Riashna Sithaldeen’s research is focused on capturing contemporary and historical genetic variation within modern primates (e.g. baboons) in southern Africa. The aim of this work is to investigate how this variation has been shaped by evolution, and especially species behaviour in response to shifting landscapes. Ultimately, this research has potential for modelling aspects of early human ecology, especially as our ancestors are known to have occupied similar niches to non-human primates in the past.
Projects currently include phylogeographic reconstructions of target populations, genetic structure analysis, correlation of genetic and morphological diversity and the identification of diversity hotspots. Ongoing field and lab contributions continue to add to this work and will allow for large-scale, high resolution reconstructions of the palaeodynamics of this primate.