Dr. John Starbuck is an Assistant Professor specializing in biological anthropology. His research interests include computer imaging and image analysis, morphometrics, anthropometry, craniofacial morphological variation, human health and variation, growth and development, osteology, forensic facial reproduction, sexual dimorphism, animal models for human conditions, and applications of 3D imaging and morphometric approaches to material culture depicting congenital anomalies. Most of Dr. Starbuck’s research to date has focused on Down syndrome and individuals born with cleft lip and palate. However, Dr. Starbuck is interested in other conditions affecting the craniofacial complex and the use of 3D imaging to analyze post-cranial morphology.

Working with Dr. Starbuck

John Starbuck
Dr. Starbuck’s research consists of several steps. 1) Images are acquired from populations of interest using a 3D imaging modality. 2) 3D images are analyzed in the morphometrics lab by collecting anatomical landmark coordinates and measuring specific regions or structures of interest. 3) Morphometric approaches are then used to quantify differences between populations of interest and to interpret those differences within some type of framework (e.g., developmental, social, historical, growth, sex-based, congenital anomalies, genetic or environmental effects, treatment effects, etc.).

Dr. Starbuck would like to supervise both undergraduate and graduate students (e.g. MA, HIM, McNair, RAMP, FIRE, etc.) who are interested in the intersection of human health, morphometric variation, and 3D imaging. Students will be expected to: 1) maintain a consistent schedule to accomplish data collection goals, 2) apply for research funding opportunities, 3) present research at conferences, and 4) develop manuscript(s) for publication. Students who accomplish these tasks will be prepared for future success in graduate school and a variety of other careers.

Dr. Starbuck’s lab is located on the University of Central Florida’s Orlando campus (OTC 600 room 269). Dr. Starbuck can be reached at john.starbuck@ucf.edu if you have additional questions.

Dr. Starbuck is looking for graduate students with an interest in:

  • Biological/physical anthropology
  • Morphometrics/anthropometry
  • Quantitative analyses
  • 3D imaging modalities
  • Human faces and skulls, craniofacial health and variation
  • Genetic and/or environmental perturbations (particularly Down syndrome/trisomy 21)
  • Animal models for human conditions

Examples of research projects conducted by Dr. Starbuck’s students:

  • A Three-Dimensional Analysis of Maxillary Sinusitis (Mucosal Thickening) in Unilateral Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Sexual Dimorphism of the Craniofacial Skeleton: 3D CBCT Analysis of Sinuses and Airspaces of the Skull
  • Three-Dimensional Analyses of Craniofacial and Oronasal Phenotypes in Ts65Dn Down Syndrome Mice Treated with EGCG, a Dyrk1a Inhibitor
  • 3D CBCT Analysis of the Frontal Sinus and its Relationship to Forensic Identification
  • Computed Tomography and Three-Dimensional Visualization in Amira: Observing Qualitative Factors Associated with Craniosynostosis
  • Your’ve Got a Lot on Your Mind: An Assessment of the Effects of Hydrocephaly on Rat Brain Magnetic Resonance Images Using Amira Software
  • “Back” to the Future: An Assessment of Morphological Integration and Spinal Deformities
  • Biological Landmark Analysis and Comparison of Individuals with Trisomy 21
  • An Investigation of Down Syndrome Morphology: Visualizing the Brains and Skulls of Children in 3D using Amira
  • The Impact of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate upon Ts65DN Down Syndrome Mouse Model Craniofacial Shape
  • Exploring Facial Differences in Children with Down Syndrome
  • The Effect of Sexual Dimorphism on Trisomy 21 Brain Morphology
  • Exploring the Effects of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate (EGCG) in Down Syndrome’s Children Facial Morphology Using 3D Images


Green face landmarks LDs
Starbuck Lab - 3D scanning in process
Starbuck Lab - Group photo
Starbuck Lab - computer work
Starbuck Lab - students scanning skull
Starbuck Lab - handheld 3d scanner with skull
Starbuck Lab - skull on table
Starbuck Lab - students on computer
Shelby FURC
Yaser FURC