University of California Museum of Paleontology UCMP in the field See the world (and its fossils) with UCMP's field notes.
About UCMP People Blog Online Exhibits Public programs Education Collections Research
About UCMP : Contact UCMP

Tesla Monson
Hlusko Lab

Tesla Monson


Phone: (510) 643-8851

Web page:

My research focuses on the evolution of mammalian craniodental variation, the genetic architecture of morphological patterning, and the evolution of adaptive traits. My projects have included quantitative analyses of primate dentition, the characterization of extant and fossil species variation, the evolution of phenotypic integration of the cranium and face as well as museum-based reports on paleontological collections. For my dissertation, I am investigating the evolution of dental eruption patterns in mammals.

In addition to my strong focus on research, I am committed to science education and outreach. My service with museums and committees is complimented by my long-standing work as the host and producer of The Graduates, a science radio talk show broadcast bimonthly on KALX 90.7FM and available as a podcast. The Graduates features UC Berkeley graduate student research and is committed to advancing diversity in STEM, highlighting paths to research and providing advice to younger generations of students interested in science.


Hlusko, L.J., C.A. Schmitt, T.A. Monson, M.F. Brasil, and M.C. Mahaney. 2016. The integration of quantitative genetics, paleontology, and neontology reveals genetic underpinnings of primate dental evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113(33):9262 - 9267.   Read it

Monson, T. A., Brasil, M. F., and Hlusko, L. J. 2015. Materials collected by the southern branch of the UC Africa Expedition with a report on previously unpublished Plio-Pleistocene fossil localities. PaleoBios. 32(1):1-17.  Read it

Monson, T.A. and L.J. Hlusko. 2014. Identification of a derived dental trait in the papionini relative to other old world monkeys. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 155(3):422-429.  Read it

Gutierrez, S., T. Monson, and L.J. Hlusko. 2013. An analysis of Struthio sp. eggshells from the Middle and Late Stone Age of the Transvaal, South Africa. SACNAS, Santa Cruz. 40:84. Notes: Abstract for a poster presentation  Read it

Marquez II, B., T. Monson, and L.J. Hlusko. 2013. The bovidae of Gladysvale Cave and the environmental implications in the context of other fossil-bearing localities in the northern Transvaal region, South Africa. SACNAS, Santa Cruz. 40:83. Notes: Abstract for a poster presentation  Read it

Monson, T., and L.J. Hlusko. 2012. Metameric variation in the expression of the interconulus in Papio and Macaca. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 147:216 Notes: Abstract for poster presentation  Read it