My research program is centered on the study of great ape and human evolution. Teeth are the most abundant elements in primate fossil assemblages, are under a strong degree of genetic control, and contain the most precise developmental records of any physiological system in the body. Tooth microstructure, a primary focus of my research, is critically important for understanding development and evolution as incremental lines permanently record each day of enamel and dentine formation, remaining unchanged for millions of years. These tiny growth lines can be used to accurately determine age at death in juvenile dentitions, as well as the precise timing of childhood diet transitions, physiological stress (including birth), and environmental variation. Furthermore, dental development is correlated with primate life history, or the overall pace of growth and reproduction. My research program encompasses aspects of paleoanthropology, oral biology, and elemental chemistry, and employs fundamental histological (microscopic) approaches as well as state-of-the-art elemental and X-ray imaging techniques. In order to augment these approaches I have assembled an international collaborative network, including experts who recover great ape and human fossil material, pioneer imaging methods, and study living great apes in the wild. Our work has led to a major revision of how we understand dental development in our closest living relative, the chimpanzee; introduced and validated powerful methods for the study of tooth growth and mineralization; and demonstrated that living and fossil Homo sapiens have a prolonged period of dental development relative to Neanderthals and earlier hominins. Ultimately, I am motivated by a desire to understand fully how teeth grow, why they vary, and how this information can advance the field of human evolutionary biology.