Institutions and Resources
The Department of Physiology and Biophysics and the Department of Anatomy house research laboratories in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Evolutionary & Organismal Biology, and Neuroscience. Please see the departmental websites for more information about available resources.
Smithsonian facilities and equipment are available at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), the Museum Support Center (MSC) and the National Zoological Park (NZP) research center. The NMNH houses two scanning electron microscopes (SEM), a CAT-scanner, specialized x-ray equipment, and an excellent cast collection of hominin fossils. In addition, the museum has unparalleled research collections of modern human skeletal material, and one of the most extensive collections of non-human primate skeletal material in the world. Its Paleobiology department houses the Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems program, which has a large database of fossil and environmental information on Cenozoic sites, and the Applied Morphometrics laboratory, which is equipped with state-of-the-art 3D digitizing equipment. Within the Anthropology department, the NMNH has allocated laboratory space and research support for the Human Origins Program. The NMNH also houses a large casting facility, thin-section preparation facilities, conservation laboratories and excellent specialized library resources pertaining to anthropology and paleobiology. At the MSC, students have access to the Anthropology Department’s Archaeobiological Laboratories housing extensive comparative collections and facilities for the study of faunal and botanical remains, a laboratory for the study of ancient DNA, a stable isotope laboratory, an SEM with a microprobe, and other research facilities. The National Zoological Park houses numerous primate species and the Think Tank, an exhibit and research facility focusing on ape intelligence.
Resource Institutions in the Greater Washington DC Area
Other institutions and faculty in the Greater Washington DC area participate in the HEB consortium in a variety of ways, including offering laboratory internships and other training opportunities to HEB students, participating in IGERT workshops, and making resources available to students conducting their dissertation research.
The CIW Geophysical Laboratories includes state-of-the-art equipment for Stable Isotope Analysis including a new Finnigan Delta + XL mass spectrometer with an elemental analyzer; a Finnigan MAT 252 mass spectrometer for C, H, N, and O isotopes; Infrared CO2 laser fluorination system; Hewlett Packard Gas chromatograph mass spectrometers; Solid State NMR with probes; Varian Gas chromatographs, etc.
Johns Hopkins University
The Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine houses a large collection of fossil vertebrate casts, and research facilities for the study of skeletal morphology and development, skeletal biomechanics and primate locomotion, tooth wear and diet. A variety of imaging facilities are also available at JHU, including scanning electron microscopy and peripheral quantitative computed tomography. See JHU’s Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution for more information.