High resolution scan of items found at Pondoland dig site

Origins of early human adaptations and life-ways

IHO expanded into functional morphology, biomechanics, and life history and development with the addition of Gary Schwartz and Mark Spencer (formerly with IHO). Their research extracts details of fossil biology using state of the art laboratory techniques.

Image courtesy John Reader

Research projects

Fossilised teeth and palatte
The relationship of anatomy of fossil bones and teeth to the life-ways of early hominins through a multi-institution collaborative project (NSF-funded) bridging paleontological, experimental, and biomechanical-modeling approaches to the evolution of hominin dietary adaptations.
Fossilised teeth
Evolutionary basis of the uniquely extended pattern of human growth and development through the timing of dental growth, which is linked to important biological variables such as brain size, gestation length, and longevity.

Funding Sources

Leakey Foundation, 2008
Principal Investigators: M. Spencer
Locomotor Function and Evolution of the Primate Pelvis

National Science Foundation, 2007
Principal Investigators: Collaborative research with D. Strait, B. Richmond, M. Spencer, C. Ross, P. Dechow, B. Wright, L. Parr, I. Gross, Q. Wang
Collaborative Research—Integrative Analysis of Hominid Feeding Biomechanics

Wenner-Gren Foundation, 2013
Principal Investigators: Schwartz, G
A dental topographic analysis of deciduous tooth wear in hominoids

Wenner-Gren Foundation, 2006
Principal Investigators: M. Spencer
Evolutionary Morphology of the Anthropoid Wrist and the Evolution of Knuckle-Walking in the Hominidae