The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

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Charles Oxnard

E/Prof Charles Oxnard

Senior Honorary Research Fellow
Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, School of

Contact details
School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology
The University of Western Australia (M309)
35 Stirling Highway
Degrees from Birmingham University, UK,: ’55, BSc (Ist Class Honours), ’58, MB, ChB, (Richard’s Memorial Prize), ’62, PhD, (Highly Commended) and ’76, DSc, (Official). Appointments included: U. Birmingham, ’62-‘66, Professorship, University of Chicago (’66-’78), University Professorship (1 of only 5), University of Southern California (’78-’87), and Established Chair and Head, Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia (’78-’87). Retired for 17 years as Emeritus Professor but also holding appointments as Senior Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, and Adjunct Professor in the Forensic Science Centre
Key research
Researches from 1952 starting with anatomical dissection and bone measurement. Developed through multivariate statistical analyses, geometric morphometrics, engineering modelling including photoelastic, finite element and Fast Lagrangian Analyses, and texture analysis with optical and computational Fourier transforms. This work on bones then extended to mathematical analyses of soft tissue structures, muscle and brain, and of non-anatomical features such as animal movements, lifestyles, diets and environments. Further studies included mathematical mimicry of individual lineages and species trees, and clinical problems: vitamin B12 deficiency, osteoporosis, ear ossicle function and disease, iodine deficiency, cretinism, and the Flores skeleton. Recently moved into forensic studies of bone.
Lifetime total 220 full length papers including: Nature (7), Science (3), Proc. Roy. Soc. B., Theoret. Biol., PLoS ONE, Jiepouxue Tongbao (China), C. R. Acad Sci. (France), Rev. Neuro-Psiquiatria (Peru), Acta Neurologica LatinoAmericana (Venezuela), Experientia (Switzerland), and Homo, and Zeit. f. Morph. u. Anthro., (Germany).
Lifetime total of 33 books including: Chicago, Yale, Washington, Hong Kong, and Cambridge University Presses, and World Scientific, Springer, Karger, Britannica, and Wiley Commercial Presses.
In retirement 85 full length papers including Nature, Internat. J. Primatol, Folia Primatol. (x3), Proc. Royal Soc B., Biological Theory, PLoS ONE, and J. Com. Hum. Biol. Eleven books including “Anatomical Terms and their Derivation”, World Scientific, ’07, “Ghostly Muscles, Wrinkled Brains, Heresies and Hobbits” World Scientific, ’08, “Endemic Cretinism”, Springer, ’11, and “Human Anatomy: Scientific Underpinnings” ’12, in press with Wiley.
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Research, Paper and Book writing, Grant holding, Research student supervising, Mentoring of colleagues
Future research
Still active in all areas above
Funding received
£1.0 million research funding during 5 years in the UK; US$4 million during 24 years in the USA; A$2.7 million during 10 years in Australia (‘87 to ’97).
In 15 years of retirement, A$2.4 million in joint Australian grants and £2.7 million in joint UK Grants.
Currently 2 ARC Discovery grants, A$410,000 (with Franklin et al) and A$237,000 (with Judge et al) running to ’13 and ‘14. Regular MHRIF funding including 2004.
Industrial relevance
Elected Fellowships:
Honorary Life Fellowship, Undergraduate Guild, U. Birmingham, 1958.
FZS (Zoological Soc, London) 1957. Fellow (1 of 44) Zoological Club, London, 1964.
FCAS (Chicago Acad. Sci.): For academic services 1976.
FAAAS (Amer. Assoc. Advance. Science): For contributions to zoology, especially morphological measurement and comparison 1983.
FNYAS (New York Acad. Sci.): For outstanding scientific achievements in anatomical sciences 1986.
FSCAS (Fellow, Vice-President, President Elect, South. Cal. Acad. Sci.): For distinction in science 1987.
Emeritus Fellow, RSM (Royal Society of Medicine), 2003.
Founding Fellow, Zoological Society of London, 2004.
Honours and awards
Living History Awardee, American Anatomists Association, 2011
Chancellor’s Medallist, UWA, 2008.
Invited Presentation, Konrad Lorenz Institute, Vienna, 2008.
Dedicatee of Book: Shaping Human Evolution, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Awarded Leverhulme Professorship. U.C. London, & U. Liverpool, UK 2001-2003.
Charles R. Darwin Award, American Association of Physical Anthropologists 2001.
Lo Yuk Tong Foundation Lecturer, Hong Kong University, 2003.
Wiley Book Award: for Human Structure: Sci. Basis Hum. Anat. 2003.
Darwin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Physical Anthropology, USA, 2001.
Lo Yuk Tong Foundation Award, Hong Kong University, 1994.
Presenter of Pasteur Award to Le Roy Hood for Molecular Biology, 1987.
Britannica Book of the Year Award for The Order of Man, 1985.
Phi Kappa Phi Book Award, The Order of Man, 1984.
Premier Academic Book in Hong Kong Award, The Order of Man, 1984.
S.-T. Huang-Chan Memorial Medal and Lecture, Hong Kong University, 1981.
Lo Yuk Tong Foundation Award, Hong Kong University, 1973.
Ciba Foundation Lecturer, Queen Square, London, UK, 1966.
Overseas Member, Zool. Club, London (limit 15) 1966-present.
Student Member, Court of Governors, University of Birmingham. 1957-62.
Previous positions
Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Anatomy, U. of Birmingham,UK 1962-1966; Professor Anatomy, Anthropology and Evolutionary Biology, U. of Chicago, 1966-1978; University Professor (1 of only 5), Research Professor of Biology and Anatomy, and Professor of Anatomy, U. of Southern California, 1978-1987; Established Professor of Anatomy and Human Biology, U. Western Australia 1987-1997.
Post retirement appointments
Emeritus Professor, U. Western Australia, 1998-death.
Senior Honorary Research Fellow, U. Western Australia, 1998-2014 (Renewable).
Adjunct Professor of Forensic Science, 2007-2014 (Renewable).
Teaching in anatomy, anthropology and evolution has always included both science and medical students. Main thrust: scientific underpinnings of human structure. Also directed Undergraduate Research and MD/PhD Programmes, Chicago, and MD/PhD, Engineers in Medicine, and Medical Student Research Programmes, LA.
Current teaching - occasional invited lectures in Medical Anatomy and Human Biology as requested.
Current external positions
Hon. Prof. Human Anatomy, U. Liverpool, UK: 2003-2014 (Renewable)
Hon. Prof. Bioengineering, U. Hull, UK: 2005-2014 (Renewable)
Hon. Prof. Anatomy, Hull/York Medical School, UK: 2005-2014(Renewable)
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM