Reflections on a Biometrics of Organismal Form

  title={Reflections on a Biometrics of Organismal Form},
  author={Fred L. Bookstein},
  journal={Biological Theory},
Back in 1987 the physicist/theoretical biologist Walter Elsasser reviewed a range of philosophical issues at the foundation of organismal biology above the molecular level. Two of these are particularly relevant to quantifications of form: the concept of ordered heterogeneity and the principle of nonstructural memory, the truism that typically the forms of organisms substantially resemble the forms of their ancestors. This essay attempts to weave Elsasser’s principles together with… 
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A formal parametric quantification of integration by analogy with how time series are approached in modern paleobiology is introduced, with an analogous maneuver for the spatial aspects of ontogenetic or phylogenetic organismal studies: a subspace within the space of shape covariance structures for which the standard isotropic (Procrustes) model lies at one extreme of a characteristic parameter and the strongest growth-gradient models at the other.
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A method of factor analysis for shape coordinates.
  • F. Bookstein
  • Psychology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2017
This article introduces a modification of one standard factor-analysis approach, Henry Kaiser's varimax rotation of 1958, that accommodates two of the major differences between the GMM context and the psychometric context for these approaches: the coexistence of "general" and "special" factors of form as adumbrated by Sewall Wright and the typical loglinearity of partial warp variance as a function of bending energy.
The Inappropriate Symmetries of Multivariate Statistical Analysis in Geometric Morphometrics
Tomorrow’s toolkit must rely neither on principal component analysis nor on the Procrustes distance formula, but instead on sound prior biological knowledge as expressed in formulas whose coefficients are not all the same.
Living Precisely in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
Vienna’s Institute of Experimental Biology, better known as the Vivarium, helped pioneer the quantification of experimental biology from 1903 to 1938. Among its noteable scientists were the director
A Course in Morphometrics for Biologists
Morphometrics, the topic of this book, brings together the best modern methods for quantifying the patterns of variation of organismal form that we biologists are most interested in talking about.
A Newly Noticed Formula Enforces Fundamental Limits on Geometric Morphometric Analyses
These extrema and ratios bear severe negative implications for any technique that involves inverting a covariance structure on shape coordinates, including multiple regression on shape, discriminant analysis by shape, canonical variates analysis of shape, covariance distance analysis from shape, and maximum-likelihood estimation of shape distributions that are not constrained by strong prior models.
Structural stability and morphogenesis
  • R. Thom
  • Computer Science, Physics
    Pattern Recognit.
  • 1976
Application of landmark morphometrics to skulls representing the orders of living mammals
The wide variation of shapes within the vertebrate class Mammalia is examined to determine the tangent space approximation by comparing Procrustes distances in Kendall shape space to tangentspace distances among 53 mammal skulls and articulated jaws.
Finite Universe of Discourse:The Systems Biology of Walter Elsasser (1904-1991)
Walter Elsasser (1904-1991), an eminent quantum physicist and geophysicist, was also active in theoretical biology over a 35-year period from the early 1950s to the late 1980s. Although increasingly