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Adam Vogt

School of General Studies '24


Lily Kuhn
Board Editor

Barnard College '25

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Juliet Aze

School of General Studies '23


Rahele Megosha
Board Editor
Columbia College '25

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Barbara Cheng
Board Editor
School of General Studies '23

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Hailee Olson
Board Editor
School of General Studies '23

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Isabella Dayani
Board Editor
School of General Studies '24


Ana Reif
Board Editor
Columbia College '24


Emi Gaçaj
Board Editor
Columbia College '26

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Madison Rifenberick
Board Editor
Columbia College '24


Professor Jill Shapiro, PhD

Sapient Faculty Advisor &

Director of Undergraduate Studies 

Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species (EBHS) at Columbia University

A special thank you to Kyle Bukhari,

E3B Director of Administration and Finance

Vol. 8, Fall 2021

Dear reader,


On behalf of the editorial board and our faculty advisor Dr. Jill Shapiro, I am proud to share the eighth volume of Sapient, Columbia University’s Undergraduate Journal of Biological Anthropology. The papers included in our Fall 2021 edition showcase impressive and thought-provoking research by undergraduate biological anthropology students from Columbia and other institutions around the country.


Nine years ago, the founding editors of Sapient set out to encourage intellectual curiosity in biological anthropology, with a particular focus on four specific domains: human variation and genetics; evolutionary history and theory; primate behavior and ecology; and paleoarchaeology and morphology. Sapient’s goal has always been to include compelling papers on a wide range of topics, and we hope that this issue does so as well as previous volumes have. 


Unlike the editions before it, Sapient’s eighth volume is the product of more than a year of working exclusively online—virtually holding meetings, editing papers, and reviewing the issue’s visual art. Despite the imperfections of running a campus journal remotely, Sapient has seen a number of successes in the last year, including receiving the greatest number of written submissions in the journal’s recent history. This abundance of interest has made for an excellent edition, and I am proud to publish every work in this volume.


As Sapient’s longest-running editor in chief, I am also proud of how the journal has grown since the beginning of my tenure. In the last two and a half years, Sapient has published two volumes, held two in-person events for Columbia’s EBHS community, introduced a new focus on visual art, updated its website, and created stickers to promote the journal. None of these developments would have been possible without the creativity and enthusiasm of Emma Gometz and Aeja Rosette, to whom I am extremely grateful. I am eager to see how the journal flourishes under Aeja’s leadership this year.


To those reading this volume: thank you for making our work worthwhile. We hope you appreciate the eighth edition of Sapient as much as we enjoyed creating it. 


Ruby Mustill


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