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Biren A. Patel, PhD

Title(s)Associate Professor of Clinical Integrative Anatomical Sciences
Phone+1 323 442 2093
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    I am a biological anthropologist with scholarly interests in evolutionary and functional morphology and my research programs investigate a variety of questions about human and non-human primate evolution. In particular, I am interested in better understanding the evolution of primate locomotor behavior, and more specifically the evolution of human and non-human primate hand and foot function. Exploration of these issues has led me to undertake research projects in a number of areas including comparative biomechanics, musculoskeletal functional anatomy, evolutionary morphology and paleontology. My research is hypothesis driven and relies on an interdisciplinary approach that integrates experimental methods with traditional and state-of-the-art morphometrics, and may draw on data acquired from live animals (lab and wild), cadavers, extant and fossil skeletal material, and 3D clinical and pre-clinical imaging (i.e., CT and µCT). Taken together, my research has offered insights into the biomechanical relationships between particular behaviors such as locomotion and manipulation, with aspects of anatomy such as hand/foot skeletal shape and internal bone architecture. Because I am also interested in understanding when and how the morphological and locomotor diversity observed in human and non-human primates came about, many of my projects involve describing and interpreting fossil material, as well as conducting new paleontological fieldwork (most recently in Miocene of Kashmir, India).

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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Lewton KL, Patel BA. Calcaneal elongation and bone strength in leaping galagids. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2019 Nov 11. PMID: 31710709.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Crane MA, Kato KM, Patel BA, Huttenlocker AK. Histovariability in human clavicular cortical bone microstructure and its mechanical implications. J Anat. 2019 Nov; 235(5):873-882. PMID: 31373387.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Fernández PJ, Mongle CS, Leakey L, Proctor DJ, Orr CM, Patel BA, Almécija S, Tocheri MW, Jungers WL. Evolution and function of the hominin forefoot. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 08 28; 115(35):8746-8751. PMID: 30104373.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Sollaccio DR, Navo P, Ghiassi A, Orr CM, Patel BA, Lewton KL. Evaluation of Articular Surface Similarity of Hemi-Hamate Grafts and Proximal Middle Phalanx Morphology: A 3D Geometric Morphometric Approach. J Hand Surg Am. 2019 Feb; 44(2):121-128. PMID: 30017649.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Schwartz NL, Patel BA, Garland T, Horner AM. Effects of selective breeding for high voluntary wheel-running behavior on femoral nutrient canal size and abundance in house mice. J Anat. 2018 08; 233(2):193-203. PMID: 29851089.
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    6. Patel BA, Jashashvili T, Bui SH, Carlson KJ, Griffin NL, Wallace IJ, Orr CM, Susman RL. Inter-ray variation in metatarsal strength properties in humans and African apes: Implications for inferring bipedal biomechanics in the Olduvai Hominid 8 foot. J Hum Evol. 2018 08; 121:147-165. PMID: 29764690.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Patel BA, Romanu JT, Carlson KJ. Subchondral Bone Radiodensity Patterns in the Glenoid Fossa of Ape and Human Scapulae. Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2018 05; 301(5):776-785. PMID: 29281860.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Patel BA, Organ JM, Jashashvili T, Bui SH, Dunsworth HM. Ontogeny of hallucal metatarsal rigidity and shape in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). J Anat. 2018 Jan; 232(1):39-53. PMID: 29098692.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Dowdeswell MR, Jashashvili R, Patel BA, Lebrun R, Susman RL, Lordkipanidze D, Carlson KJ.Adaptation to bipedal gait and fifth metatarsal structural properties in Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and Homo. C. R. Palevol. 2017; 16(5-6):585-599.
    10. Patel BA, Yapuncich GS, Tran C, Nengo IO. Catarrhine hallucal metatarsals from the early Miocene site of Songhor, Kenya. J Hum Evol. 2017 07; 108:176-198. PMID: 28622929.
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    11. Gilbert CC, Patel BA, Singh NP, Campisano CJ, Fleagle JG, Rust KL, Patnaik R. New sivaladapid primate from Lower Siwalik deposits surrounding Ramnagar (Jammu and Kashmir State), India. J Hum Evol. 2017 01; 102:21-41. PMID: 28012462.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Trinkaus, E, Patel BA.. An Early Pleistocene human pedal phalanx from Swartkrans, SKX 16699, and the antiquity of the human lateral forefoot. C. R. Palevol. 2016; 15(8):978–987.
    13. Patel BA, Maiolino SA.Morphological diversity in the digital rays of primate hands. In: Kivell TL, Lemelin P, Richmond BG, and Schmitt D (editors), The Evolution of the Primate Hand: Anatomical, Developmental, Functional and Paleontological Evidence. 2016; pp. 55-100.
