The 2023-2024 AnthroGuide is the last print version. Edits for graduate programs are due July 31, 2023.

Zachary Cofran

Zachary Cofran
Assistant Professor, Vassar College, Department of Anthropology
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas Paleoanthropology, human evolution, growth and development, fossils, brain

I am a biological anthropologist who studies growth and development in humans and our close relatives, both living and extinct. I received my PhD from the University of Michigan in 2012, and have been an assistant professor at Vassar College since 2016.

My research examines the evolution of development broadly, with primary interests in the brain, the fossil species Homo naledi, and modern gibbons. In the classroom, my teaching emphasizes empirical evidence for topics including human variation, primate behavior, climate change, and evolution. I also run the Human Evolution and Development (HEAD) Lab, giving students hands-on opportunities to study how we became human. See my website ( for more information.

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Geographic Areas of Expertise International
Sub-Saharan Africa