Adam Gordon

Office: Arts & Sciences Building, Room 246
Ph: (518) 442-4772
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2004    Curriculum Vitae

Adam Gordon

Interests: Paleoanthropology, primate evolutionary morphology, primate ecology

Areas: Madagascar, Africa, Asia, Neotropics

Research Statement
Adam Gordon is a physical anthropologist with interests in the evolution of size and shape in non-human primates, modern humans, and our fossil ancestors.  His work attempts to identify the relative importance of ecological and social selection pressures in producing the size and shape variation found in living primates at various levels of taxonomic scale, ranging from intrapopulation comparisons within subspecies to broad comparative analyses across the Order Primates.  Dr. Gordon is particularly interested in identifying sex-specific responses to resource stress in primates, including fossil hominins.  In addition, he is broadly interested in methodological questions related to analyzing variation in incomplete datasets such as those typically associated with fossil and zooarchaeological settings, and has developed new techniques for comparative statistical analysis of hominin fossil data.

Select Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications


Pontzer H, Raichlen DA, Gordon AD, Schroepfer-Walker KK, Hare B, O’Neill MC, Muldoon KM, Dunsworth HM, Wood BM, Isler K, Burkart J, Irwin M, Shumaker RW, Lonsdorf EV, Ross SR. Primate energy expenditure and life history. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 111:1433-1437.

Raichlen DA, Wood BM, Gordon AD, Mabulla AZP, Marolwe FW, Pontzer H. Evidence of Lévy walk foraging patterns in human hunter–gatherers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 111:728–733.


Borries C, Gordon AD, Koenig A. Beware of primate life history data: a plea for data standards and a repository. PLoS ONE. 8(6):e67200.

Gordon AD. Sexual size dimorphism in Australopithecus: current understanding and new directions. In Reed KE, Fleagle JG, and Leakey RE, eds.: The Paleobiology of Australopithecus. Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series. Springer. pp.195-212.

Gordon AD, Johnson SE, Louis EE Jr. Females are the ecological sex: Sex-specific body mass ecogeography in wild sifaka populations (Propithecus spp.). American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 151:77-87.

Gordon AD, Marcus E, Wood B. Great ape skeletal collections: making the most of scarce and irreplaceable resources in the Digital Age. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology (American Journal of Physical Anthropology Supplement 57). 152:2-32.

Gordon AD, Wood B. Evaluating the use of pairwise dissimilarity metrics in paleoanthropology. Journal of Human Evolution. 65:465-477.

Rolian C, Gordon AD. Reassessing manual proportions in Australopithecus afarensis. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 152:393-406.

Venkataraman VV, Rolian C, Gordon AD, Patel BA. A resampling approach and implications for estimating the Phalangeal Index from unassociated hand bones in fossil primates. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 151:280-289.


O’Mara MT, Gordon AD, Catlett KK, Terranova CJ, Schwartz GT. Growth and the development of sexual size dimorphism in lorises and galagos. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 147:11-20.

Williams EMS, Gordon AD, Richmond BG. Hand pressure distribution during Oldowan stone tool production. Journal of Human Evolution. 48:520-532.


Raichlen DA, Gordon AD. Relationship between exercise capacity and brain size in mammals. PLoS ONE. 6:e20601.

Raichlen DA, Gordon AD, Sechrest W. Bioenergetic constraints on primate abundance. International Journal of Primatology. 32:118-133.

Sherwood CC, Gordon AD, Allen JS, Phillips KA, Erwin JM, Hof PR, Hopkins WD. Aging of the cerebral cortex differs between humans and chimpanzees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 108:13029-13034.


Griffin NL, D’Août K, Richmond B, Gordon A, Aerts P. Comparative in vivo forefoot kinematics of Homo sapiens and Pan paniscus. Journal of Human Evolution. 59:608-619.

Raichlen DA, Gordon AD, Harcourt-Smith WEH, Foster AD, Haas Jr. WR. Laetoli footprints preserve earliest direct evidence of human-like bipedal biomechanics. PLoS ONE. 5:e9769.

Raichlen DA, Gordon AD, Muchlinski MN, Snodgrass JJ. Causes and significance of variation in mammalian basal metabolism. Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 180:301-311.

Williams EMS, Gordon AD, Richmond BG. Upper limb kinematics and the role of the wrist during stone tool production. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 143:134-145.


Faith JT, Domínguez-Rodrigo M, Gordon AD. Long-distance carcass transport at Olduvai Gorge? A quantitative examination of Bed I skeletal element abundances. Journal of Human Evolution. 56:247-256.


Gordon AD, Green DJ, and Richmond BG. Strong postcranial size dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis: results from two new multivariate resampling methods for multivariate data sets with missing data. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 135:311-328.

Gordon AD, Nevell L, and Wood B. The Homo floresiensis cranium (LB1): Size, scaling, and early Homo affinities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 105:4650-4655.

Green DJ and Gordon AD. Metacarpal proportions in Australopithecus africanus. Journal of Human Evolution. 54:705-719.

Griffin NL, Gordon AD, Richmond BG, and Antón SC. Cross-sectional geometric analysis of a foot bone assemblage from Mangaia, Cook Islands. HOMO-Journal of Comparative Human Biology. 59:27-40.


Faith JT and Gordon AD. Skeletal element abundances in archaeofaunal assemblages: Economic utility, sample size, and assessment of carcass transport strategies. Journal of Archaeological Science. 34:872-882.

Green DJ, Gordon AD, and Richmond BG. Limb size proportions in Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus africanus. Journal of Human Evolution. 52:187-200.


Gordon AD. Scaling of size and dimorphism in primates I: Microevolution. International Journal of Primatology. 27:27-61.

Gordon AD. Scaling of size and dimorphism in primates II: Macroevolution. International Journal of Primatology. 27:63-105.

Skinner MM, Gordon AD, and Collard NJ. Mandibular size and shape variation in the hominins at Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia. Journal of Human Evolution. 51:36-49.


Johnson SE, Gordon AD, Stumpf RM, Overdorff DJ, and Wright P. Morphological variation in populations of Eulemur albocollaris and E. fulvus rufus. International Journal of Primatology. 26:1399-1416.


Kappelman J, Rasmussen DT, Sanders WJ, Feseha M, Bown T, Copeland P, Crabaugh J, Fleagle J, Glantz M, Gordon A, Jacobs B, Maga M, Muldoon K, Pan A, Pyne L, Richmond B, Ryan T, Seiffert ER, Sen S, Todd L, Wiemann MC, and Winkler A. Oligocene mammals from Ethiopia and faunal exchange between Afro-Arabia and Eurasia. Nature. 426:549-552.