Scott W. Simpson, PhD

Professor, Department of Anatomy

Contact Information:

Phone: (216) 368-1946
Office: EG 23
Scott W. Simpson

Biographical Information


1992 PhD - Biological Anthropology
Division of Biomedical Sciences - Biological Anthropology Program
Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
1987 MA - Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
1981 BA - Anthropology
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

Other Appointments

Professor, Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University
Professor, Department of Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University
Fellow, Center of Human Origins, Case Western Reserve University
Fellow, Institute for the Science of Origins, Case Western Reserve University
Research Associate, Laboratory of Physical Anthropology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Curriculum Vitae


I teach human gross anatomy at the graduate, professional, and postgraduate levels through the CWRU-School of Medicine. I also teach osteology at the undergraduate and graduate levels, human evolution seminars, evolutionary medicine, and oversee undergraduate and graduate research projects.

Teaching Awards

Kaiser-Permanente Teaching Excellence Award in Pre-Clinical training, CWRU School of Medicine, 1999
Multiple nominations for the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, CWRU
Recognition as an Outstanding Professor by Alpha Chi Omega, CWRU chapter, 2007, 2008
Faculty Inductee, Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society, CWRU, 2009

Course Websites


For the past 20 years I have participated in paleontological research in Ethiopia – first as a hominin specialist with the Middle Awash Research Project and more recently as the project paleontologist for the Gona Research Project. This field research surveys deposits that span the 6.5 to 0.05 million years ago time interval and has yielded a variety of fossil hominins that document the many stages of human evolution and these include Ardipithecus kadabba, Ar. ramidus, Homo erectus, and modern humans. This research is interdisciplinary and regularly involves numerous specialists (geologists, paleontologists, archeologists) from throughout the US and across the world. While much of my research is focused on the fossil evidence for human evolution, I also study the evolution of the suids.

I also study enamel microstructure in human and non-human teeth to explore this tissue as an indicator of normal and pathological growth.

Research Awards

Recognition for excellence in research by the Ohio governor. 1999
Northern Ohio Live magazine Award for Achievement in Science & Technology. 1999
Co-author of paper (Quade, et al.) chosen as 'Editors' Choice – Highlights of Recent Literature. Science. 2005
Milestones in Research. CWRU School of Medicine. 2008. (Homo erectus biology).
'2009 Breakthrough of the year' (White, et al.) Research on Ardipithecus ramidus. Science. 2009
Research featured in 'News of the week' Science. (Homo erectus biology) (Simpson, et al.) 2010

Research Laboratory Website

Selected Publications

Simpson, S.W.; Kleinsasser, L.; Quade, J.; Levin, N.E.; McIntosh, W.; Dunbar, N.; Semaw, S. In press. Late Miocene hominins from Gona, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution.

Haile-Selassie, Y.; Simpson, S.W. In press. A new species of Kolpochoerus (Mammalia: Suidae) from the Middle Pliocene of Ethiopia. Journal of Mammalian Evolution.

Cotter, M. M.; Loomis, D. A.; Simpson, S. W.; Latimer, B.; Hernandez, C. J. 2011 Human evolution and osteoporosis-related spinal fractures. PLos ONE 6:e26658 (1-11).

Simpson, S.W. 2010. The earliest hominins. In CS Larsen (Ed.). A Companion to Physical Anthropology. Wiley-Blackwell.

Lovejoy, C.O.; Simpson, S.W.; Suwa, G.; Asfaw, B.; White, T.D. 2009. Careful climbing in the Miocene: The forelimbs of Ardipithecus ramidus and humans are primitive. Science 326: 73, 100-106.

Suwa, G.; White, T.D.; Kono, R.T.; Simpson, S.W.; Lovejoy, C.O. 2009. Paleobiological implications of the Ardipithecus ramidus dentition. Science 326:69, 94-99.

Simpson, S.W.; Quade, J.; Levin, N.E.; Butler, R.; Dupont-Nivet, G.; Everett, M.A.; Semaw, S. 2008. A female Homo erectus pelvis from Gona, Ethiopia. Science 322:1089-1092.