Most of us, at one time in our lives, have probably wondered how we came about and what our ancestral background has been in terms of human evolution. It is an interesting inquiry and one that has received considerable attention by a number of prominent scholars. However, thanks to the efforts of C. Owen Lovejoy, we are coming closer to a better understanding of where we were and where we have come from since the beginnings of the human species. Lovejoy has given us some valuable insights and will probably continue to do so in the future because he is an individual with a solid background concerning past ancestral human origin studies.
Lovejoy has been alluded to as one of the best scholars regarding human evolution. Considering his background and accomplishments, it is easy to understand why he has become the recipient of this honor and reputation. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1968, he began an illustrious career at Kent State University and has continued to make contributions in his profession. He has engaged in fieldwork on numerous occasions but also shares his knowledge with others in a classroom setting. Like many scholars, he has focused on a particular activity within his profession, and that is a strong interest in bipedal locomotion and its changes over time. Although the subjects of his study are obviously quite old, Lovejoy recognizes that there is a connection between the past and the present in terms of what we can learn about ourselves today.
As one would expect, an individual who has engaged in study for a long period of time, and who is also associated with a prestigious university, will likely be one who shares his knowledge with others. Hence, it is easy to understand why Lovejoy’s publication record is outstanding and why it certainly attests to his knowledge about the subject matter that has earned him such a distinction in his professional career.
However, as a complement to Lovejoy’s research interests and academic activities, he has engaged in a number of other pursuits relating to his profession. For example, he has been involved in forensic activities that have been important to public agencies that deal with the criminal justice system. In addition, he has been awarded the prestigious directorship of the Matthew Ferrini Institute for Evolutionary Research, a valuable scholarly entity at Kent State University that will likely bring about new and valuable studies of our human origin. Lovejoy believes in the value of the interdisciplinary approach to his studies, and it should provide him and us with a new and better understanding of our past in terms of human evolution. The Ferrini Institute under his direction and guidance no doubt will also affect future scholars who also have a quest for knowledge concerning human evolution. Considering the fact that the institute is led by a person of renowned accomplishments in his area of specialty, this will no doubt come about soon and contribute substantially to a better understanding of that part of our ancestral past that is of so much interest to, or holds so much intrigue for, many of us.
- Lovejoy, C. O. (1973). Human osteology: A laboratory and field manual of the human skeleton, by William M. Bass. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 39, 324-325.
- Lovejoy, C. O. (1974a) New perspectives on ape and human evolution, by Adriaan Kortlandt. Current Anthropology, 15, 434-435.
- Lovejoy, C. O. (1974b) Primate locomotion. Science, 184, 679-681.