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    Kristian J. Carlson

    TitleAssociate Professor of Clinical Integrative Anatomical Sciences
    SchoolKeck School of Medicine of USC
    DepartmentIntegrative Anatomical Sciences
    AddressBMT 1333 San Pablo St
    Health Sciences Campus
    Los Angeles California 90033
    Phone+1 323 865 1684
    vCardDownload vCard

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      Kristian Carlson was trained as a biological anthropologist in a four-field doctoral program at Indiana University. He completed postdoctoral research in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University (US) and in the Anthropological Institute and Museum at Zurich University (Switzerland).

      His multidisciplinary research program combines comparative anatomy, locomotor mechanics, and bone biology to study form and function in the postcranial skeleton of extant primates, including humans, and human ancestors.

      As a functional morphologist, he investigates behavioral correlates in the external and internal structure of limb bones from these groups. From a human health or clinical standpoint, this perspective enables understanding the role non-pharmaceutical factors (e.g., activity) may serve in skeletal maintenance, particularly in reducing or preventing unwanted bone loss. From an anthropological or paleontological standpoint, this perspective enables inferring behaviors in extinct organisms, which is particularly useful for reconstructing their behavioral repertoires. Such reconstructions are crucial pieces of evidence in documenting how extinct organisms engaged with their surrounding habitats, and how this interaction may have changed as environments shifted through geological time.

      At USC, he teaches human gross anatomy to first and second year medical students in the Keck School of Medicine.


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      Collapse Education and Training
      Indiana University, Bloomington, INPh.D.09/2002Anthropology
      Indiana University, Bloomington, INM.A.04/1999Anthropology
      University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIB.S. (High Honors)04/1994Anthropology
      University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MIB.S. (High Honors)04/1994Anthropology-Zoology

