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Reconstructing Mobility: Environmental, Behavioral, and Morphological Determinants

By: Kristian Carlson(Editor), Damiano Marchi(Editor)

440 pages, 11 colour & 43 b/w illustrations, 46 tables


Hardback | Aug 2014 | #214610 | ISBN-13: 9781489974594
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £129.99 $170/€148 approx

About this book

Assembles a collection of experts to provide a current account of different approaches (e.g., traditional, comparative and experimental) being applied to study mobility. Moreover, Reconstructing Mobility aims to stimulate new theoretical perspectives that adopt a holistic view of the interaction among intrinsic (i.e. skeletal) and extrinsic (i.e. environmental) factors that influence differential expression of mobility. Since the environment undoubtedly impacts mobility of a wide variety of animals, insights into human mobility, as a concept, can be improved by extending approaches to investigating comparable environmental influences on mobility in animals in general.

Reconstructing Mobility teases apart environmental effects that transcend typical categories (e.g., coastal versus inland, mountainous versus level, arboreal versus terrestrial). Such an approach, when coupled with a new emphasis on mobility as types of activities rather than activity levels, offers a fresh, insightful perspective on mobility and how it might affect the musculoskeletal system.


Chapter 1: Introduction: Towards Refining the Concept of Mobility
Chapter 2: Long Bone Structural Analyses and the Reconstruction of Past Mobility: A Historical Review
Chapter 3: Bipedalism and Musculoskeletal Stress Markers: Variation and What it reveals About Adaptation, Environmental Stress, and Reconstructing Activity Patterns
Chapter 4: Does the Distribution and Variation in Cortical Bone along Lower Limb Diaphyses Reflect Selection for Locomotor Economy?
Chapter 5: Human Variation in the Periosteal Geometry of the Lower Limb: Signatures of Behaviour among Human Holocene Populations
Chapter 6: The Importance of Considering Fibular Robusticity when Inferring the Mobility Patterns of Past Populations
Chapter 7: The Relationship between Femur Shape and Terrestrial Mobility Patterns
Chapter 8: Activity, Body Shape, and Cross-sectional Geometry of the Femur and Tibia
Chapter 9: Variation in Mobility and Anatomical Responses in the Late Pleistocene
Chapter 10: Femoral Diaphyseal Shape and Mobility: An Ontogenetic Perspective
Chapter 11: The Balance between Burden Carrying, Variable Terrain and Thermoregulatory Pressures in Assessing Morphological Variation
Chapter 12: Territory Size in Canis lupus: Implications for Neandertal Mobility
Chapter 13: The Effects of Terrain on Long Bone Robusticity and Cross-sectional Shape in Lower Limb Bones of Bovids, Neandertals, and Upper Paleolithic Modern Humans
Chapter 14: Linearity in the Real World - An Experimental Assessment of Non-linearity in Terrestrial Locomotion
Chapter 15 Femoral Mechanics, Mobility, and Finite Element Analysis

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Kristian Carlson received his PhD from Indiana University, Bloomington (USA) in 2002. Following this, he spent three years as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University, NY (USA), and one year in a postdoctoral position in the Anthropologisches Institute and Museum at the University of Zurich (Switzerland). He was an Assistant Professor of Anatomy at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (USA) for two years before joining the Institute for Human Evolution (IHE) at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) in 2009 as a Senior Researcher. His research interests include modelling form-function relationships in limb bones of primates, both extinct and extant. He utilizes a variety of approaches to tackle questions about the impact that behaviours have on skeletal form. These include experimental assessments of primate locomotion (i.e., kinematics and kinetics), focusing on transverse forces and the behaviours that accentuate them (e.g., turning); traditional comparative studies of ape limb bone cross-sectional properties, including leading analyses of habituated chimpanzee skeletons; and mouse model research aimed at testing the explicit predictions constructed from his work with primates. Ultimately the supported predictions from extant-based models are applicable to extinct primates, including hominins, in order to infer the nature of their behavioral repertoires, particularly the emphasis on arboreal locomotion in their evolutionary history.

Damiano Marchi received his PhD from the University of Pisa, Italy in 2004. From 2004 to 2010 he was Visiting Assistant Professor at Duke University, USA, teaching and conducting research on human and living primate locomotory postcranial functional morphology. From 2011 to 2012 he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Human Evolution, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Since 2012 he is Lecturer of Anthropology at the University of Pisa, Italy and Honorary Research Fellow at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand. His research focuses on the study of functional morphology and biomechanics of extant human and non-human primates. The results obtained by the study of extant primates are used to create models that can be applied: 1. to extinct hominins to make inferences on their locomotor behavior; 2. to Late Pleistocene/Holocene human populations to make inferences on their mobility and subsistence economy.

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