F. James Rohlf

(PhD U Kansas, 1962; Prof, Ecology & Evolution, SUNY Stony Brook) Morphometrics, numerical taxonomy, computer applications in systematics and ecology (rohlf@life.bio.sunysb.edu)

F. James Rohlf is interested in the applications of mathematical methods and statistics (especially multivariate statistics) to problems in biology with emphasis on morphometrics and the theory of systematics. Along with Robert Sokal, he is the co-author of the popular text Biometry, now in its third edition.

Recent research projects have been concerned with the relatively new field of geometric morphometrics – using statistics to study variation in the shapes of biological structures and its covariation with other variables. It is “geometric” because it involves a more complete capturing of shape than could be done with traditional ad hoc suites of measurements, ratios, and angles. Recent work has focused on some of the mathematical and statistical properties of morphological shape spaces. These methods usually begin with coordinates of landmarks on the organism and often use the thin-plate splines to express the statistical results as deformations. This approach allows rigorous statistical analyses and powerful graphic visualizations of the results.
For related information see the Morphometrics webpage.

Professor Rohlf was recently elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Recent representative publications

  • 2000 “A Geometric Morphometric Assessment of Change in Midline Brain Structural Shape following a First Episode of Schizophrenia,” Biological Psychiatry 48:398-405 [co-authors Waleed S. Gharaibeh, Dennis E. Slice, and Lynn E. DeLisi].
  • 2000 “Ecological character displacement in Plethodon: biomechanical differences found from a geometric morphometric study,” Proc. National Academy of Sciences (USA) 97:4106-4411 [co-author D.C. Adams].
  • 2000 “Statistical power comparisons among alternative morphometric methods,”Amer. J. Phys. Anthropol 111:463-478.
  • 2000 “On the use of shape spaces to compare morphometric methods,” Hystrix It. J. Mamm. (N.S.) 11(1):8-24.

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