Lauren Schroeder

Associate Professor, Mississauga Campus (UTM)
HSC 364
(905) 569-4251


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Research Keywords: Biological Anthropology; palaeoanthropology; hominin variability; evolutionary theory; quantitative genetics

On Leave from July 2023 to June 2024.


Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, Lauren Schroeder is a palaeoanthropologist who joined UTM in 2017 after completing a postdoctoral appointment in evolutionary morphology at the University at Buffalo. Dr. Schroeder’s research is broadly focused on understanding the evolution of cranial and mandibular diversity within hominins. This research agenda combines a variety of quantitative methods, including statistical analyses of 3D models, with the analytical approaches of quantitative genetics to address questions about the evolutionary processes underlying morphological variation.

Dr. Schroeder has previously been involved in both the Malapa (Australopithecus sediba) and Rising Star (Homo naledi) projects as part of the research team studying the recent fossil hominin discoveries from these sites.

Current research in the Schroeder Lab includes collaborative projects focused on the evolution, integration and variability of the primate skeleton, identifying the skeletal signatures of hybridization in mammalian taxa for detecting instances of gene flow in the fossil record, and exploring the relative roles of genetic drift and natural selection in hominin evolution.


PhD, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2015


Research Associate of the Royal Ontario Museum; Research Associate of the Human Evolutionary Research Institute; Honorary Research Associate of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand.


Co-editor of Media Reviews: Books & Beyond for the American Journal of Physical Anthropology; Editorial Board member of Evolutionary Anthropology

Selected recent publications

Larsen, R.R., Cruz, H.D., Kaplan, J., Fuentes, A., Marks, J., Pigliucci, M., Alfano, M., Smith, D.L. and Schroeder, L. (2020) More than provocative, less than scientific: A commentary on the editorial decision to publish Cofnas (2020). Philosophical Psychology: 1-6.

Schroeder, L. (2020) The Year in Paleoanthropology: Revolutionary Fossils, Ancient Biomolecules, and Reflections in Ethics and Decolonization. American Anthropologist 122: 306-320.

Ackermann, R.R. & Schroeder, L. (2020) The emergence of complexity and novelty in the human fossil record. In “Theology and Evolutionary Anthropology: Dialogues in Wisdom, Humility and Grace.” Eds. A. Fuentes and C. Deane-Drummond. Routledge. 29-46.

Ackermann, R.R., Arnold, M.L., Cahill, J.A., Cortes-Ortiz, L., Evans, B., Grant, P.R., Grant, B.R, Hallgrimsson, B., Humphreys, R., Jolly, C.J., Malukiewicz, J., Nidiffer, M.D., Percival, C.J., Ritzman, T., Roos, C., Roseman, C.C., Schroeder, L., Smith, F.H., Warren, K., Wayne, R. & Zinner, D. (2019) Hybridization in human evolution: insights from other organisms. Evolutionary Anthropology 28 (4): 189-209.

Conaway, M., Schroeder, L. & von Cramon-Taubadel, N. (2018) Morphological integration of anatomical, developmental, and functional postcranial modules in the crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 166(3):661-670.

Schroeder, L & von Cramon-Taubadel, N. (2017) The evolution of hominoid cranial diversity: a quantitative genetic approach. Evolution 71: 2634-2649.

Schroeder, L. & Ackermann R.R. (2017) Evolutionary processes shaping evolution across the Homo lineage. Journal of Human Evolution 111: 1-17.

Schroeder, L., Scott, J.E., Garvin, H.M., Laird, M.F., Dembo, M., Radovčić, D., de Ruiter, D.J., Berger, L.R., & Ackermann, R.R. (2017) Skull diversity in the Homo lineage and the relative position of Homo naledi. Journal of Human Evolution 104: 124-135.

Laird, M.F., Schroeder, L., Dembo, M., Scott, J.E., Radovčić, D, Garvin, H.M., Musiba, C.M., Ackermann, R.R., Schmid, P., Hawks, J., Berger, L.R., de Ruiter, D.J. (2017) The skull of Homo naledi. Journal of Human Evolution 104: 100-123.

Dembo, M., Radovčić, D., Garvin, H.M., Laird, M.F., Schroeder, L., Scott, J.E., Brophy, J., Ackermann, R.R., Musiba, C.M., de Ruiter, D.J., Mooers, A.Ø., Collard, M. (2016) The evolutionary relationships and age of Homo naledi: An assessment using dated Bayesian phylogenetic methods. Journal of Human Evolution 97: 17-26.