Scott W. Simpson, PhD

Department of Anatomy
School of Medicine

Dr. Simpson teaches anatomy and embryology to medical and graduate students.

Research Information

Research Interests

Dr. Simpson’s primary research addresses exploring early human evolution between 6.5 and 1.0 Ma ago. Since 1992, Dr. Simpson has been conducting paleontological field research in the Afar region of Ethiopia and he is currently the director of the Galili Paleobiology Project. Published research includes a description of the oldest human ancestor from Ethiopia dated to 6.3 Ma, functional analyses of the postcrania and teeth of the 4.8-4.3 Ma hominin Ardipithecus ramidus, description of a female Homo erectus pelvis and its implications for the evolution of childbirth, as well as a functional interpretation of knuckle-walking in the African apes among other. 


Simpson, S.W.; Levin, N.E.; Quade, J.; Rogers, M.; Semaw, S. (2019) The postcranial fossils of Ardipithecus ramidus from Gona, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 129:1-45.

Simpson, S.W.; Latimer, B.; Lovejoy, C.O. (2018) Why do knuckle-walking African apes knuckle-walk? The Anatomical Record 301(3):496-514. 

Simpson, S.W.; Kleinsasser, L.; Quade, J.; Levin, N.E.; McIntosh, W.; Dunbar, N.; Semaw, S.; Rogers, M. (2015) Late Miocene hominins from the Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project area, Afar, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 81:68-82.

Lovejoy, C.O.; Simpson, S.W.; Suwa, G.; Asfaw, B.; White, T.D. (2009) Careful climbing in the Miocene: The forelimbs of Ardipithecus ramidus and humans are primitive. Science 326: 73, 100-106.

Simpson, S.W.; Quade, J.; Levin, N.E.; Butler, R.; Dupont-Nivet, G.; Everett, M.A.; Semaw, S. (2008) A female Homo erectus pelvis from Gona, Ethiopia. Science 322:1089-1092.