Mary Silcox

Photo of Prof. Mary Silcox
Photo by Ken Jones

Mary Silcox, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, 2001)
Associate Professor, Scarborough Campus (UTSC); Vice-Dean, Graduate, UTSC (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2021)
(416) 208-2791 (Main)
(416) 946-0652 (St. George)
msilcox@utsc.utoronto.ca
Office: MW 388 (Main) and AP 242 (St. George)

Research Keywords: Fossil primates, Paleocene, Eocene, Primate Origins, plesiadapiforms, brain evolution, cladistics

Research Region: North America (Wyoming, Montana)

Website : http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/labs/msilcox/

Courses

UTSC undergraduate:  
ANTA01 – Introduction to Anthropology: Becoming Human
ANTC16 – The Foundation and Theory of Human Origins
ANTC17 – Human Origins: New Discoveries
ANTC99 – Primate Evolution
ANTD99 – Advanced Topics in Primate Evolution

Graduate:
ANT3045 – Advanced Topics in Non-Human Primate Evolution
ANT3046 – Paleoecology in Primate and Human Evolution

Research Bio:

Dr. Silcox is a vertebrate paleontologist, specializing on fossil mammals.  She is particularly interested in using the fossil record to understand the earliest phases of primate evolution.  Much of her work centres on the “Plesiadapiformes”, the first adaptive radiation of primates.  Appearing some 65 million years ago, plesiadapiforms diversified into over 140 known species, with a broad range of dietary and locomotor specializations.  Dr. Silcox regularly does fieldwork in the Western United States (Wyoming, Montana) to enrich the fossil record for this and other Paleocene and Eocene mammalian groups.  Particular areas of recent focus include the evolution of the brain in early primates, and clarifying the evolutionary position of Primates in the broader phylogenetic context of Mammalia.

Selected Recent Publications:

2016 Bertrand, O.C.,  F. Amador-Mughal, M.T. SilcoxVirtual endocasts of Eocene Paramys (Paramyinae): oldest endocranial record for Rodentia and early brain evolution in Euarchontoglires. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 283: 20152316.

2015 M.T. Silcox, E.J. Sargis, J.I. Bloch, D.M. Boyer. Primate Origins and Supraordinal Relationships: Morphological Evidence. Pp. 1053-1081 In (W. Henke and I. Tattersall, Eds.) Handbook of Palaeoanthropology, 2nd edition. DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-39979-4_29 1053

2015 C.L. Manz, S.G.B. Chester, J.I. Bloch, M.T. Silcox, E.J. Sargis. New partial skeletons of Palaeocene Nyctitheriidae and evaluation of proposed euarchontan affinities. Biology Letters 11: 20140911. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2014.0911.

2014 M.T. Silcox. A Pragmatic Approach to the Species Problem from a Paleontological Perspective. Evolutionary Anthropology 23:24-26.

2013 M.T. Silcox. Primate origins. Pp. 339-357 In D. Begun (Ed.) A Companion to Paleoanthropology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

2013. O’Leary, M.A., J.I. Bloch, J.J. Flynn, T. J. Gaudin, A.Giallombardo, N.P. Giannini, S.L. Goldberg, B.P. Kraatz, Z.-X. Luo,  J. Meng, X. Ni, M.J. Novacek, F.A. Perini, Z.S. Randall, G.W. Rougier, E.J. Sargis., M.T. Silcox, N.B. Simmons, M. Spaulding, P.M. Velazco, M. Weksler, J.R. Wible, A. L. Cirranello.  The Placental Mammal Ancestor and the Post–K-Pg Radiation of Placentals.  Science 339: 662-667.

2012. Silcox, M.T., T. E. Williamson.  New discoveries of early Paleocene (Torrejonian) primates from the Nacimiento Formation, San Juan Basin, New Mexico.  Journal of Human Evolution 63: 805-833.

2012. Ryan, T.M., M.T. Silcox, A. Walker, X. Mao, D.R. Begun, B.R. Benefit, P.D. Gingerich, M. Köhler, L. Kordos, M.L. McCrossin, S. Moyà-Solà, W.J. Sanders, E.R. Seiffert, E. Simons, I.S. Zalmout, F. Spoor. Evolution of locomotion in Anthropoidea: the semicircular canal evidence.  Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279: 3467-3475.

2011. Silcox M.T., C.K. Dalmyn, A. Hrenchuk, J.I. Bloch, D.M. Boyer, P. Houde.  Endocranial morphology of Labidolemur kayi (Apatemyidae, Apatotheria) and its relevance to the study of brain evolution in Euarchontoglires.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31: 1314-1325.

2010.  Silcox, M.T., A.E. Benham, J.I. Bloch.  Endocasts of Microsyops (Microsyopidae, Primates) and the evolution of the brain in primitive primates.  Journal of Human Evolution 58: 505-521.

2010. Silcox, M.T., J.I. Bloch, D.M. Boyer, P. Houde. Cranial anatomy of Paleocene and Eocene Labidolemur kayi (Mammalia: Apatotheria) and the relationships of the Apatemyidae to other mammals.  Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 160: 773-825.

Graduate Students

Photo of Sergi López-Torres
Sergi López-Torres
photo of Keegan Selig
Keegan Selig
Photo of Amber Walker-Bolton
Amber Walker-Bolton