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Benjamin M. Auerbach

Professor, Associate Head


Functional trait complex evolution; population and quantitative genetics; multi-disciplinary analysis of the skeleton; ecogeographic variation in body size and proportions; marsupial (Diprodontia and Australidelphia) and primate (Cercopithecidae) trait complex evolution; modern human morphological variation; estimation of stature and body mass in humans and human ancestors; New World population history; morphological integration; climatic and subsistence interactions and effects on the skeleton; functional anatomy of the limbs; disease and human evolution


  • Ph.D. 2007, Functional Anatomy & Evolution, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore
  • B.A. 2001, Anthropology (Criminology minor), Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
  • B.A. 2001, Comparative Religion, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

Professional Service

  • Co-Chair, Task Force for the Ethical Study of Human Remains, American Association of Biological Anthropologists
  • Chair, American Association of Biological Anthropologists Committee on Community Partnership
  • Curator of the Small Primate Osteological Collection, Department of Anthropology


See my personal website for a full list of publications.


  • Wall-Scheffler CM, Auerbach BM & Kurki HK. 2020. The Evolutionary Biology of the Human Pelvis: An Integrative Approach. Cambridge University Press.
  • Hilton CE, Auerbach BM & Cowgill LW (editors). 2014. The Foragers of Point Hope: The Biology and Archaeology of Humans on the Edge of the Alaskan Arctic. Cambridge University Press.
  • Auerbach BM (editor). 2010. Human Variation in the New World: the integration of archaeology and biological anthropology. Center for Archaeological Investigations Occasional Paper 38. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.


  • Auerbach BM, Agosto ER & Savell KRR. 2023. Morphology, evolution, and the whole organism imperative: why evolutionary questions need multi-trait evolutionary quantitative genetics. Yearbook of Biological Anthropology.
  • Young M, Richard D, Grabowski M, Auerbach BM, Muthuirulan P, Kharkar V, Kurki HK, Betti L, Birkenstock L, Lewton KL, & Capellini TD. 2022. The developmental impacts of natural selection on human pelvic morphology. Science Advances 8(33):abq4884.
  • Savell KRR, Katz DC, Weaver TD & Auerbach BM. 2022. Mixed models for the relationship between latitude, temperature & human postcranial form. American Journal of Biological Anthropology 179:431-443.
  • Agosto ER & Auerbach BM. 2022. Morphological integration and evolutionary potential of the primate shoulder: Variation among taxa and implications for genetic covariances with the basicranium, pelvis, and arm. Journal of Human Evolution 169:103221.
  • Wang Z, Yang W, Ryan KGJ, Garai S, Auerbach BM, & Shen L. Using Optimal Transport to improve spherical harmonic quantification of complex biological shapes. Proceedings of the 2022 IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine.
  • Agosto ER & Auerbach BM. 2021. Evolvability and constraint in the primate basicranium, shoulder, and hip and the importance of multi-trait evolution. Evolutionary Biology 48:221-232.
  • Auerbach BM, King KA, Campbell ML, Campbell RM & Sylvester AD. 2018. Variation in obstetric dimensions of the human bony pelvis in relation to age-at-death and latitude. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 167:628-643.
  • Auerbach BM, Gooding AF, Shaw CN & Sylvester AD. 2017. The relative position of the human fibula to the tibia influences cross-sectional properties of the tibia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 163:148-157.
  • Mallard AM, Savell KRR & Auerbach BM. 2017. Morphological integration of the human pelvis with respect to age and sex. Invited paper. Anatomical Record 300:666-674.


  • Auerbach BM & Agosto ER. In prep. The primate shoulder and basicranium are constrained by the axial skeleton.
  • Auerbach BM & Agosto ER. In prep. Evolution and biomechanical variation in mammalian ungual phalanges with respect to locomotion.
  • Horbaly HE, Hubbe M, Sylvester AD, Steadman DW, & Auerbach BM. In review. Variation in human limb joint articular morphology. American Journal of Biological Anthropology.


  • Savell KRR, Auerbach BM & Roseman CC. 2016. Constraint, natural selection, and the evolution of human body form. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 113:9498-9503.
  • Reeves NM, Auerbach BM & Sylvester AD. 2016. Fluctuating and directional asymmetry in the long bones of captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 160:41-51.
  • Roseman CC & Auerbach BM. 2015. Ecogeography, genetics, and the evolution of human body form. Journal of Human Evolution 78:80-90.
  • Trinkaus E, Holliday TW & Auerbach BM. 2014. Neandertal clavicle length. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 111:4438-4442.
  • Auerbach BM. 2012. Skeletal variation among early Holocene North American humans: implications for origins and diversity in the Americas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149:525-536.
  • Fatah EEA, Shirley NR, Mahfouz MR & Auerbach BM. 2012. A three-dimensional analysis of bilateral directional asymmetry in the human clavicle. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149:547-559.
  • Cowgill LW, Eleazer CD, Auerbach BM, Temple DH & Okazaki K. 2012. Developmental variation in ecogeographic body proportions. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 148:557-570.
  • Auerbach BM, and Sylvester AD. 2011. Allometry and apparent paradoxes in human limb proportions: Implications for scaling factors. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144:382–391.
  • Auerbach BM & Ruff CB. 2010. Stature estimation formulae for indigenous North American populations. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 141:190-207.
  • Temple DH, Auerbach BM, Nakatsukasa M, & Larsen CS. 2008. Variation in body proportions between Jomon foragers and Yayoi agriculturalists from prehistoric Japan. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 137:164-174.
  • Auerbach BM & Raxter MH. 2008. Patterns of clavicular bilateral asymmetry in relation to the humerus: variation among humans. Journal of Human Evolution 54:663-674.
  • Auerbach BM & Ruff CB. 2006. Limb bone bilateral asymmetry: variability and commonality among modern humans. Journal of Human Evolution 50:203-218.


  • Auerbach BM. 2023. Biological distance (normal variation/non-metrical and metrical analysis). In Pollard AM, Armitage RA, & Makarawicz C (editors): Handbook of Archaeological Sciences. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 387-404.
  • Auerbach BM. 2019. Nonparametric Statistics. In: Lopez Varela SL (ed.): The SAS Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. New York: Wiley-Liss.
  • Auerbach BM. 2019. Stature Estimation. In: Lopez Varela SL (ed.): The SAS Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. New York: Wiley-Liss.
  • Auerbach BM. 2018. Peopling of the New World. In: Trevathan W (ed.): The International Encyclopedia of Biological Anthropology. New York: Wiley-Liss.
  • Auerbach BM. 2011. “Body mass,” “body mass estimation,” “stature,” and “stature estimation” entries. In Wood BA (editor): Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. London: Wiley-Blackwell.


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