Robert D Martin

    Email Address:
    College: Liberal Arts and Sciences Department: Anthropology
    Title: Adjunct Professor and Researcher
    Office: at The Field Museum Phone: 312-665-7809
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    As a biological anthropologist, my primary field of research interest is the evolutionary biology of primates. I accordingly use a broad-based approach involving comparisons of primates generally, although in certain instances I do focus specifically on hominid evolution. It is my conviction that confident interpretation of hominid evolution requires a sound understanding of primate evolution in general. My research involves both extant and fossil primates, so it includes palaeontology. One over-arching research interest is in allometric analyses, in which quantitative features are considered in relation to body size. The main aim in such analyses is to identify the scaling effects of body size so that special adaptations in individual species can be recognized as departures from the general trend. I have particularly worked on scaling effects in relation to the brain and reporoductive biology in primates. Another interest is in investigating times of origin for primates and for subgroups thereof. With respect to student projects, I particularly aim to promote topics that involve museum-based reseach using the extensive collections at The Field Museum.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 9 hours

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Prior knowledge of biological anthropology, including primate evolution and some basis statistics, would be a distinct advantage. However, I would regard appropriate training in required techniques as my responsibility for any student working with me.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    The student will be expected to be highly motivated for research relating to primate evolution. Following initial training, considerable independence of thought and action will also be needed. Adequate exploration of the relevant literature and satisfactory writing-up of results will also be expected.

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