Charles Merbs

Professor Emeritus
Emeritus Professor


Charles Merbs' interests lie in human osteology, disease ecology, paleopathology, forensic anthropology, mortuary practices, North and South America (especially Canadian Arctic and American Southwest), and Africa (Nubia). Current research is focused on the etiology of congenital and developmental problems, the relationship of degenerative pathology to behavior and the effects of trauma on the skeleton. Research associate at the San Diego Museum of Man.



Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison 1969


Research Interests

SHESC Themes: Biological, Social and Cultural Dimensions of Human Health

Field Specializations: Human Osteology, Human Ecology, Paleopathology

Regional Focus: Africa, North America, South America


  • Merbs, C. (2004). Sagittal clefting of the body and other vertebral developmental errors in Canadian Inuit skeletons. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 123(3), 236-249.
  • Charles Merbs. Sagittal clefting of the body and other vertebral developmental errors in Canadian Inuit skeletons. American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2003).
  • Charles Merbs. Degenerative Spondylolisthesis in Aleut and Inuit Skeletons. In An Aleutian Journey: A Collection of Essays in Honor of William S. Laughlin, edited by Bruno Frohlich (2002).
  • Merbs, C. (1995). Incomplete spondylolysis and healing: A study of ancient Canadian Eskimo skeletons. Spine, 20(21), 2328-2334.
  • Merbs, C. (1992). A new world of infectious disease. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 35, 3-42.
  • Merbs, C. (1983). Patterns of activity-induced pathology in a Canadian Inuit population. National Museum of Man Mercury Series, Archaeological Survey of Canada, Paper No. 119, Ottawa.

Research Activity


  • Agua Fria Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society, Human Osteology Workshop (2003)
  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Luncheon Speaker at Annual Meeting (2003)
  • Museology Program Committee, Member (2003)
  • News Briefs (newsletter), Editor (2003)
  • Personnal Committee, Chair (2003)
  • San Diego Museum of Man, Research Associate (2003)