Amanda Spriggs

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

Contact:
amanda.n.spriggs@gmail.com

Research Interests:
Primate Coloration, Visual Systems, Functional Morphology

Area of Study / Field site:
Madagascar/Natural history collections

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

CV Link

I am a biological anthropologists 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 explored 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 used digital photography and method of color analysis called Eigencoats, developed by myself and Adam Gordon, 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.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE & DISTINCTIONS

PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS

Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology & Health Sciences, Russell Sage College (Aug. 2017–current)
Instructor of Record/Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Univ. 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)

Teaching Experience
Names and catalog numbers for organized courses are followed by the semester and year in which they were
taught. * indicates the course was taught completely online. Courses are organized by institution:
Instructor of Record
Russell Sage College
 Seminar in Biology: Evolutionary Medicine (BIO 450): Sp18
 Research Methods for the Health Sciences (HSC 450): F17
 Complementary and Alternative Medicine (HSC 210): F17, Sp18
University at Albany-SUNY
 Topics in Human Biology: Evolutionary Medicine (AANT 416): Sp18
 Introduction to Primates (AANT 111): F14, Su15*, Wi16*, Su15*, F16, Sp17, Su17*,Wi18*
 Primate Evolutionary Biology (AANT 416): F14
 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (AANT 316): Su14
 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (AANT 318): Su13
University of Charleston
 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (BIOL 251): F10
 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (BIOL 252): Sp11
 Introduction to Biology (non-majors) (NSCI 120): F10, Sp11
 Science Behind the News (NSCI 116): F10, Sp11
Marshall University
 Human Anatomy (BSC 227): F09, Sp10
Teaching Assistant
University at Albany-SUNY
 Introduction to Human Evolution (AANT 110): F12
 Human Anatomy & Physiology I (AANT 316): F11
 Human Anatomy & Physiology II (AANT 318): Sp12, Sp13
Marshall University
 Human Anatomy (BSC 227): F07, Sp08, F08, Sp09, Su10
Advising
Advisor for Human Biology Undergraduates, University at Albany-SUNY: F14

External Research Funding
2008 Received grant funding from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in the amount of
$7,194 to conduct a survey on the status and distribution of the Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens
Internal Research Funding
2013 The Susan Van Horn-Shipherd ’64 Women in Science Scholarship (Initiatives For Women Award)
2012 University at Albany-SUNY GSEU Professional Development Award
2008 Received grant funding from the Marshall University Graduate College in the amount of $500 to
conduct a survey on the status and distribution of the Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens

Awards and Honors
2016 AAPA Committee on Diversity Women’s Initiative Workshop Participation Award - $200 for travel
2015 University at Albany-SUNY Graduate Student Travel Award - $375 for travel to American
Association of Physical Anthropologists conference
2014 University at Albany-SUNY Graduate Student Travel Award - $230 for travel to American
Association of Physical Anthropologists conference
2014 AAPA William S. Pollitzer Student Travel Award Recipient - $500 for travel
2012 University at Albany-SUNY Graduate Student Travel Award - $275 for travel to American
Association of Physical Anthropologists conference
2007 University of Charleston Women in Science Award
2006 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Participant
2003 University of Charleston Welch Colleague Scholarship Recipient
2003 West Virginia Promise Scholarship Recipient

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
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 (5): 232-238.