Becky Sigmon

Becky A. Sigmon, Anthropologist

Emeritus Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto


Becky Sigmon

Research interests: focus on the last 5 million years of human evolution from australopithecines and Homo erectus to early Homo sapiens, the evolution of upright posture, and the biological and social adaptations of earliest humans.

Professional affiliation: University of Toronto since 1969 in the Department of Anthropology, with joint appointments in Anatomy and Russian & East European Studies, giving undergraduate and graduate courses in all of the research areas listed below, advisor of graduate students including Timothy Bromage who won the Max Planck Prize in 2010 for his accomplishments in human evolutionary sciences.

Establishment of a Research and Teaching Skeletal Collection of non-human primates, between 1970 and 2000, at the University of Toronto (Mississauga) that includes prosimians, New and Old World monkeys, and at least one skeleton of each pongid.

Books and Areas of Research with Selected publications


Sigmon, B.A. The Making of a Palaeoanthropologist: John T. Robinson, Indian Journal of Physical Anthropology and Human Genetics. Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 179-341. Serials Publication, New Delhi, India, 2007.

Baker, G. and Sigmon,B.A., eds. Festschrift for John T. Robinson, South African Journal of Science. Vol. 91, No. 9, pp. 424-482, 1995.

Sigmon, B.A., ed.  Before the Wall Fell: The Science of Man in Socialist Europe. Canadian Scholars’ Press, Toronto, 204 pp, 1993.

Sigmon,B.A. and J.S. Cybulski, eds. Homo erectus: Papers in Honour of Davidson Black, University of Toronto Press, 271 pp, 1981.

Origins of australopithecine and early Homo erect bipedality:

Bilzingslegen and adaptive radiation in Homo after Homo erectus, Veroffentlichungsten Landesamtes Archäeologie, Band 57, Festschrift fϋr Dietrich Mania, 2003.

Evolution in the hominid pelvis. Palaeontologia Africana 26 (3):25-32, 1986.

The Hindlimb of Primates, In Systematics, Evolution and Anatomy, Vol. 1, D.R. Swindler, ed. Alan R. Liss Publ. New York, pp. 671-718 (With D. Farslow) 1986.

Origins of Human Reproductive Behaviour:

Reproductive Ecology, a Graduate Seminar Publication of Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, 2000.

Reproductive ecology and early hominids, In Hominid Evolution: Lifestyles and Survival Strategies.Edition Archaea Schwellm, Germany, pp. 252-261, 1999.

The Female Prostate, Anthropologie 3-4 (1):131-134 (With R. Royko), 1996.

Human Sexuality: Anthropological and Evolutionary Perspectives. Ency. Human Biol. Academic Press, Vol. 6:877-899, 1991.

Historical Perspectives on Biological Anthropology:

A History of the Australopithecines, In F. Spencer, ed, History of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 2, pp. 145-152, Garland Publ. Inc., New York, 1997.

Physical Anthropology in Socialist Europe Before the Wall Fell. American Scientist Vol. 81:130-139, 1993.

Human Biological Adaptations:

Antarctica and Human Biology. RALUT Senior Scholars’ Symposium,  University of Toronto, pp. 92-104, 2008.

Biorhythms in Homo sapiens from Paleolithic to Modern Times, In H. Ullrich, ed. Man and Environment in the Paleolithic.  Études et Recherches de l’Université  de Liège, Vol. 62:159-165, 1995.

Domestication of Our Prehistoric Mind.

Domestication of the Prehistoric Mind. Presentation given at Australasian Soc. Hum. Biol., Perth, 2009.

Language Without Words: a Monumental Early Human Adaptation, Australasian Soc. Hum. Biol., Causes and Effects of Human Variation, pp. 13-18, M. Henneberg, ed, Univ. Adelaide, 2002.

Present research: Evolutionary biology in earliest Homo sapiens, especially that which concerns the evolution of the human mind.