Lauren Gonzales

Published: August 2, 2020

Gonzales 1

Lauren A. Gonzales, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Center for Anatomical Sciences
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Ft. Worth, TX 76107

Ph.D. Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University(2015).
M.A. Biological Anthropology, New Mexico State (2009).
B.A. Forensic Science, Baylor University (2006).

Postdoctoral Research:
Florida Museum of Natural History (2016-2017)
Duke University (2015-2016)

Curriculum Vitae
Gonzales Lab Website


The overarching goal of my research program is to understand how key changes in primate sensory anatomy have influenced primate and anthropoid evolution. My approach uses comparative anatomy and ecology of living animals as a reference to reconstruct the functional and adaptive implications of anatomical and behavioral changes in extinct species. Currently, this work centers on two primary areas of study: the semicircular canals of the inner ear and the evolution of the brain.  I am also an avid field paleontologist and have developed a field research focus aimed at recovering an early fossil record for tropical South American and renewing excavations for Middle Miocene fossil sites on Maboko Island, Kenya.

Current Projects
  • Intra and Interspecific Variation in the Primate Inner Ear
  • Brain evolution in Miocene Old World monkeys
  • Mass digitization of fossil primates from Bridger Basin, Wyoming
  • Collaborative Field Work: FESD – Amazon Andes Geogenomics

Selected Publications

  • Kay, Richard F., Gonzales, L.A., Salenbien, W., Martinez, J.N., Cooke, S.B., Valdivia, L.A., Rigsby, C.A., Baker, P.A. (2019) Parvimico materdei, a new platyrrhine from the Early Miocene of the Amazon Basin, Peru. Journal of Human Evolution. 134: 102628:1-16.
  • Gonzales, L.A., Malinzak, M.D., & Kay, R.F. (2018) Intraspecific semicircular canal variance—a missing element in adaptive scenarios? American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 168: 10-24.
  • Pampush, J.D., Spradley, J.P., Morse, P.E., Griffith, D.G., Gladman, J.T., Gonzales, L.A., Kay, R.F. (2018) Macrowear induced dental topography dynamics among extant atelines. Biological Journal of the Linnean
  • Boyer, D.M., Kirk, E.C., Silcox, M.T., Gunnell, G.F., Gilbert, C.C.,Yapuncich, G.S., Allen, K.L., Welch, W., Bloch, J.I., Gonzales, L.A., Kay, R.F., Seiffert, E.R. (2016) Internal carotid arterial canal size and scaling in Euarchonta: re-assessing implications for arterial patency and phylogenetic relationships in early fossil primates. Journal of Human Evolution. 97, 123-144.
  • Gonzales, L.A., Benefit, B.R., McCrossin, M.L., Spoor, F. 2015. Cerebral complexity preceded enlarged brain size and reduced olfactory bulbs in Old World monkeys. Nature Communications 6.
  • Allen, K.L., Cook, S.B., Gonzales, L.A., Kay, R.F. 2015. Evaluation of upper molar occlusal morphology for dietary inference in mid- to large-bodied Platyrrhini (Primates). PLoS ONE 10(3): e0118732. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118732
  • Schirtzinger, E.E., Tavares, E.S., Gonzales, L.A., Eberhard, J.R., Miyaji, C.Y., Sanchez, J.J., Hernandez, A., Mueller, H., Graves, G.R., Fleischer, R.C., Wright, T.F. 2012. Multiple independent origins of mitochondrial control region duplications in the order Psittaciformes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 64(2):342-356.





At the UNT Health Science Center, I primarily lecture on the anatomy of special sensory structures in the Musculoskeletal and Skin System 1 (MEDE 7811) and Nervous System 1 (MEDE 7812) courses for osteopathic medical students.  I also contribute to laboratory instruction of dissection-based anatomy to Medical (Osteopathic & Allopathic), Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Graduate students.

Courses Taught
  • MEDE 7811: Musculoskeletal and Skin Systems 1 (medical students).
  • MEDE 7812: Nervous System 1 (medical students).
  • MEDE 7615: Cardiopulmonary System 1 (medical students).
  • MEDE 7611: Gastrointestinal & Renal Systems 1 (medical students).
  • MEDE 7715: Reproductive & Endocrine Systems 1 (medical students).
  • DPHT 7200 & 7400: Clinical Anatomy 1 & 2 (physical therapy students).
  • MPAS 5401 & 5208: Clinical Anatomy 1 & 2 (physician assistant students).
  • PHAN 5401: Structural Anatomy (graduate students).