Elizabeth Cho

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Missouri, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9693

Approve Date

October 5, 2018

Project Title

Cho, Elizabeth, U. of Missouri, Columbia, MO - To aid research on 'Influence of Climate and Population Structure on Morphological Variation of Asian Body Form,' supervised by Dr. Libby W. Cowgill

ELIZABETH CHO, then a graduate student at University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, was awarded funding in October 2018 to aid research on “Influence of Climate and Population Structure on Morphological Variation of Asian Body Form,” supervised by Dr. Libby W. Cowgill. Human body form is diverse around the globe and the specific evolutionary forces attributing to variation and the magnitude of their effects in certain geographic regions remain unclear. This project examines how climate factors and population genetics influence the size and shape of the skull and body of individuals throughout Asia. Skeletal data from both sexes was gathered from thirteen collections in seven different countries to represent an expanse of environmental conditions and populations. Pelvic data suggests body breadth increases with latitude, particularly in males, and that differences in the dimensions of the bony birth canal associate with changes in latitude. Lower latitude populations had more notable differences in pelvic proportions between the sexes. The continued research of this project will combine measurements of the head and body with weather and autosomal genetic data to determine if morphological variation in populations is adaptive and under selection once population relatedness has been considered, and further evaluate levels of sexual dimorphism throughout the body within and between populations. This will enrich understanding of human global diversity, and the methodology will meaningfully quantify proportional differences resulting from climate variables in a way not possible with past climate studies.