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Tesla studies patterns of morphological variation in primate dentition with a focus on Old World Monkeys. Her current work explores the expression of the interconulus, a maxillary molar trait, and the interconulid, a mandibular molar trait. While presence/absence, asymmetry and dimorphism have all factored into her analysis, Tesla's primary interest centers on patterns of trait expression within the dental arcade and across primate genera.
The heritability of many dental traits and general robustness of dentition within the fossil record make the interconulus and interconulid prime models for evaluating patterns of expression. Preliminary results show no significant asymmetry or dimorphism in the expression of the interconulus or interconulid, although expression strength and the pattern of the expression appear to vary significantly between Old World Monkey genera including Macaca mulatta, Macaca fascicularis, Papio hamadrayas, Presbytis rubicunda, Presbytis melalophos, Colobus guereza and Cercopithecus mitis.