Stranger Fruit


Very sad news for those of us who do physical anthropology. Charles (“Charlie”) Lockwood (University College London) was killed today in a motorcycle accident in London. He is survived by his parents and sisters.

Charlie was a talented morphologist both in the sense of being a descriptive anatomist and quantitative biologist. I met him in the late 90’s when he came to ASU’s Institute of Origins for a post-doc after completing his PhD at the University of Witwatersrand. He, Bill Kimbel and I shared the pain of rejected NSF grant proposals before receiving NSF money to study the use of geometric morphometrics to study temporal bone variation in hominins. Three papers resulted:

  • Lockwood,C.A., Lynch,J.M., Kimbel,W.H. (2002). Quantifying temporal bone morphology of great apes and humans: An approach using geometric morphometrics. Journal of Anatomy 201(6), 447-464.
  • Lockwood,C.A., Kimbel,W.H., Lynch,J.M. (2004). Morphometrics and hominoid phylogeny: Support for a chimpanzee-human clade and differentiation among great ape subspecies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 101(13), 4356-4360.
  • Lockwood,C.A., Kimbel,W.H., Lynch,J.M. (2005). Variation in early hominin temporal bone morphology and its implications for species diversity. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 60(2), 73-77.

There was other research we intended to do but, somehow, with Charlie’s move to London in 2004 and all that involved, we never got round to it. He was soon to be returning to South Africa to take a position at Wits. I’m proud to have known Charlie as a colleague and a friend. He will be missed.

Update: Charlie gets a mention from Adam Yates,, Greg Laden & John Hawks.


  1. #1 afarensis
    July 14, 2008

    My condolences to his family and friends. As you say, this is sad news for the anthropological community.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    July 14, 2008

    Bummer. He was a good guy.

  3. #3 Robyn
    July 15, 2008

    I’m truly sorry for your loss.

  4. #4 Jim Tolar
    July 15, 2008

    I didn’t know Charlie professionally, but as an Ultimate player and teammate. He was good people, and all of his communities are worse off without him.

    Wherever you are, Charlie, it was a pleasure knowing and playing with you. Good travels on the next phase of your journey.


  5. #5 Abel Pharmboy
    July 16, 2008

    What a terrible and untimely loss for you and your colleagues, personally and professionally. Our condolences go out to you, his family, and all whose lives were touched by Charlie.

  6. #6 Joe Pearl
    July 16, 2008

    Unbelievable! Charlie will be missed.

  7. #7 Ana Carson
    July 16, 2008

    We work with Charles mother. It was devastating to all of us when she received the news. We are very sorry for the loss and keep the family in our thoughts and prayers.

    Everyone at Blackhawk Hardware

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  9. #9 Andi Jones
    April 27, 2009

    I just heard the news and I am so sad. (I’ve recently had a baby and I am very out of the loop.) I only met Charlie twice, but he was such a great person and was so helpful to me. His research greatly aided my dissertation work, and I believe he was a reviewer for at least one of my grants and my last published article. I admired his work. My condolences to his family and friends.

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