Robert B. Eckhardt 

photo of Robert Eckhardt

Professor of Developmental Genetics and Evolutionary Morphology

Contact Information

203 Water Tower
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-865-1275

Research Interests

Interaction of genetic and environmental influences on growth and development in human populations; musculo-skeletal structures are of primary interest. Current study techniques emphasize computer imaging and analysis of two-dimensional and three-dimensional data representing anatomical structures. Particular emphasis is placed on integration of molecular and morphological perspectives on development. 


Ph.D., 1971, Anthropology and Human Genetics, University of Michigan


  • Structure, function, development and evolution of the human musculoskeletal system
  • Empirical acquired biophilosophy ("Outside of a book, a dog is man's best friend; inside a dog it's too dark to read.")

Selected Publications

Eckhardt, R. B., Weller, A. S., & Henneberg, M. 2017. Intercellular competition and levels of development: The plasticity of inevitability. PNAS Early Edition.

Eckhardt RB, Henneberg M, Chavanaves S, Weller AS, Hsü KJ. 2015. Reply to Westaway et al.: Mandibular misrepresentations fail to support the invalid species Homo floresiensis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 112(7):E606-E607. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1422176112).

Henneberg M, Eckhardt RB, Chavanaves S, Hsü KJ (2014). Evolved developmental homeostasis disturbed: LB1 Skeleton from Flores, Indonesia, manifests Down syndrome, not diagnostic traits of an invalid new species, “Homo floresiensis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 111(33):11967-11972. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1407382111).

Eckhardt RB, Henneberg M, Weller AW, Hsü KJ. 2014. Rare events in earth history: the LB1 human skeleton from Flores, Indonesia, represents developmental singularity, not taxonomic uniqueness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 111(33):11961-11966. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1407385111).

Whipple T, Eckhardt RBE. 2010. The Endurance Paradox. Left Coast Press, Routledge Division of Taylor & Francis: London.

Jacob T, Indriati I, Soejono R, Hsü K., Frayer DW, Eckhardt RB, Kuperavage AJ, Thorne A, and Henneberg M. 2006. Pygmoid Australomelanesian Homo sapiens skeletal remains from Liang Bua, Flores: population affinities and pathological abnormalities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103:13421-13426.

Galik K, B. Senut B, Pickford M, Gommery D, Treil J, A. Kuperavage A, Eckhardt RB. 2004. External and internal mophology of the BAR 1002'00 Orrorin tugenensis Femur. Science 305:1450-1453.

Eckhardt RB. 2000. Human Paleobiology. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. 

Eckhardt RB. 1987. Hominoid nasal region polymorphism and its phylogenetic significance. Nature 328:333-335. 

Strategic Themes

  • Domains of Health and Behavior