Thomas Rein

Assistant Professor


Contact Information

Phone: (860) 832-2614


Office Hours

Tues: 3:30pm – 5:009m

Wed: 1:30pm - 4:30pm

Thur: 3:30pm to 5:30pm

and by appointment

Tom Rein is a biological anthropologist and assistant professor at Central Connecticut State University. He received his B.A. in anthropology from Columbia University in 2003. He then obtained his M.A. in anthropology from New York University in 2006 and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the same institution in 2010. He performed his postdoctoral work at the University of Tuebingen in Germany under the auspices of a Volkswagen Foundation Fellowship.

Dr. Rein’s research interests include human evolution, functional morphology, the hominin fossil record, and primate locomotor behavior. Using geometric morphometrics and virtual anthropology, he examines variation in the shape of the primate limb skeleton in order to infer locomotor adaptation from primate fossils. He studies both the external shape and cross-sectional properties of long bones using computed tomography scans. During his time as a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Rein performed fieldwork at fossil sites in Tanzania, studied new Neanderthal remains from southern Greece, and collected data at research institutions in North America, Europe, and Africa.

His most recent published research examined adaptation to movement in trees via forelimb suspensory locomotion in two early hominins, Australopithecus sediba and Australopithecus afarensis (see publication list below).


Selected Publications

Rein TR, Harrison T, Carlson KJ, Harvati K. 2017. Adaptation to suspensory locomotion in Australopithecus sediba. Journal of Human Evolution. 104: 1-12

Harrison T, Rein TR. The hand of fossil non-hominoid anthropoids. 2016. In Kivell T, Lemelin P, Richmond BG, Schmitt D. (eds). The Evolution of the Primate Hand: Perspectives from Anatomical, Developmental, Functional and Paleontological Evidence. Springer, New York. pp. 455-483.

Rein TR, Harvati K, Harrison T. 2015. Inferring the use of suspensory locomotion by extinct species via shape exploration of the ulna. Journal of Human Evolution. 78:70-79.

Rein TR, Harvati K. 2014. Geometric morphometrics and virtual anthropology: advances in human evolutionary studies. Anthropologischer Anzeiger, 71(1-2): 41-55.

Harvati K, Darlas A, Bailey S, Rein TR, El Zaatari S, Fiorenza L, Kullmer O, Psathi E. 2013. New Neanderthal remains from Mani peninsula, Southern Greece: The Kalamakia Middle Palaeolithic cave site. Journal of Human Evolution, 64(6):486-499.

Rein TR, Harvati K. 2013. Exploring third metacarpal capitate facet shape in early hominins. The Anatomical Record, 296(2): 240-249.

Rein TR, McCarty LA. 2012. Metacarpophalangeal joint orientation in anthropoid manual phalanges. The Anatomical Record, 295(12): 2057-2068. 

Rein TR. 2011. The correspondence between proximal phalanx morphology and locomotion: Implications for inferring the locomotor behavior of fossil catarrhines. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 146(3): 435-445.

Rein TR, Harrison T, Zollikofer CPE. 2011. Skeletal correlates of quadrupedalism and climbing in the anthropoid forelimb: Implications for inferring locomotion in Miocene catarrhines. Journal of Human Evolution, 61(5): 564-574.

Sherwood CC, Cranfield MR, Mehlman PT, Lilly AA, Garbe J, Whittier C, Nutter F, Rein TR, Bruner HJ, Holloway RL, Cheuk Tang Y, Naidich TP, Delman BN, Steklis HD, Erwin JM, Hof PR. 2004. Brain structure variation in great apes, with attention to the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). American Journal of Primatology, 63(3): 49-164.


Rein’s courses include

ANTH 160 Introduction to Biological Anthropology

ANTH 161 Introduction to Biological Anthropology Laboratory

ANTH 220 Introduction to Forensic Anthropology

ANTH 250 Introduction to the Primates

ANTH 335 Theories of Human Evolution and Behavior

ANTH 365 The Anthropology of Human Differences

ANTH 373 Methods in Biological Anthropology

ANTH 452 Field School in Biological Anthropology

ANTH 475 Topics in Anthropology - The Human Fossil Record