Professor Emeritus, Anthropology
Born in 1942, Milford H. Wolpoff is a biological anthropologist trained at the University of Illinois Urbana in biological anthropology as a student of Eugene Giles; his 1969 Ph.D. dissertation on Metric Trends in Hominid Dental Evolution was the first in biological anthropology to rely on computer analysis of a large data set, self programmed.
Wolpoff has been at the University of Michigan since 1971. His 21 Ph.Ds, (11 women, 10 men) are all employed but one and include distinguished researchers, many anthropology department chairs, presidents of the American Association of Physical Anthropology and an editor of the journal, presidents of BAS in the AAA, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an award-winning author.
He brings to the study of the human and non-human primate fossil record a background that combines human anatomy, evolutionary theory, population genetics, and biomechanics. Wolpoff is the leading supporter of the multiregional evolution hypothesis (he coined the term that regularly appears in dictionaries and encyclopedias) that describes the pattern of Pleistocene human evolution in Homo sapiens as a long-term evolution of central (African) and peripheral populations. Global evolutionary changes under selection, as adaptive genes can disperse because populations are connected by gene flow, combine with continuity over time for regionally prominent features in various parts of the world, especially the peripheries.
Wolpoff is the author of 8 books and monographs and numerous papers on human evolution and related wide-ranging topics such as allometry, dental development and tooth wear, sexual dimorphism, and the role of genetics in paleoanthropological research.
He is a proud husband, father, and grandparent.
- genetic evolution
- biological anthropology
- small sample analysis
- Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Museum of Anthropology
- Core Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders, Bone Research Center
- 2011 Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists
- 2007 “Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say,”symposium in his honor
- 2002- AAAS Fellow
- 2001-2004 Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer
- 1999 Howells Book Prize in Biological Anthropology, for Race and Human Evolution by Milford H. Wolpoff and Rachel Caspari