Amanda Spriggs

Ph.D. Anthropology, University at Albany - SUNY [In Progress]
M.S. Biological Sciences, Marshall University, 2009
B.S. Biology, University of Charleston, 2007


Research Interests:
Primate Coloration, Visual Systems, Functional Morphology

Area of Study / Field site:

Academic Advisor & Subfield:
Dr. Adam Gordon; Biological Anthropology

CV Link

I am a biological anthropology PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University at Albany. I am interested in better understanding visual signals that primates use and the selection pressures that act on the presence or absence of these signals. For my dissertation, I am exploring if and how lemurs use visual signals in pelage to communicate quality to conspecifics, identity to congenerics, and to camouflage from predators. To address my research questions, I use digital photography to quantify and analyze coloration of museum preserved lemur skins. In order to accurately explore primate coloration, it is important to also understand primate visual systems. Like many platyrrhines, lemurs experience polymorphic trichromacy, which results in all males and some females being functionally color blind and some females possessing trichromacy (the ability to distinguish between red, green, and blue). I am interested in understanding the selection pressures that have driven and maintain this variation, and in determining if reproductive success is linked with certain visual systems.


-Instructor of Record, Department of Anthropology, University at Albany – SUNY (May 2013-current)
-Research Assistant, Anthropology Department, The George Washington University (Feb. 2015-Aug. 2016)
-Instructor, Department of Arts and Natural Sciences, University of Charleston (Aug. 2010-May 2011)
-Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences, Marshall University (Aug. 2009-May 2010)

Instructor of Record
University at Albany-SUNY
-Introduction to Primates (AANT 111): Fa14, Su15-online, Wi16-online, Fa16
-Primate Evolution (AANT 416): Fa14
-Human Anatomy & Physiology I (AANT 316): Su14
-Human Anatomy & Physiology II (AANT 318): Su13
University of Charleston
-Human Anatomy & Physiology I (BIOL 251): Fa10
-Human Anatomy & Physiology II (BIOL 252): Sp11
-Introduction to Biology (non-majors) (NSCI 120): Fa10, Sp11
-Science Behind the News (NSCI 116): Fa10, Sp11
Marshall University
-Human Anatomy (BSC 227): Fa09, Sp10
Teaching Assistant
University at Albany-SUNY
-Introduction to Human Evolution (AANT 110): Fa12
-Human Anatomy & Physiology I (AANT 316): Fa11
-Human Anatomy & Physiology II (AANT 318): Sp12, Sp13
Marshall University
-Human Anatomy (BSC 227): Fa07, Sp08, Fa08, Sp09, Su10

-2016, AAPA Committee on Diversity Women’s Initiative Workshop Participation Award
-2015, University at Albany-SUNY Graduate Student Travel Award
-2014, University at Albany-SUNY Graduate Student Travel Award
-2014, AAPA William S. Pollitzer Student Travel Award Recipient 
-2013, The Susan Van Horn-Shipherd ’64 Women in Science Scholarship (Initiatives For Women Award)
-2012, University at Albany-SUNY Graduate Student Travel Award 
-2012, University at Albany-SUNY GSEU Professional Development Award
-2012, AAPA William S. Pollitzer Student Travel Award
-2007, University of Charleston Women in Science Award
-2006, Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Participant
-2003, Welch Colleague Scholarship Recipient
-2003, Promise Scholarship Recipient


-Jacobs RL, MacFie TS, Spriggs AN, Baden AL, Morelli, TL, Irwin MT, Lawler RR, Pastorini J, Mayor M, Lei R, Culligan R, Hawkins MTR, Kappeler PM, Wright PC, Louis EE, Mundy NI, and Bradley BJ. 2017. Novel opsin gene variation in large-bodied, diurnal lemurs. Biology Letters. 13: 20170050.
-Spriggs AN, Muchlinski MN, Gordon AD. 2016. Does the primate pattern hold up? Testing the functional significance of infraorbital foramen size variation among marsupials. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 160 (1): 30-40.
-Jacobs RL, Spriggs AN, Baden AL, Irwin MT, Wright PC, Louis EE, Lawler RR, Bradley BJ. 2016. Primate genotyping via High Resolution Melt Analysis (HRMA): Rapid and reliable identification of color vision status in wild lemurs. Primates. 57 (4): 541-547.
-Borries C, Sandel AA, Koenig A, Fernandez-Duque E, Kamilar JM, Amoroso CR, Barton RA, Bray J, di Fiore A, Gilby IC, Gordon AD, Mundry R, Port M, Powell L, Pusey AE, Spriggs AN, Nunn CL. 2016. Transparency, usability, and reproducibility: Guiding principles toward improved comparative databases using primates as examples. Evolutionary Anthropology. 25:232-238.