    14. Zeininger A, Patel BA, Zipfel B, Carlson KJ. Trabecular architecture in the StW 352 fossil hominin calcaneus. J Hum Evol. 2016 08; 97:145-58. PMID: 27457551.
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    15. Marchi D, Ruff CB, Capobianco A, Rafferty KL, Habib MB, Patel BA. The locomotion of Babakotia radofilai inferred from epiphyseal and diaphyseal morphology of the humerus and femur. J Morphol. 2016 09; 277(9):1199-218. PMID: 27324923.
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    16. Patel BA, Wallace IJ, Boyer DM, Granatosky MC, Larson SG, Stern JT. Distinct functional roles of primate grasping hands and feet during arboreal quadrupedal locomotion. J Hum Evol. 2015 Nov; 88:79-84. PMID: 26553820.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Fernández PJ, Almécija S, Patel BA, Orr CM, Tocheri MW, Jungers WL. Functional aspects of metatarsal head shape in humans, apes, and Old World monkeys. J Hum Evol. 2015 Sep; 86:136-46. PMID: 26276534.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Byron CD, Herrel A, Pauwels E, Muynck AD, Patel BA. Mouse hallucal metatarsal cross-sectional geometry in a simulated fine branch niche. J Morphol. 2015 Jul; 276(7):759-65. PMID: 25758098.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Patel BA, Larson SG, Stern JT. Electromyography of crural and pedal muscles in tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella): Implications for hallucal grasping behavior and first metatarsal morphology in euprimates. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2015 Apr; 156(4):553-64. PMID: 25693754.
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    20. Almécija S, Orr CM, Tocheri MW, Patel BA, Jungers WL. Exploring phylogenetic and functional signals in complex morphologies: the hamate of extant anthropoids as a test-case study. Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2015 Jan; 298(1):212-29. PMID: 25529242.
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    21. Goodenberger KE, Boyer DM, Orr CM, Jacobs RL, Femiani JC, Patel BA. Functional morphology of the hallucal metatarsal with implications for inferring grasping ability in extinct primates. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2015 Mar; 156(3):327-48. PMID: 25378276.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Daegling DJ, Patel BA, Jungers WL. Geometric properties and comparative biomechanics of Homo floresiensis mandibles. J Hum Evol. 2014 Mar; 68:36-46. PMID: 24560803.
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    23. Gilbert CC, Patel BA, Friedman AC, Pugh KD, Fleagle JG, Patnaik R.New Lower Siwalik localities near Ramnagar, India: implications for the earliest Asian great apes and other mammalian linages. Select Publications of the Palaeontological Society of India. 2014; 5:353-365.
    24. DeSilva JM, Steininger C, Patel BA.. Cercopithecoid primate postcranial fossils from Cooper’s D, South Africa. GeoBios. 2013; 46:381-394.
    25. Patel BA, Horner AM, Thompson NE, Barrett L, Henzi SP. Ontogenetic scaling of fore- and hind limb posture in wild chacma baboons (Papio hamadryas ursinus). PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e71020. PMID: 23923046.
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    26. Venkataraman VV, Rolian C, Gordon AD, Patel BA. A resampling approach and implications for estimating the phalangeal index from unassociated hand bones in fossil primates. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2013 Jun; 151(2):280-9. PMID: 23633100.
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    27. Carlson KJ, Jashashvili T, Houghton K, Westaway MC, Patel BA. Joint loads in marsupial ankles reflect habitual bipedalism versus quadrupedalism. PLoS One. 2013; 8(3):e58811. PMID: 23554931.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Patel BA, Ruff CB, Simons EL, Organ JM. Humeral cross-sectional shape in suspensory primates and sloths. Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2013 Apr; 296(4):545-56. PMID: 23408647.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Patel BA, Seiffert ER, Boyer DM, Jacobs RL, St Clair EM, Simons EL. New primate first metatarsals from the Paleogene of Egypt and the origin of the anthropoid big toe. J Hum Evol. 2012 Jul; 63(1):99-120. PMID: 22694838.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Patel BA, Larson SG, Stern JT. Electromyography of wrist and finger flexor muscles in olive baboons (Papio anubis). J Exp Biol. 2012 Jan 01; 215(Pt 1):115-23. PMID: 22162859.
      View in: PubMed
    31. O’Leary MA, Patel BA, Coleman MN.The endocranial petrosal anatomy of Bothriogenys (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Anthracotheriidae), and petrosal volume and density comparisons among aquatic and terrestrial artiodactylans and outgroups. Journal Paleontology. 2012; 86:44-50.
    32. Boyer DM, Lipman Y, St Clair E, Puente J, Patel BA, Funkhouser T, Jernvall J, Daubechies I. Algorithms to automatically quantify the geometric similarity of anatomical surfaces. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Nov 08; 108(45):18221-6. PMID: 22025685.
