Carol V. Ward, PhD, Curators Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences in the MU School of Medicine was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ward was nominated and elected by members of the academy in recognition of her contributions to the field of anthropology.
Founded in 1780, by a group including John Adams and John Hancock, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas and to address issues of importance to the nation and the world. Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were among the first members elected to the academy in 1781.
Election to the academy is among the highest honors in the fields of arts and sciences.
Ward studies the evolution of apes and early hominins, focusing on the fossil record from East and South Africa. She co-leads the West Turkana Paleo Project, a National Science Foundation-funded paleontological fieldwork project in Kenya searching for fossil evidence of early hominins and their environments. Ward also studies the evolution of the hominoid torso, combining CT scan data, and with more traditional analyses to discern how torsos vary among anthropoids, how much integration there is among these elements. Ward uses this information to interpret the evolution of body shape and locomotion in ape and human evolution.
In March, Ward also received the 2023 Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award from the American Association for Anatomy in recognition of her contributions and achievements in anatomical science. The Henry Gray Scientific Achievement Award is the organization’s highest scientific honor. Ward is also a fellow of the American Association for Anatomy and delivered the Henry Gray Scientific Achievement lecture at the organization’s annual meeting in Washington DC.
Ward also recently received the Gordon P. Getty Award from the Leaky Foundation, which is awarded to an individual who demonstrates extraordinary intellectual and professional dedication to a multidisciplinary approach in the field of human origins research.
Ward is recognized as an international expert in human evolution and her recent awards honor her decades of work with the University of Missouri.