Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology

Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology’s mission is to increase the understanding of “human diversity and complexity”, including hominid forebears, ancestors and nonhuman primates, and they also cover natural and social science in order to expand the knowledge of “human diversity and complexity”.

Physical Anthropology or biological anthropology mainly deals with variability, adaption and evolution of human through studying “physical form of humans – the bones, muscles, and organs” to see how they help human beings survive and reproduce. Also, Physical Anthropology studies modern human cultural and behaviour changes. Physical Anthropology focuses on different area, including Paleoanthropology, Primatology , Skeletal biology, Forensic anthropology, Human biology, Bioarchaelogy, population biology and ecology. One question Physical Anthropologists ask: what  does it mean to be  a human?

The study of primates is the subgroup of Physical Anthropology, studying primates can help us understand the behavior of hominid since primates are our closest relatives, and also understand the differences and similarities between us and primates.

Paleoanthropology studies the evolution and origins  of human beings.  Paleoanthropologists can examine primates’ and hominids’ fossils records to determine the “environment into which modern humans evolved”

Primatology studies non human primates. Studying primates can help Primatologists understand the similarity between primates and human beings, and also have better knowledge about the environment our ancestors shared with primates.

Skeletal biology aims to understand health and evolution of human from studying  human skeleton remains. Human skeleton evidence can help one determines what diseases and conditions prior to dying .

Forensic anthropology is the study of human remains, and aims to determine age, sex and cause of death. It can greatly help law enforcement officers identify victim and offender.

Bioarchaelogy also studies human skeleton, but its’ mission is to understand diet, health, migration, and lifestyle in the past.

The interesting thing about CAPA-ACAP is that it was founded in American Association of Physical Anthropologists meeting in 1972 by Drs. Frank Auger, Charlie Eyman, Geoff Gaherty, Jamshed Mavalwala, Jim Paterson and Chris Meiklejohn, and the reason is that they believe the  anthropologist in Canada should not travel to the United States in order to meet other professional anthropologist. Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology welcomes students who are interested in this field which is a good opportunity for those students members to express their voice. Moreover, they value students’ participation, so they created the Student Representation in 2003, as well as offer student members research funding and conference travel coasts. CAPA-ACAP is celebrating its 43 years, and it has approximately 130 members per year from 1997 to 2013.

The Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology published its first Newsletter in 1976. CAPA-ACAP transformed newsletter into Journal in 1979, called Canadian Review of Physical Anthropology, but they had to stop publishing Journal in 1985 due to lack of fund. For this reason, CAPA-ACAP continues to publish Newsletter. Dr. Jerry Cybulski sent his collection of Canadian Review of Physical Anthropology and Newslette to Dr. Andrew Neslon, who was then -president of CAPA-ACAP, and the reason is that Dr. Andrew Neslon wanted to created internet archive. Now, CAPA-ACAP is still trying to complete its’ publication.

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