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    33. Susman RL, Patel BA, Francis MJ, Cardoso HF. Metatarsal fusion pattern and developmental morphology of the Olduvai Hominid 8 foot: Evidence of adolescence. J Hum Evol. 2011 Jan; 60(1):58-69. PMID: 21074829.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Nowak MG, Carlson KJ, Patel BA. Apparent density of the primate calcaneo-cuboid joint and its association with locomotor mode, foot posture, and the "midtarsal break". Am J Phys Anthropol. 2010 Jun; 142(2):180-93. PMID: 19918985.
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    35. Patel BA, Wunderlich RE. Dynamic pressure patterns in the hands of olive baboons (Papio anubis) during terrestrial locomotion: implications for cercopithecoid primate hand morphology. Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2010 Apr; 293(4):710-8. PMID: 20235326.
      View in: PubMed
    36. Patel BA. Functional morphology of cercopithecoid primate metacarpals. J Hum Evol. 2010 Apr; 58(4):320-37. PMID: 20226498.
      View in: PubMed
    37. Patel BA. The interplay between speed, kinetics, and hand postures during primate terrestrial locomotion. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2010 Feb; 141(2):222-34. PMID: 19639641.
      View in: PubMed
    38. Patel BA, Susman RL, Rossie JB, Hill A. Terrestrial adaptations in the hands of Equatorius africanus revisited. J Hum Evol. 2009 Dec; 57(6):763-72. PMID: 19879632.
      View in: PubMed
    39. Kingston AK, Boyer DM, Patel BA, Larson SG, Stern JT. Hallucal grasping in Nycticebus coucang: further implications for the functional significance of a large peroneal process. J Hum Evol. 2010 Jan; 58(1):33-42. PMID: 19800655.
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    40. Jacobs RL, Boyer DM, Patel BA. Comparative functional morphology of the primate peroneal process. J Hum Evol. 2009 Dec; 57(6):721-31. PMID: 19765802.
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    41. Patel BA. Not so fast: speed effects on forelimb kinematics in cercopithecine monkeys and implications for digitigrade postures in primates. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2009 Sep; 140(1):92-112. PMID: 19294733.
      View in: PubMed
    42. Patel BA, Carlson KJ. Apparent density patterns in subchondral bone of the sloth and anteater forelimb. Biol Lett. 2008 Oct 23; 4(5):486-9. PMID: 18628113.
      View in: PubMed
    43. Young JW, Patel BA, Stevens NJ. Body mass distribution and gait mechanics in fat-tailed dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleus medius) and patas monkeys (Erythrocebus patas). J Hum Evol. 2007 Jul; 53(1):26-40. PMID: 17512970.
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    44. Boyer DM, Patel BA, Larson SG, Stern JT. Telemetered electromyography of peroneus longus in Varecia variegata and Eulemur rubriventer: implications for the functional significance of a large peroneal process. J Hum Evol. 2007 Aug; 53(2):119-34. PMID: 17349678.
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    45. Patel BA, Carlson KJ. Bone density spatial patterns in the distal radius reflect habitual hand postures adopted by quadrupedal primates. J Hum Evol. 2007 Feb; 52(2):130-41. PMID: 17055031.
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    46. Patel BA, Gilbert CC, Ericson KE. Cercopithecoid cervical vertebral morphology and implications for the presence of Theropithecus in early Pleistocene Europe. J Hum Evol. 2007 Feb; 52(2):113-29. PMID: 17011609.
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    47. Patel BA, Grossman A. Dental metric comparisons of Morotopithecus and Afropithecus: implications for the validity of the genus Morotopithecus. J Hum Evol. 2006 Nov; 51(5):506-12. PMID: 16914180.
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    48. Carlson KJ, Patel BA. Habitual use of the primate forelimb is reflected in the material properties of subchondral bone in the distal radius. J Anat. 2006 Jun; 208(6):659-70. PMID: 16761969.
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    49. Patel BA. The hominoid proximal radius: re-interpreting locomotor behaviors in early hominins. J Hum Evol. 2005 Apr; 48(4):415-32. PMID: 15788187.
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    50. Strait DS, Wang Q, Dechow PC, Ross CF, Richmond BG, Spencer MA, Patel BA. Modeling elastic properties in finite-element analysis: how much precision is needed to produce an accurate model? Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol. 2005 Apr; 283(2):275-87. PMID: 15747346.
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    51. Ross CF, Patel BA, Slice DE, Strait DS, Dechow PC, Richmond BG, Spencer MA. Modeling masticatory muscle force in finite element analysis: sensitivity analysis using principal coordinates analysis. Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol. 2005 Apr; 283(2):288-99. PMID: 15747351.
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    52. Patel BA. Form and function of the oblique cord (chorda obliqua) in anthropoid primates. Primates. 2005 Jan; 46(1):47-57. PMID: 15241636.
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