Peter W. Lucas

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Peter W. Lucas

Research Professor of Anthropology


Dr. Lucas is a biological anthropologist studying primate feeding ecology and feeding processes.

For Dr. Lucas's complete CV, click here.

Research Associates
Dental morphology and function; primate diet, feeding ecology, and behavior; chemical and physical content of food; tools for the field study of foraging mammals; evolution of color vision.

Dr. Lucas's specific focus is on feeding and food choice in mammals, particularly in humans and other primates, and anatomical and physiological adaptations that have evolved in relation to that. His work has broadened from an initial focus on dental function, chewing and swallowing to consider any other physical and chemical factors that influence food preference.  His interests encompass a wide spectrum of activities with an emphasis on the search for new approaches and collaborations on both theoretical and technical planes. Individual projects have been designed so that their relevance to researchers in related disciplines (e.g. ecology, vertebrate paleontology, primatology, physical anthropology, oral biology, food science, and materials science) is maintained.

Anth 3401 (old 141): Human Functional Anatomy
Anth 3411 (148): Primatology
Anth 6401 (241): Human Functional Anatomy


2004  Lucas, P.W. Dental Functional Morphology: How Teeth Work. A research-level book aiming to be a definitive statement on oral function. New York: Cambridge University Press. 372 pages. [2007: produced in paperback]

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

2012  Lucas P.W., L. Copes, P.J. Constantino, E.R. Vogel, J. Chalk, M. Talebi, M. Landis and M. Wagner. "Measuring the toughness of primate foods and its ecological value," International Journal of Primatology 33: 598–61. doi 10.1007/s10764-011-9540-9

2009  Lucas, P.W., Z.Q. Sui, K.Y. Ang, H.T.W. Tan, S.H. King, B. Sadler and N. Peri. "Meals vs. snacks and the human dentition and diet during the Palaeolithic." In: The Evolution of Hominin Diets: Integrating Approaches to the Study of Palaeolithic Subsidence (eds. J.-J. Hublin & M.P. Richards), pp. 31-41. Dordrecht: Springer.

2008  Lucas, P.W., P. Constantino, B.A. Wood, and B.R. Lawn. "Dental enamel as a dietary indicator in mammals," BioEssays 30: 374-285.

2007  Lucas, P.W., and Wood, B.A. "Structural and functional trends in mandibular and tooth morphology within the hominid clade," Journal of Anatomy 210: 771.

2006  Teaford, M.F., Lucas, P.W., Ungar, P.S., and Glander, K.E. "Mechanical defenses in leaves eaten by Costa Rican howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata)," American Journal of Physical Anthropology 129: 99-104.

2006  Sui, Z.Q., Agrawal, K.R., Corke, H., and Lucas, P.W. "Biting efficiency in relation to incisal angulation," Archives of Oral Biology 51: 491-497.

2006  Ang, K.Y., Lucas, P.W., and Tan, H.T.W. "Incisal orientation and biting efficiency," Journal of Human Evolution 50: 663-672.

D.Sc. 2002, University of London
Ph.D. 1980, University of London
B.S. Hons. 1976, University College London