Campbell Rolian

Campbell Rolian


Adjunct Associate Professor

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Full Member

McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 210-3888


Office: HRIC 3AC68


Educational Background

B.S. Biology, McGill University, 2000

Doctor of Philosophy Anthropology, Harvard University, 2008

M.A. Anthropology, Harvard University, 2004


Dr. Rolian obtained his BSc in Biology from McGill University. Between undergraduate and graduate school, he was manager of public programs and science education at McGill's Redpath Museum, running discovery workshops and tours for visitors of all ages. He obtained his PhD in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University, and then returned to Canada to do postdoctoral work in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary.


Areas of Research

Bone and Joint Health

Much of Dr. Rolian's work focuses on the evolution, development and functional morphology of the vertebrate limb skeleton. He is particularly interested in skeletal variation in size and shape between individuals: how it originates in, and is structured by, normal processes of organismal development, and how this can affect the ability of the limb bones to evolve in response to natural and artificial selection.


Selected publications

  • Rolian, C., Lieberman, D.E., Zermeno, J.P. (2011). "Hand biomechanics during simulated stone tool use". Journal of Human Evolution 61: 26-41
  • Nelson, E., Rolian, C. Cashmore, L., Shultz, S. (2011). "Digit ratios predict polygyny in early apes, Ardipithecus, Neanderthals and early Modern Humans but not in Australopithecus". Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences 278: 1556-1563 PDF
  • Manyama, M., Rolian, C. Gilyoma, J., Magori, C., Mjema, K., Kimwaga, E., Mazyala, E., Hallgrimsson, B. (2011). "The pattern of orofacial clefts at Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, Tanzania". BMC Oral Biology 11: 5 PDF
  • Jamniczky, H., Boughner, J., Rolian, C., Gonzalez, P., Powell, C., Schmidt, E., Parsons, T., Bookstein, F., Hallgrímsson, B. (2010) "Mapping the epigenetic landscape: rediscovering Waddington in the Post-Genomic Age". BioEssays 32: 553-558 PDF
  • Pontzer, H., Rolian, C., Rightmire, G.P., Lordkipanidze, D., Jashashvili, T., Zollikofer, C. and Ponce de Leon, M. (2010) "Locomotor anatomy and biomechanics of the Dmanisi hominids". Journal of Human Evolution 58: 492-504 PDF
  • Rolian, C., Lieberman, D. and Hallgrimsson, B. (2010) "The coevolution of human hands and feet". Evolution 64: 1558-1568 PDF
  • Hallgrímsson, B., Jamniczky, H., Young, N.M., Rolian, C., Parsons, T.E., Boughner, J.C. and Marcucio, R. (2009). "Deciphering the palimpsest: studying the relationship between morphological integration and phenotypic covariation". Evolutionary Biology 36: 355-376 PDF
  • Rolian, C. (2009). "Integration and evolvability in primate hands and feet". Evolutionary Biology 36: 100-117 PDF
  • Rolian, C.. Lieberman, D., Hamill, J., Scott, J. and Werbel, W. (2009). "Walking, running and the evolution of short toes in humans". Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 713-721 PDF
  • Rolian, C. (2008). "Developmental basis of limb length in rodents: evidence for multiple divisions of labor in mechanisms of endochondral bone growth". Evolution & Development 10: 15-28 PDF
  • Carroll, R. L., Boisvert, C., Bolt, J., Green, D. M., Philip, N., Rolian, C., Schoch, R. and Tarenko, A. 2004. "Changing patterns of ontogeny from osteolepiform fish through Permian tetrapods as a guide to the early evolution of land vertebrates". In: Recent Advances in the Origin and Early Radiation of Vertebrates. 
  • G. Arratia, R. Cloutier, and M.V. H. Wilson (eds). Verlag Dr. F. Pfeil, Munchen. Pp. 321-343
  • Rolian, C.. and Willmore, K.W. (2009). "50 years of morphological integration: patterns and processes of integration in biological anthropology". Evolutionary Biology 36: 1-4. PDF