EducationAbout Me


University of California, Santa Cruz

B.A., 1991; M.A., 2003; Ph.D., 2004


University of California, Riverside

M.A., 1994 

Other Affiliations

Honorary Research Fellow

Centre for the Exploration of the Deep Human Journey

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Affiliate Faculty

Anthropology Department

California State University, Stanislaus

Works Published

2020.  Debra R. Bolter and Noel Cameron.  Utilizing auxology to understand ontogeny of extinct hominins: a case study on Homo naledi.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology, June 15.

2020.  Debra R. Bolter, Marina C. Elliott, John Hawks, Lee R. Berger.  Immature remains and the first partial skeleton of a juvenile Homo naledi, a late Middle Pleistocene hominin from South Africa. PLOS One.  April 1, 2020.

Link to review of articleNational Geographic April 1, 2020

Link to review of article: Newsweek April 1, 2020

2018.  Debra R. Bolter, John Hawks, Barry Bogin, Noel Cameron.  Palaeodemographics of individuals in Dinaledi Chamber using dental remains.  South African Journal of Science, 114(1/2), Jan/Feb 2018.  DOI: 10.17159/sajs.2018/20170066

Link to review of article:  South African Times Feb 4, 2018

2017.  Noel Cameron, Barry Bogin, Debra R. Bolter, Lee R Berger.  The post-cranial skeletal maturation of Australopithecus sediba.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 2 MAY 2017, DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23234.

2015.  Lee R Berger, John Hawks, Darryl J de Ruiter, Steven E Churchill,
Peter Schmid, Lucas K Delezene, Tracy L Kivell, Heather M Garvin, Scott A Williams, Jeremy M DeSilva, Matthew M Skinner, Charles M Musiba, Noel Cameron, Trenton W Holliday, William Harcourt-Smith, Rebecca R Ackermann, Markus Bastir, Barry Bogin, Debra R. Bolter, Juliet Brophy, Zachary D Cofran, Kimberly A Congdon, Andrew S Deane, Mana Dembo, Michelle Drapeau, Marina C Elliott, Elen M Feuerriegel, Daniel Garcia-Martinez, David J Green, Alia Gurtov, Joel D Irish, Ashley Kruger, Myra F Laird, Damiano Marchi, Marc R Meyer, Shahed Nalla, Enquye W Negash, Caley M Orr, Davorka Radovcic, Lauren Schroeder, Jill E Scott, Zachary Throckmorton, Matthew W Tocheri, Caroline VanSickle, Christopher S Walker, Pianpian Wei, Bernhard Zipfel. Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.  eLife 2015;4:e09560.  September 10.

Link to review of article:  BBC September 10, 2015

2015  A.L. Zihlman and D.R. Bolter.  Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution. (weblink to abstract).  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1505071112

Link to review of article:  IFLScience June 2, 2015

2013  J. Kelley and D.R. Bolter. Growth, development and life history in hominin evolution. Invited paper for Companion to Paleoanthropology. David Begun (ed), Wiley-Blackwell Press, pp. 97-117.

2012  D.R. Bolter and A.L. Zihlman. Skeletal development in Pan paniscus with comparisons to Pan troglodytes.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 147:629-636.

2011   D.R. Bolter and A.L. Zihlman.  Dental developmental timing in captive  Pan paniscus with comparisons to Pan troglodytes.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 145:647-652.

2011   D.R. Bolter and A.L. Zihlman. Primate growth and development: a functional  and evolutionary approach. Invited paper for Primates in Perspective, 2nd ed. S. Bearder, C. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K. McKinnon, editors. Oxford University Press. Pgs. 408-422.

2011   D.R. Bolter. A comparative study of growth patterns in crested langurs and vervet monkeys. Anatomy Research International. Volume 2011 (2011).

2007   A.L. Zihlman, D.R. Bolter and C. Boesch. Growth and development in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) from Taï National Forest, Cote d'Ivorie. Journal of Zoology London. 273: 63-73.

2004   A.L. Zihlman, D.R. Bolter, and C. Boesch. Wild chimpanzee dentition and its implications for assessing life history in immature hominid fossils. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 101 (29): 10541-10543.

Link to review of article:  UCSC Currents July 26, 2004

2004   A. L. Zihlman and D.R. BolterMammalian and primate roots of human socialityInvited paper for Origin and Nature of Sociality among Nonhuman and Human Primates. Robert Sussman and Audrey Chapman (eds). Aldine de Gruyter, New York, pp. 21-52.

2004   D.R. Bolter.  Anatomical growth patterns in colobine monkeys andimplications for primate evolution (Trachypithecus cristata, Presbytis rubicunda, Nasalis larvatus).  PhD Dissertation. University of California, Santa Cruz.

2003   D.R. Bolter and A.L. Zihlman. Morphometric analysis of growth and development in wild-collected vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops), with implications for growth patterns across Old World monkeys, apes and humans. Journal of Zoology, London 260(1): 99-110.

MH1 Au. sediba

Above: Research on MH1, Au. sediba, at Wits U, South Africa. 
Left: Research and dissection with Adrienne Zihlman at UC Santa Cruz.  
Below: Botany survey on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, with Nahirí Rivera, Caribbean Primate Research Center.
Botany collection_Cayo Santiago

Debi Bolter at GVM exhibit opening

Above: At MJC's Great Valley Museum's H. naledi exhibit. Photo:Garry Hayes Geotripper Blog.  

Below: Display set up of H. naledi, Maropeng, South Africa. With Drs. Marina Elliott and Bonita de Klerk. 

Maropeng, Display set up Homo naledi