Melissa Tallman

Melisssa Tallman picture with monkeys on shoulders

Associate Professor

[email protected]

223 Padnos Hall

(616) 331-3603

Faculty Biography


BMS 208 - Human Anatomy
BMS 309 - Human Anatomy Lab


Postdoctoral Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History, 2010-2012
Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Graduate Center, CUNY, 2010
M.Phil, Department of Anthropology, Graduate Center, CUNY, 2006
B.A., Department of Anthropology, George Washington University, 2002


I’m broadly interested in the evolution of locomotor diversity in primates.  My research uses three-dimensional geometric morphometrics (analysis of shape in three dimensions) to examine patterns of postcranial variation in the forelimb and hindlimb of human ancestors.  I am using this data to investigate the underlying processes that drive shape variation in the postcranial skeleton of primate (e.g., patterns of integration/modularity, potential ontogenetic shifts, functional constraints) and the environmental factors that could have been instrumental in past selective events.   Students working with me have the opportunity to either dissect primate cadavers and collect data on patterns of musculature in living primates or to collect three dimensional data using computer rendered models of bony material.

Page last modified August 16, 2021