You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom,
it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A
rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes.
- J.B.S. Haldane, "On Being the Right Size" (1926)
The splashing of the horse vividly illustrates an important point: size matters. And so does shape. Variation in size and shape (i.e., form) plays a central role in most evolutionary questions, and I am broadly interested in the evolution of size and shape in non-human primates, modern humans, and our fossil relatives. Among other things, my work attempts to identify the relative importance of ecological and sexual selection pressures in producing the size and shape variation found in living and extinct primates at various levels of taxonomic scale, ranging from intrapopulation comparisons within subspecies to broad comparative analyses across the Order Primates. I am particularly interested in identifying metabolic constraints on body size and sex-specific responses to resource stress and other ecological variables in primates, including fossil hominins. In addition, I'm interested in methodological questions related to analyzing variation in incomplete datasets such as those typically associated with fossil and zooarchaeological settings.
Department of Anthropology
University at Albany - SUNY
Arts & Sciences Building, Room 237
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
email: agordon [at] albany.edu