Dr. Christopher B. Ruff

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E-Mail: CBRUFF(at)jhmi.edu
Phone: 410-955-7126

1830 E. Monument St., Room 302
Baltimore, MD 21205 USA

  • Education:

  • Ph.D., Biological Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, 1981
    B.A., Anthropology, Stanford University, 1975

  • Research Focuses:
  • biomechanics and primate locomotion
    evolution of the hominoid postcranium
    skeletal growth and development
    skeletal remodeling & behavioral reconstruction in human populations

    My research explores how variation in skeletal morphology is related to mechanical forces applied during life. Many experimental and comparative studies show that the skeleton adapts to its mechanical environment, both developmentally and through evolutionary time, by altering its structural organization. Thus, using engineering principles, the preserved morphology of skeletal elements can be used to reconstruct past behavior and other characteristics such as body size and proportions. My work has applied this general approach to a variety of issues in vertebrate biology, focusing in particular on the primate postcranial skeleton: locomotor adaptations among anthropoid primates, the evolution of human bipedal locomotion, reconstruction of stature and body mass, bioarchaeological studies of various recent populations, climatic adaptation, and skeletal growth and aging in both humans and nonhuman primates. My current research is focused on how changes in subsistence strategy and other environmental variables affected skeletal morphology in Holocene European populations; the interaction between locomotion, obstetrics, and body shape among early hominins; and the effects of locomotor transitions during growth on skeletal structure in gorillas and other hominoids.

  • Special Links:
  • Curriculum Vitae

    Automated bone Cross-Section reconstruction workspace, instructions and supplementary materials for R. (from supporting information in AJPA 142:665-669) - (updated 5/13)

    Web resource for the "MomentMacro" for calculating cross-sectional moments (updated 5/13; now includes calculation of polar section modulus, Zp)

    2002 Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol. 119: 305-342. Excel file of primate structural properties
    (Please note that this file was updated on 15 April 2006, correcting errors in some F50Zp property values.)

    Web resource: EXCEL Macro for computing cross-sectional geometric properties using the eccentric ellipse model "EEM_Macro": Macro (Excel Macro) and Instructions (PDF) (from JHE 47:221-235)

  • Recent/Noteworthy Publications:
  • Ruff, C.B., Burgess, M.L., Bromage, T.G., Mudakikwa, A., McFarlin, S.C. (2013) Ontogenetic changes in limb bone structural proportions in mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). J. Hum. Evol. 65: 693-703. (view from Elsevier JHE page)

    Ruff, C.B., Garofalo, E., and Holmes, M.A. (2013) Interpreting skeletal growth in the past from a functional and physiological perspective. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 150:29-37. (view from Wiley AJPA page)

    Ruff, C.B. and Higgins, R. (2013) Femoral neck structure and function in early hominins. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 150:512-525. (view from Wiley AJPA page)

    Ruff C.B., Holt, B.M., Niskanen, M., Sladek, V., Berner, M., Garofalo, E., Garvin, H.M., Hora, M., Maijanen, H., Niinimaki, S., Salo, K., Schuplerova, E., and Tompkins, D. (2012) Stature and body mass estimation from skeletal remains in the European Holocene. Am J Phys Anthropol. 148: 601-617. (view from Wiley AJPA page)

    Ruff, C.B. (2010) Body size and body shape in early hominins: Implications of the Gona pelvis. J. Hum. Evol. 58: 166-178. (view from Elsevier JHE page)

    Ruff, C.B. (2009) Relative limb strength and locomotion in Homo habilis. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 138: 90-100. (view from Wiley AJPA page)

    Ruff, C.B. (2008) Biomechanical analyses of archaeological human skeletons. In: Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton (2nd ed.). Katzenberg, M.A. and Saunders, S.R., eds. New York: Alan R. Liss, pp. 183-206.

    Ruff, C.B. (2008) Femoral/humeral strength in early African Homo erectus. J. Hum. Evol. 54: 383-390. (view from Elsevier JHE page)

    Ruff, C.B. (2007) Body size prediction from juvenile skeletal remains. Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol. 133:698-716. (view from Wiley AJPA page)

    Ruff C.B. (2006) Gracilization of the modern human skeleton - The latent strength in our slender bones teaches lessons about human lives, current and past. Amer. Scientist 94: 508-514 (view from American Scientist page)

    Ruff, C.B., Holt, B.M., Sládek, V., Berner, M., Murphy, W.A., Nedden, D. zur, Seidler, H., and Reicheis, W. (2006) Body size, body shape, and long bone strength of the Tyrolean "Iceman". J. Human Evol. 51: 91-101. (view from Elsevier JHE page)

    Ruff, C.B., Holt, B., Trinkaus, E. (2006) Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolff?: "Wolff's Law" and Bone Functional Adaptation. Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol. 129:484-498. (view from Wiley AJPA page)

  • Current Students:
  • Ryan W. Higgins, M. Loring Burgess, Nicky S. Squyres

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