I am a biological anthropologist specializing in paleoanthropology. I describe myself as an anthropologist who studies human evolution. I was trained at the University of Illinois Urbana as a student of Eugene Giles; my 1969 Ph.D. dissertation on Metric Trends in Hominid Dental Evolution was the first in biological anthropology to rely on computer analysis of a large data set. My background combines human anatomy, evolutionary theory, population genetics, and biomechanics, as applied to my study of the human and non-human primate fossil record, for the most part in the museums and laboratories where the fossils are stored.
I am the author of 8 books and monographs and numerous papers on human evolution and related wide-ranging topics such as allometry, phylogeny, dental development and tooth wear, sexual dimorphism, and the role of genetics in paleoanthropological research. My research has been international, in the many countries where human and primate fossils have been found, and I have addressed evolutionary issues from virtually all time periods of human and pre-human evolution, from hominid origins to the appearance and evolution of modern Homo sapiens. But I consider myself a generalist, with interests in the broad patterns of human evolution and their causes. Thusly, I am a leading supporter of the Multiregional Evolution Hypothesis (I coined the term) that describes Pleistocene human evolution in Homo sapiens as a pattern of long-term adaptive changes in central (African) and peripheral populations connected by gene flow.
I have been at the University of Michigan since 1971. My 24 Ph.Ds, (14 women, 10 men) are distinguished researchers and teachers, including many anthropology department chairs, presidents of the American Association of Physical Anthropology and an editor of its journal, presidents of BAS in the AAA, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an award-winning author. I am a proud husband, father, and grandparent.