Eric Castillo is an incoming postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Anthropology at Hunter College. He received his A.B. in anthropology from Washington University in Saint Louis and his A.M. and Ph.D. in human evolutionary biology from Harvard University, where he worked with Professor Daniel Lieberman to study the evolutionary biomechanics of the human lumbar spine. During his graduate studies, Castillo was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and he received several teaching distinctions in addition to an award from the American Association of Anatomists for his thesis research.
Castillo studies the evolution of human anatomy and physiology to understand the competing selection pressures that have shaped our biology in the context of modern health. His thesis work combined biomechanical modeling, controlled lab experiments, evidence from the fossil record and field studies of humans around the world to explore the origins and functional consequences of variations in spinal posture. His future research aims to study how recent changes in human behavior, such as increased sedentism, may affect global variations in, causes of and potential treatments for various musculoskeletal disorders.