present a recent analysis of the deciduous lower first molar of Neanderthals and H. sapiens at the European Society for Human Evolution (ESHE) meetings.


Dr Bailey (center) working with Dr.s Brophy (left) and Moggi­Cecchi (right) on recently discovered Homo naledi fossil teeth

I continue to direct NYU's Women in Science Program (WINS). We graduated 11 seniors this year, nearly all of whom are going on to prestigious universities for graduate level research or medical school. We had a blast participating in the World Science Festival’s (WSF) Ultimate Street Fair in June. And I welcomed a number of middle schoolers to become an “Anthropologist’s Apprentice” through the WSF’s outreach program. I love sharing my excitement of science and anthropology with the public and plan similar workshops and outreach this year.

In September I will take over the position of Director of Undergraduate Studies and I look forward to meeting and mentoring our Anthropology majors and minors. Here’s to a great 2016-2017 academic year!


 Panoramic view of Kromdraai A and B where early fossil hominins are found: Cradle of Humankind, South Africa

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