Jeffrey H. Schwartz

  • Professor
Jeffrey Schwartz is a physical anthropologist whose research and teaching cover three major areas: the exploration of method, theory, and philosophy in evolutionary biology through focusing on problems involving the origin and subsequent diversification of extinct as well as extant primates, from prosimians to humans and apes; human and faunal skeletal analysis of archaeological recovered remains, particularly from historical sites of the circum-Mediterranean region; and dentofacial growth and development in Homo sapiens as well as mammals in general. Schwartz has done fieldwork in the United States, England, Israel, Cyprus, and Tunisia and museum research in the mammal and vertebrate paleontology collections of major museums in the United States, Great Britain, Europe, and Africa.

Courses

Introduction to Physical Anthropology

This is an introduction to the various disciplines that have been brought to bear in the study of humans and other primates. The course will have an evolutionary perspective as we review living primates (distribution, features of behavior and morphology) and their fossil histories. Particular attention will be paid to how humans have come to look the way we do.

Introduction to Human Evolution

Introduction to the study of our species fossil past and its evolutionary relationships to other “higher” primates (monkeys and apes). In order to pursue this topic properly we will delve into the areas of comparative anatomy, geology, and paleontology, as well as evolutionary theory, particularly how to discuss species and their evolutionary relationships. Lectures will rely heavily on slides and weekly handouts. There will be two exams prior to the final. All will be based on T/F, multiple choice, fill-in, and “identify this structure or specimen” types of questions. The final grade will be based on exams, (e.25%, 20%, 50%), attendance in lecture and recitations, participation in recitation, and performance on quizzes. Students must enroll in a recitation section which serves as a forum for review as well as for the presentation of information complementary to the main lectures. This material will be included on exams and quizzes.

Human Origins

The evolution of our own group and our closest relatives--fossil and living apes--is a fascinating as well as perplexing subject of study. In part, we can learn much about evolution by studying our own evolutionary group. But, because the subject is so close to us, various emotional components tend to be introduced into the supposed science of paleontology and evolutionary biology. To better understand our own evolutionary past, and to establish the necessary background for undertaking this task, the first weeks of the course will consist of: 1) an introduction to methods of reconstructing evolutionary relationships; 2) learning necessary anatomical and dental terminologies through study of casts of actual fossils; 3) understanding geological and ecological changes that occurred during the evolution of apes and humans (at least the past 35 million years); 4) and, in order to set the stage for later discussion, an overview of primate evolution. The bulk of the course will consist of a survey of the fossil evidence for the evolution of apes and of ourselves. Where were the fossils found? How much material is known? How were these finds interpreted in the past and how might we view matters today? What biases have and/or do influence these interpretations? How might we--as the ones who also devise evolutionary schemes--look at ourselves from an evolutionary perspective? Lectures will be supplemented with casts of fossils and skeletons and skulls of modern-day primates as well as slides of all specimens discussed.

 

Publications

2006. "Morphology versus Molecules in Evolution." In Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Ed: Birx, H. J. Thousand Oaks, CA. pp. 1626-1633.

Schwartz, J (2006) Molecular Systematics and Evolution. In Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, Vol. 8. Ed: Meyers RA. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany. pp 515-540.

Schwartz, J. (2006) Putting a face on the first president. Scientific American, 294: 84-91.

Schwartz, Jeffrey H. and Tattersall, Ian (2005) The Le Moustier adolescent: A description and interpretation of its craniodental morphology. The Neandertal Adolescent Le Moustier 1: New Aspects, New Results.

Schwartz, J. (2005  Darwinism versus Evo-DevoA Cultural History of Heredity III: 19th and Early 20th Centuries. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, pp 67-84.

Schwartz, Jeffrey H. and Ian Tattersall.  2001.  Extinct Humans. Westview Press

Schwartz, J. (1999) Sudden Origins : Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.