It is an honor to have been chosen to succeed Robert Sussman as Editor of the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. In the five years Bob was Editor, the Yearbook published notable review articles including those that examined the history of our discipline. Bob has agreed to remain on the Editorial Board and we look forward to his continued advice. The Yearbook is published as an annual supplement to the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. It provides a venue for longer, in-depth explorations of developments within our discipline. Yearbook articles can both summarize and synthesize state-of-the-art topics in any of the discipline's subfields and present new paradigms for understanding important issues. Yearbook reviews go well beyond literature reviews by including original data and analysis. Articles for the Yearbook are usually solicited by members of the Editorial Board, but please feel free to contact me if you have an idea for an article that you feel will be of interest to the readership of the AJPA. We are particularly interested in articles on the relationship of new technologies to evolutionary questions, the use of new databases for answering research questions and the use of online resources for teaching and research. We are by no means limited to these questions, but if you are working in these areas, please contact me or any of the Associate Editors. The Editorial Board is composed of individuals who are experts in all the subfields of biological anthropology. I have been very grateful for their help and expertise this year. They worked hard to ensure that the Yearbook had articles of the highest quality. I am very grateful for their enthusiasm, good humor and their expertise. I would also like to thank the many reviewers for their time and thoughtful comments.

The articles in this year's edition of the Yearbook certainly fulfill our mandate to provide in-depth explorations of the discipline, present new paradigms for understanding important issues and new ways to explore evolutionary questions. Gordon, Marcus and Wood in their article, “Great Ape Skeletal Collections: Making the Most of Scarce and Irreplaceable Resources in the Digital Age,” discuss the history of skeletal collections of great apes with special attention to the Powell-Cotton Collection. Data from material in this collection are available free at The authors also provide an application of the use of this resource for research. Boyer and colleagues provide a detailed look at the hands of early primates in their article. Hand characteristics reflect foraging, locomotor and postural characteristics. The authors provide new comparative data for Paleogene primates and compare plesiadapiforms, adapiforms and omomyiforms and the locomotor transitions of early primates. Benyshek examines the role of developmental programming and phenotypic plasticity in early life in the global cardiometabolic health crisis. Gray examines the central role sexuality plays in reproductive success in his article “The Evolution of Human Sexuality.” He examines the theoretical foundations for the study of sexuality from Darwin to life history and incorporates new information on genetics and hormonal studies. Stumpf and colleagues provide a different perspective on reproductive success in their article “Primate Vaginal Microbial Ecology: Comparative Context and Implications for Human Health and Disease.” Considerable attention is currently being paid to microbial variation between individuals. Stumpf and colleagues focus on one aspect of this variation and its implications for fecundity, female health and pregnancy outcome. As evidence of the increased interest in microbial variation, Harper and Armelagos also consider the microbiome as part of the transition to agriculture and pathogen origins. They also review how recent genetic information has led to a reconsideration of the origins of agriculture and disease. The final article in this volume is by Konigsberg and Frankenberg. In their article, “Bayes in Biological Anthropology,” they argue that biological anthropologists use statistical hypotheses and confidence interval methods that are unrelated to the research questions being asked. They suggest and detail the ways in which Bayesian analysis can be a productive research tool and give examples from bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology.

All of this year's articles present new interpretations and new methods for readers of the AJPA. We hope you will find them useful. Please feel free to contact me or any of the Associate Editors if you have any ideas for articles. The following links may be useful for you. Instructions for authors are available at: and Yearbook specific information is available at:

  • Trudy R. Turner

  • Department of Anthropology

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • Milwaukee, WI 53201