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Dr. William Jungers, Anthropologist and Renowned Researcher of Human Evolution, Named Chair of Anatomy at SBUMC

Nov 7, 2006 - 9:53:00 AM

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William L. Jungers, Ph.D, Chair of the Department of Anatomical Sciences

STONY BROOK, N.Y., November 7, 2006 ? William L. Jungers, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, was named Chair of the Department by Richard N. Fine, M.D., Dean of the School of Medicine, effective November 1. Dr. Jungers, a faculty member of Anatomical Sciences since 1978, is an internationally known biological anthropologist and professor of anatomy.

?There was a unanimous opinion among Department faculty that Dr. Jungers would be an outstanding choice to succeed his predecessor,? said Dr. Fine. After a 16-year tenure as Chair, Jack Stern, Ph.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor, stepped down from the position. Dr Fine credits Dr. Stern in leading the Department to its current outstanding reputation for teaching and research. ?Dr. Jungers will continue this course, drawing from his vast field experience, teaching skills, and respect he has earned from his peers,? said Dr. Fine.

?I expect to expand both experimental and paleontological research, areas in which my Department is already recognized as a world leader,? said Dr. Jungers. ?This will help provide medical and graduate students with a more in-depth understanding of anatomical form and its evolution.?

Dr. Jungers hopes to add faculty committed to world-class research and dedicated to teaching. Adding faculty will expand course offerings and be beneficial to the School of Medicine, as the numbers of medical students are expected to increase in the coming years.

Considered among the best evolutionary morphologists in the world, Dr. Jungers has traveled to far corners of the globe investigating the function and structure of living and fossil primates. His research focuses on the evolution of human locomotion, body size, and biomechanical scaling, and vertebrate paleontology. He is also part of an international team involved in the analysis of the ?hobbit? fossils (Homo floresiensis) from Indonesia. The discovery of this prehistoric ?hobbit? has been featured in recent documentaries on public television. The original discoverers of the fossil contacted Dr. Jungers and his colleague, Dr. Susan Larson, to help them understand the functional significance of the odd skeletons.

Dr. Jungers is the former editor of the Journal of Human Evolution and has authored more than 100 scientific articles and edited or co-authored several books, most recently Reconstructing Behavior in the Primate Fossil Record (2002). He received two major grants in 2006 to further his research on evolution, one from the Leakey Foundation and the other from the National Geographic Society.

A member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the Paleoanthropology Society, Dr. Jungers received his Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1976. He lives in St. James and is the father of two adult children, Matthew and Jocelyn.

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