Dr. Christopher Gilbert is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Hunter College. Currently, he oversees the Gilbert Primate Evolution Lab, which houses a small osteological collection and cast collection relating to human and primate evolution. The lab uses 3D imaging equipment and software to analyze fossil specimens and microscopes, cameras and measuring tools for anatomical comparisons. He teaches and supervises CUNY graduate students, Hunter undergraduates and local high school students as well. Outside of Hunter College, Dr. Gilbert serves as a member of the doctoral faculty in the PhD Program in Anthropology at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and a member of the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP). He is also a research associate in the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History.
As a primate paleontologist, Dr. Gilbert's scholarship focuses broadly on many topics over the last 66 million years of primate and mammalian evolutionary history, with research projects spanning the Eocene to the present, with a particular emphasis on craniodental anatomy and phylogenetic systematics. He has published many papers on Old World monkey systematics and evolution, and more recent papers on African and Asian hominoid evolutionary history and biogeography.
Over the past 10 years, Dr. Gilbert has been conducting paleontological fieldwork in the Neogene deposits of the Indian Siwalik Hills, particularly the Lower Siwaliks near Ramnagar, in association with Dr. Rajeev Patnaik (Panjab Univ.), Dr. Biren Patel (USC) and Dr. Chris Campisano (Arizona State Univ.). In collaboration with Dr. Ross Secord (Univ. of Nebraska), Dr. Stephen Chester (Brooklyn College, CUNY) and Dr. Amy Chew (Brown Univ.), he is also interested in early primate evolution and its response to the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum in the Wind River Basin, Wyoming. Dr. Gilbert has been generously funded by PSC-CUNY, Hunter College, the Leakey Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Gilbert received his undergraduate degree in biological anthropology and anatomy from Duke University, becoming interested in primate evolution and the fossil record after taking classes with famed primate paleontologist Dr. Elwyn Simons. He received his PhD from Stony Brook University in 2008 focusing on plio-pleistocene African monkey evolution and biogeography (Dr. John Fleagle, advisor), and later received his postdoctoral fellowship studying extant and fossil African monkeys at Yale University with Dr. Andrew Hill and Dr. Eric Sargis.