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Distinguished SBU Professor to Present Inaugural Rohlf Medal

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Distinguished SBU Professor to Present Inaugural Rohlf Medal

Award recognizes excellence in morphometric methods and applications

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Dr. F. James Rohlf

STONY BROOK, NY, October 20, 2011 – On Thursday, October 24, at 4:30 pm in Lecture Hall 2 of the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University, Dr. F. James Rohlf, a John S. Toll Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University, will present the inaugural Rohlf Medal for Excellence in Morphometric Methods and Applications to Dr. Fred L. Bookstein, professor of morphometrics at the University of Vienna and professor of statistics at the University of Washington. The award comes with a $1,000 cash prize, and culminates in a Provost’s Lecture by Dr. Bookstein entitled “Biology and Mathematical Imagination: The Meaning of Morphometrics,” following the presentation. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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Rohlf Medal for Excellence in Morphometric Methods and Applications

The Rohlf Medal was established to recognize an individual’s body of work in the field of morphometrics, a discipline concerned with methods for capturing information on the size and shape of biological structures and the analysis of shape change and shape variation in populations. It combines the techniques of geometry, computer science and mathematical biology with multivariate statistics in analyzing these differences. 

Dr. Bookstein has been referred to by his contemporaries as “an intellectual father of geometric morphometrics” for his groundbreaking innovations in the field. His work in biometry, as a statistical scientist, applied mathematician and 

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Dr. Fred L. Bookstein

principal creator of morphometrics, make him the clear choice for the inaugural award, noted Professor Rohlf. “His contributions have influenced the theory of morphometrics and the training of the next generation of morphometricians,” said Professor Rohlf. “He continues to make important contributions to applications in biology, medicine and engineering.” 

Dr. Bookstein’s innovations have been applied across evolutionary and developmental biology, paleontology, computer vision, medical imaging and cognitive neuroimaging. Spanning back to 1977, he has authored or produced more than 300 books, chapters, articles and videos on various aspects of morphometric methods and is also the co-developer of two software packages, Edgewarp and Edgewarp 3D, that embed image-related aspects of morphometric techniques in a common framework for Unix workstations. 

“I am utterly delighted to receive this award,” said Dr. Bookstein. “The Rohlf Award is part of the continuing bridge between the distinct traditions of quantitative research. I look forward to the new academic generations who will make morphometrics part of their view of science.” 

The Rohlf Medal Fund is managed by the Stony Brook Foundation and the expectation is that the Rohlf Medal will be awarded every two years with nominations being evaluated by a committee. For more information, contact the Department of Ecology and Evolution at (631) 632-8600.

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