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1 - Charles Oxnard: an appreciation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 August 2009

Matt Cartmill
Affiliation:
Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3170, Durham, NC 27710, USA
Fred Anapol
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Rebecca Z. German
Affiliation:
University of Cincinnati
Nina G. Jablonski
Affiliation:
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
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Summary

In an extraordinary scientific career extending across the whole second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, Charles Oxnard has placed his unique stamp on nearly every aspect of biological anthropology. He has profoundly influenced the growth and direction of our discipline all around the world, beginning in Europe and moving westward through North America to Asia and Australia. His research accomplishments have been almost as global as his residence patterns. When we think of his work as a whole, we tend to think first of his morphometric work – his lifelong quest for finding reliable ways of taking huge numbers of data or complicated shapes, and crunching them into simpler functions that reveal a small number of underlying patterns reflecting diet, or locomotor behavior, or phylogeny. And most of us think mainly of the works in which Oxnard has applied these approaches to the study of primate and human evolution. But a glance at Oxnard's long bibliography shows an amazingly diverse span of other work, from classical comparative studies of primate anatomy down through studies of growth and development, bone biology, and vitamin B12 metabolism in primates, to the patterns and causes of sexual dimorphism, lower back pain, and osteoporosis in aging. In this introductory chapter, I intend only to sketch briefly the story of what I take to be the central theme in Charles Oxnard's career as a scientist – namely, primate biometrics and its implications for human evolution.

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Shaping Primate Evolution
Form, Function, and Behavior
, pp. 1 - 8
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

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  • Charles Oxnard: an appreciation
    • By Matt Cartmill, Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3170, Durham, NC 27710, USA
  • Edited by Fred Anapol, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Rebecca Z. German, University of Cincinnati, Nina G. Jablonski, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
  • Book: Shaping Primate Evolution
  • Online publication: 10 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511542336.002
Available formats
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Charles Oxnard: an appreciation
    • By Matt Cartmill, Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3170, Durham, NC 27710, USA
  • Edited by Fred Anapol, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Rebecca Z. German, University of Cincinnati, Nina G. Jablonski, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
  • Book: Shaping Primate Evolution
  • Online publication: 10 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511542336.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Charles Oxnard: an appreciation
    • By Matt Cartmill, Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3170, Durham, NC 27710, USA
  • Edited by Fred Anapol, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Rebecca Z. German, University of Cincinnati, Nina G. Jablonski, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
  • Book: Shaping Primate Evolution
  • Online publication: 10 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511542336.002
Available formats
×