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Dr Laura Tabitha Buck

Dr Laura Tabitha Buck

Post-doctoral Researcher in Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology
Pembroke Street

Cambridge CB2 3QG


I took a BA (Hons.) in Anthropology at Durham where my dissertation (supervised by Robert Layton) concerned social, economic and political influences on contemporary Ugandan painting. I then spent six months conducting fieldwork with lemurs in Madagascar. Having studied non-human primate skeletal variation for my MPhil at Cambridge, supervised by Jay Stock, I then moved to London to do a PhD focussing on Late Pleistocene craniofacial morphology hosted jointly by the University of Roehampton and the Natural History Museum. My supervisors were Todd Rae, Ann MacLarnon (both Roehampton) and Chris Stringer (Natural History Museum). I worked as a research assistant for Chris Stringer and Louise Humphrey at the Natural History Museum part-time during my PhD and full-time for six months following its completion. I returned to Cambridge to take up a post-doc position studying climatic adaptation as part of the ADaPt project in 2015.


Research Interests

  • Palaeoanthropology and Biological Anthropology
  • Analysis of extant human, fossil hominin and non-human primate bone

My research focuses on skeletal morphology. This research has focussed on intraspecific variation, the correlates of taxonomic and population-level differences in craniofacial morphology and the ability to adapt to climate in different taxa.


I am presently involved in the following research project in Japan:

  • 04.2015 – 05.2018: Adaptation to environmental variation: the colonisation of the Japanese Archipelago (part of ADaPt).



I am involved in the teaching of the following courses:

  • Paper BAN3: Human Origins
  • Paper MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies


Other Professional Activities

Member of Clare Hall college

Co-Chair of the Cambridge Biotomography Centre

Scientific Associate, Natural History Museum


Key Publications

Buck, L. T., Berbesque, J. C., Wood, B. M. & Stringer, C. B. 2015. Tropical gastrophagy and its implications for extinct hominin diets. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 5: 672-679.

Buck, L. T. & Stringer, C. B. 2015. A rich locality in South Kensington: the fossil hominin collection of the Natural History Museum. Geology Journal 50:321-337.

Buck, L. T. & Stringer, C. B. 2014. Having the stomach for it: a contribution to Neanderthal diets? Quaternary Science Reviews 96: 161-167.

Buck, L. T. & Stringer, C. B. 2014. Homo heidelbergensis. Current Biology 24: R214.

Stringer, C. B. & Buck, L. T. 2014. Diagnosing Homo sapiens in the fossil record. Annals of Human Biology 41: 312-322.

Buck, L.T., Stock, J.T., & Foley, R.A. 2010. Intraspecific variation in the catarrhine skeleton. International Journal of Primatology 31: 779-795.


Other Publications

De Groote, I., Flink, L., Abbas, R., Bello, S., Buck, L. T., Burgio, L., Dean, C., Freyne, A., Higham, T., Krusynski, R., Jones, C., Lister, A., Parfitt, S., Skinner, M., Schindler, K., Stringer, C. 2016. New genetic and morphological evidence suggests a single hoaxer created 'Piltdown Man'. Royal Society Open Science 3: 160328

Buck, L. T. & Stringer, C. B. 2016. Homo, Diversification of. Kilman, R. M. (ed.). Enclycopedia of Evolutionary Biology. Pp. 225-235. Academic Press: Oxford.

Buck, L. T. & Stringer, C. B. in press. Iwo Eleru. Entry in: Wood, B. (Ed.). The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. Wiley Blackwell: Hoboken, N.J.

Stock, J. T. & Buck, L.T. 2010. Canalization and plasticity in humans and primates: implications for interpreting the fossil record.  In: Perote Alejandre, A., & Mateos Cachorro, A. (Eds.). 150 años después de Darwin: evolución, future o crisis? Lecciones sobre evolución humana. Instituto Tomás Pascual Sanz, Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana: Madrid, pp. 91-101.