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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.
      List All   |   Timeline
      1. Su A, Carlson K. Comparative analysis of trabecular bone structure and orientation in South African hominin tali. J Hum Evol. 2017 May; 106:1-18. PMID: 28434534.
        View in: PubMed
      2. Rein TR, Harrison T, Carlson K, Harvati K. Adaptation to suspensory locomotion in Australopithecus sediba. J Hum Evol. 2017 Mar; 104:1-12. PMID: 28317552.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Ledogar JA, Benazzi S, Smith AL, Weber GW, Carlson KB, Dechow PC, Grosse IR, Ross CF, Richmond BG, Wright BW, Wang Q, Byron C, Carlson K, De Ruiter DJ, Pryor Mcintosh LC, Strait DS. The Biomechanics of Bony Facial "Buttresses" in South African Australopiths: An Experimental Study Using Finite Element Analysis. Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2017 Jan; 300(1):171-195. PMID: 28000396.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Daegling DJ, Carlson K, Tafforeau P, de Ruiter DJ, Berger LR. Comparative biomechanics of Australopithecus sediba mandibles. J Hum Evol. 2016 Nov; 100:73-86. PMID: 27765151.
        View in: PubMed
      5. Zeininger A, Patel BA, Zipfel B, Carlson K. Trabecular architecture in the StW 352 fossil hominin calcaneus. J Hum Evol. 2016 Aug; 97:145-58. PMID: 27457551.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Ledogar JA, Smith AL, Benazzi S, Weber GW, Spencer MA, Carlson KB, McNulty KP, Dechow PC, Grosse IR, Ross CF, Richmond BG, Wright BW, Wang Q, Byron C, Carlson K, de Ruiter DJ, Berger LR, Tamvada K, Pryor LC, Berthaume MA, Strait DS. Mechanical evidence that Australopithecus sediba was limited in its ability to eat hard foods. Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10596. PMID: 26853550.
        View in: PubMed
      7. Jashashvili T, Dowdeswell MR, Lebrun R, Carlson K. Cortical structure of hallucal metatarsals and locomotor adaptations in hominoids. PLoS One. 2015; 10(1):e0117905. PMID: 25635768.
        View in: PubMed
      8. Chirchir H, Kivell TL, Ruff CB, Hublin JJ, Carlson K, Zipfel B, Richmond BG. Recent origin of low trabecular bone density in modern humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jan 13; 112(2):366-71. PMID: 25535354.
        View in: PubMed
      9. Holloway RL, Broadfield DC, Carlson K. New high-resolution computed tomography data of the Taung partial cranium and endocast and their bearing on metopism and hominin brain evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Sep 9; 111(36):13022-7. PMID: 25157138.
        View in: PubMed
      10. Wallace IJ, Kwaczala AT, Judex S, Demes B, Carlson K. Physical activity engendering loads from diverse directions augments the growing skeleton. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2013 Sep; 13(3):283-8. PMID: 23989249.
        View in: PubMed
      11. Fernandez V, Abdala F, Carlson K, Cook DC, Rubidge BS, Yates A, Tafforeau P. Synchrotron Reveals Early Triassic Odd Couple: Injured Amphibian and Aestivating Therapsid Share Burrow. PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e64978. PMID: 23805181.
        View in: PubMed
      12. DeSilva JM, Holt KG, Churchill SE, Carlson K, Walker CS, Zipfel B, Berger LR. The lower limb and mechanics of walking in Australopithecus sediba. Science. 2013 Apr 12; 340(6129):1232999. PMID: 23580534.
        View in: PubMed
      13. Churchill SE, Holliday TW, Carlson K, Jashashvili T, Macias ME, Mathews S, Sparling TL, Schmid P, de Ruiter DJ, Berger LR. The upper limb of Australopithecus sediba. Science. 2013 Apr 12; 340(6129):1233477. PMID: 23580536.
        View in: PubMed
      14. Schmid P, Churchill SE, Nalla S, Weissen E, Carlson K, de Ruiter DJ, Berger LR. Mosaic morphology in the thorax of Australopithecus sediba. Science. 2013 Apr 12; 340(6129):1234598. PMID: 23580537.
        View in: PubMed
      15. Carlson K, 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
      16. Carlson KJ, Stout D, Jashashvili T, de Ruiter DJ, Tafforeau P, Carlson K, Berger LR. The endocast of MH1, Australopithecus sediba. Science. 2011 Sep 9; 333(6048):1402-7. PMID: 21903804.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Kibii JM, Churchill SE, Schmid P, Carlson K, Reed ND, de Ruiter DJ, Berger LR. A partial pelvis of Australopithecus sediba. Science. 2011 Sep 9; 333(6048):1407-11. PMID: 21903805.
        View in: PubMed
      18. Zipfel B, DeSilva JM, Kidd RS, Carlson K, Churchill SE, Berger LR. The foot and ankle of Australopithecus sediba. Science. 2011 Sep 9; 333(6048):1417-20. PMID: 21903807.
        View in: PubMed
      19. Carlson K, Demes B. Gait dynamics of Cebus apella during quadrupedalism on different substrates. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2010 Jun; 142(2):273-86. PMID: 20091854.
        View in: PubMed
      20. Nowak MG, Carlson K, 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.
        View in: PubMed
      21. Berger LR, de Ruiter DJ, Churchill SE, Schmid P, Carlson K, Dirks PH, Kibii JM. Australopithecus sediba: a new species of Homo-like australopith from South Africa. Science. 2010 Apr 9; 328(5975):195-204. PMID: 20378811.
        View in: PubMed
      22. Judex S, Carlson K. Is bone's response to mechanical signals dominated by gravitational loading? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Nov; 41(11):2037-43. PMID: 19812513.
        View in: PubMed
      23. Demes B, Carlson K. Locomotor variation and bending regimes of capuchin limb bones. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2009 Aug; 139(4):558-71. PMID: 19208417.
        View in: PubMed
      24. Patel BA, Carlson K. 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
      25. Carlson K, Sumner DR, Morbeck ME, Nishida T, Yamanaka A, Boesch C. Role of Nonbehavioral Factors in Adjusting Long Bone Diaphyseal Structure in Free-ranging Pan troglodytes. Int J Primatol. 2008 Dec; 29(6):1401-1420. PMID: 19816545.
        View in: PubMed
      26. Carlson K, Byron CD. Building a better organismal model: The role of the mouse--Introduction to the symposium. Integr Comp Biol. 2008 Sep; 48(3):321-3. PMID: 21669794.
        View in: PubMed
      27. Carlson K, Lublinsky S, Judex S. Do different locomotor modes during growth modulate trabecular architecture in the murine hind limb? Integr Comp Biol. 2008 Sep; 48(3):385-93. PMID: 21669800.
        View in: PubMed
      28. Carlson K, Grine FE, Pearson OM. Robusticity and sexual dimorphism in the postcranium of modern hunter-gatherers from Australia. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2007 Sep; 134(1):9-23. PMID: 17503447.
        View in: PubMed
      29. Carlson K, Judex S. Increased non-linear locomotion alters diaphyseal bone shape. J Exp Biol. 2007 Sep; 210(Pt 17):3117-25. PMID: 17704086.
        View in: PubMed
      30. Patel BA, Carlson K. 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.
        View in: PubMed
      31. Carlson K, 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.
        View in: PubMed
      32. Demes B, Carlson K, Franz TM. Cutting corners: the dynamics of turning behaviors in two primate species. J Exp Biol. 2006 Mar; 209(Pt 5):927-37. PMID: 16481581.
        View in: PubMed
      33. Carlson K. Muscle architecture of the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes): perspectives for investigating chimpanzee behavior. Primates. 2006 Jul; 47(3):218-29. PMID: 16807683.
        View in: PubMed
      34. Carlson K, Doran-Sheehy DM, Hunt KD, Nishida T, Yamanaka A, Boesch C. Locomotor behavior and long bone morphology in individual free-ranging chimpanzees. J Hum Evol. 2006 Apr; 50(4):394-404. PMID: 16376413.
        View in: PubMed
      35. Demes B, Franz TM, Carlson K. External forces on the limbs of jumping lemurs at takeoff and landing. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2005 Oct; 128(2):348-58. PMID: 15810009.
        View in: PubMed
      36. Carlson K. Investigating the form-function interface in African apes: Relationships between principal moments of area and positional behaviors in femoral and humeral diaphyses. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2005 Jul; 127(3):312-34. PMID: 15584067.
        View in: PubMed
      37. Franz TM, Demes B, Carlson K. Gait mechanics of lemurid primates on terrestrial and arboreal substrates. J Hum Evol. 2005 Feb; 48(2):199-217. PMID: 15701531.
        View in: PubMed
      38. Pickering TR, Carlson K. Baboon taphonomy and its relevance to the investigation of large felid involvement in human forensic cases. Forensic Sci Int. 2004 Aug 11; 144(1):37-44. PMID: 15240019.
        View in: PubMed
      39. Carlson K, Pickering TR. Intrinsic qualities of primate bones as predictors of skeletal element representation in modern and fossil carnivore feeding assemblages. J Hum Evol. 2003 Apr; 44(4):431-50. PMID: 12727462.
        View in: PubMed
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