Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2018 – Stony Brook: Gabrielle Russo

Gabrielle Russo

Gabrielle Russo is an Assistant Professor and co-director of the MA program in Anthropology at Stony Brook University. She earned her Ph.D., from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013. Her research broadly focuses on the functional morphology and evolution of the primate locomotor skeleton, with particular interest in the head and spine. She emphasizes comparative, evolutionary, and developmental approaches, and employs a variety of morphometric techniques. She is also co-PI, with Dr. Isaiah Nengo (Turkana Basin Institute), at the middle Miocene fossil site Napudet in South Turkwel, Lake Turkana Basin, Kenya.

The online course Dr. Russo developed for the Department of Anthropology at SBU is the ANP120 Introduction to Biological Anthropology course, which includes a virtual lab component. Her goals are to bring the fundamentals of biological anthropology, including evolutionary theory and the scientific method, to a broader undergraduate audience. Such concepts are important for any undergraduate student, regardless of major, because they are the underpinnings to a better understanding of science in general. Because biological anthropology is a highly visual field, the course inherently benefits from online multimodal teaching tools that allow students to engage with scientific material in different ways, including video clips that permit the observation of primate behaviors, and surface scans of bones allowing for 3-D evaluation of primate anatomy.

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