College of Humanities and Social Sciences
My research focuses on using modern primate habitats to build models to test hypotheses about paleoenvironments and human evolution. I primarily use isotope analysis to reconstruct diets, habitats, and behaviors of extinct species. I work in Kibale National Park in Uganda, a protected wildlife area home to numerous chimpanzee communities, colobus monkeys, guenons, and more. I have also worked on habitat reconstructions and human landscape use patterns in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico and hominin fossil excavations in Lake Turkana, Kenya.
I am committed to encouraging and facilitating students interested in pursuing STEM careers, particularly women and those identifying as under-represented minorities. I believe that courses should be as hands-on and as interactive as possible. I strive to prepare students both for careers in anthropology and also to be thoughtful consumers of information and curious, lifelong learners. Conversations with students is my favorite part of my job.
Hamilton, M. I., Fernandez, D. P., & Nelson, S. V. (2021). Using strontium isotopes to determine philopatry and dispersal in primates: a case study from Kibale National Park. Royal Society Open Science, 8(2), 200760.
Hamilton, M., Nelson, S. V., Fernandez, D. P., & Hunt, K. D. (2019). Detecting riparian habitat preferences in “savanna” chimpanzees and associated Fauna with strontium isotope ratios: Implications for reconstructing habitat use by the chimpanzee‐human last common ancestor. American journal of physical anthropology, 170(4), 551-564.
Hamilton, M. I., Drake, B. L., Wills, W. H., Jones, E. L., Conrad, C., & Crown, P. L. (2018). Stable Oxygen Isotope Sourcing of Archaeological Fauna from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. American Antiquity, 83(1), 163-175.
Nelson, S.V. & Hamilton, M.I. (2017). Evolution of the human dietary niche – initial transitions. In: MN Muller, RW Wrangham & DR Pilbeam (Editors), Chimpanzees and Human Evolution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 286-310.
Drake B.L., Wills W.I., Hamilton M.I., Dorshow W. (2014). Strontium isotopes and the reconstruction of the Chaco regional system: evaluating uncertainty with Bayesian mixing models. PLoS ONE.