Mary Marzke

Professor Emeritus


Mary Marzke's research is in the area of comparative functional and evolutionary biology of primates, with a focus on the evolution of the hand and bipedality. Her approaches include laser scanning with 3-D analysis of wrist joint surface areas, angles and curvatures, in vivo kinematic and electromyographic studies of human hand and wrist movements and muscle recruitment during the manufacture and manipulation of prehistoric tools, and in vitro measurement of joint ranges of motion and muscle cross sectional areas, tendon excursion and moment arms in catarrhine primates.

She is a founding member of the ASU Partnership for Research in Spatial Modeling (PRISM), initially funded by the NSF, where extensive and important new capabilities for 3-D analysis of joint surfaces have been developed, and served as codirector of the ASU IGERT Program, Neural and Musculoskeletal Adaptations in Form and Function, also funded by the NSF. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an honorary member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.


Ph.D. University of California-Berkeley 1964

Research Interests

SHESC Theme: Human Origins, Evolution and Diversity

Field Specializations: Comparative Functional and Evolutionary Morphology, Modeling and Simulation, Physical Anthropology, Primatology, Spatial Technologies

Regional Focus: International


Marzke, Mary W., Marchant, Linda F., McGrew, William C., & Reece, Sandra P. (2015). Grips and hand movements of chimpanzees during feeding in Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 156:317-326.
Marzke, Mary (2013). Tool making, hand morphology and fossil hominins. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B , 368, 20120414.
Marzke, M.W., Tocheri, M.W., Steinberg, B., Femiani, J.D., Reece, S.P., Linscheid, R.L., Orr, C.M. & Marzke, R.F. (2010). Comparative 3D quantitative analyses of trapeziometacarpal joint surface curvatures among living catarrhines and fossil hominins. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 141, 38-51.
Marzke, M.W. (2010). Upper-limb evolution and development. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 91:26-30.
Marzke, Mary W., PhD, Linscheid, Ronald L., MD (2010). Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy. In: William P. Cooney III, MD (ed): The Wrist. Diagnosis and Operative Treatment. Second Edition. Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, pp. 13-24.
Orr, C.M., Leventhall, E.L., Chivers, S.F., Marzke, M.W., Wolfe, S.W. & Crisco, J.J. (2010). Studying primate carpal kinematics in three dimensions using a computed-tomography-based markerless registration method. The Anatomical Record, 293, 692-709.
Tocheri, M.W., Orr, C.M., Jacofsky, M.C. & Marzke, M.W. (2008). The evolutionary history of the hominin hand since the last common ancestor of Pan and Homo. Journal of Anatomy, 215, 544-562.
Marzke, M.W., Shrewsbury, M. S., & Horner, K.E. (2007). Middle phalanx skeletal morphology in the hand: Can it predict flexor tendon size and attachments? American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 134(2), 141-51.
Marzke, M.W. (2005). Who made stone tools? In V. Roux and B. Brill (Eds.), Stone knapping: The necessary preconditions for a uniquely hominin behaviour. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.
Nagano, A., Umberger, B.R., Marzke, M.W., Gerritsen, K.G.M. (2005). Neuromusculoskeletal computer modeling and simulation of upright, straight-legged, bipedal locomotion of Australopithecus afarensis (A.L. 288-1). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 126:2-13.
Tocheri, M.W., Razdan, A., Williams, R.C., & Marzke, M.W. (2005). A 3D quantitative comparison of trapezium and trapezoid relative articular and nonarticular surface areas in modern humans and great apes. Journal of Human Evolution, 49(5), 570-586.
Shrewsbury, M.S., Marzke, M.W., Linscheid, R.L., & Reece, S.P. (2003). Comparative morphology of the pollical distal phalanx. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 121(1), 30-47.
Marzke, M.W. & Marzke, R.F. (2000). Evolution of the human hand: Approaches to acquiring, analyzing and interpreting the anatomical evidence. Journal of Anatomy, 197(Part 1), 121-140.
Marzke, M.W., Marzke, R.F., Linscheid, R.L., Smutz, P., Steinberg, B., Reece, S., An, K.N. (1999). Chimpanzee thumb muscle cross sections, moment arms and potential torques, and comparisons with humans. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 110(2), 163-178.
Marzke, M.W., Toth, N., Schick, K., Reece, S., Steinberg, B., Hunt, K., Linscheid, R.L., & An, K.N. (1998). EMG study of hand muscle recruitment during hard hammer percussion manufacture of Oldowan tools. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 105(3), 315-332.
Marzke, M.W. (1997). Precision grips, hand morphology and tools. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 102(1), 91-110.
Marzke, M.W., Young, D.L., Hawkey, D.E., Su, S.M., Fritz, J., Alford, P.L. (1996). Comparative analysis of weight gain, hand/wrist maturation and dental emergence rates in chimpanzees aged 0-24 months from varying captive environments. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 99:175-190.

Research Activity


  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Organized symposium for 2003 annual meeting (2003)
  • American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Reviewer (2003)
  • American Journal of Primatology, Reviewer (2003)
  • Chair search committee, Member (2003)
  • Clinical Anatomy, Reviewer (2003)
  • Department of Exercise Science (now Kinesiology), Member of Executive Committee (2003)
  • Executive Committee, IGERT Program in Musculoskeletal and Neural Adaptations in Form and Function, Member as Co-Director of the Program (2003)
  • Faculty search committee, Member (2003)
  • Journal of Human Evolution, Reviewer (2003)
  • LSB Leaky Foundation, Reviewer of grant proposals (2003)
  • NSF, Reviewer of grant proposals (2003)
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Reviewer (2003)
  • Research and Development Committee, Member (2003)
  • University of Wisconsin, Milwauke, Reviewer for promotion to full professor (2003)