Adrienne L Zihlman

TitleResearch Professor,
Professor Emerita
DivisionSocial Sciences Division
DepartmentAnthropology Department
Phone831-459-4467
Email,
Office355 Social Sciences 1
Campus Mail StopSocial Sciences 1 Faculty Services
Adrienne L Zihlman

Research Interests

Comparative functional anatomy and locomotion of apes and humans; skeletal biology of apes; growth and development in catarrhine primates; sex differences in anatomy and behavior.

Biography, Education and Training

B.A., University of Colorado
Ph.D.,University of California, Berkeley

Academic Interests: Physical anthropology, primate and human evolution, comparative functional anatomy, sex and gender, life history and evolutionary theory, and history of human evolutionary studies.

Current research: Skeletal biology of wild chimpanzees; growth and development of apes and hominids; locomotor anatomy of langur monkeys; evolution of hominid bipedality.

Professor Zihlman’s research focuses around questions of the course of primate evolution, human origins and evolution, in the wider context of adaptation and evolutionary processes. To address these questions she carries out research on comparative anatomy of monkeys, apes and humans. Her goal is to document and explain variation due to age and sex and correlate anatomy with behavior, so as to provide a basis for understanding and reconstructing primate and human evolution.

Her current laboratory projects include vervet monkey, gorilla and chimpanzee growth, and comparative morphology of orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees.

Selected Exhibitions


  • 2006 - D.R. Bolter and A.L. Zihlman. "Primate growth and development. A functional and evolutionary approach." Invited paper for Primates in Perspective, S. Bearder, C. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K. McKinnon, editors. Oxford University Press.

  • 2004 - A.L. Zihlman, D.R. Bolter, and C. Boesch. "Wild chimpanzee dentition and its implications for assessing life history in immature hominin fossils." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 101(29): 10541-43.

  • 2004 - A.L. Zihlman and D.R. Bolter. "Mammalian and primate roots of human sociality." In: Origin and Evolution of Sociality. R. Sussman and A. Chapman, editors. 23-52. Aldine de Gruyter. New York.

  • 2003 - D.R. Bolter and A.L. Zihlman. "Morphometric analysis of growth and development in wild-collected vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) with implications for growth patterns across Old World monkeys, apes, and humans. Journal of Zoology. London. 260: 99-110.

  • 2000 - A.L. Zihlman. The Human Evolution Coloring Book. 2nd edition. Completely revised and updated. HarperCollins, New York.

  • 2000 - A.L.Zihlman and R.K.McFarland. "Body mass in lowland gorillas: a quantitative analysis." American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 113: 61-78.

Teaching Interests

Physical anthropology, primate and human evolution, comparative functional anatomy, sex and gender, life history and evolutionary theory, and history of human evolutionary studies.