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PhD, Biological Anthropology
University of Zürich, Switzerland, 2001
Lecturer, Primate and Human Evolution
My main interests are in the adaptive origin of primate radiations, evolutionary anatomy and palaeoecology.
A central aim of my research is to reconstruct the evolutionary history of primates by investigating the major issues relating to the adaptive nature of primate radiations: the identification of key features, the sequence of acquisition of those features and the timing of the major divergence events (the divergence of primates from other mammals and the main divergences within the primate order).
The investigation and interpretation of evolutionary processes requires knowledge of the environmental conditions under which they operated. An equally important part of my research is therefore concerned with the refinement of current methods to assess and control for taphonomic bias (the bias introduced through the processes of differential burial, fossilisation and recovery rates of individual organisms) prior to palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. My main approach concentrates on the interpretation of entire assemblages of fossil mammals. Palaeoenvironments are assessed through multivariate analyses using an extensive comparative database of modern faunas.
Schematic representation of the main divergence events in primate evolution.
In addition to contributing to the core course teaching of the MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology and to the methods course teaching in the MSc in Human Evolution and Behaviour, I organise and run two undergraduate modules and one postgraduate module.
- ANTH3052 - Primate Evolution and Environments
- ANTH3040 - Human Sciences Seminar Project
- ANTHGH17/ARCLG211 – Primate Evolution
ANTH3052 students searching for fossils on the Isle of Sheppey.
- Departmental Tutor - Anthropology
- Third Year Tutor - Human Sciences
- Curator - Biological Anthropology Collection
- Anas Yahaya - Correlates of facial asymmetry in the Hausa of Nigeria (current)
- Gemma Price - Environmental, ecological and phylogenetic correlates of cranial shape variation in strepsirrhine primates (current)
- Anna Barros - Ontogeny of the shoulder girdle in hominoid primates (current)
- Katharine Balolia - Sexual dimorphism in the genus Homo (current)
- Alexander Bjarnason - Phylogenetic signals and adaptive diversification in the skull of New World monkeys (Awarded 2012)
- Anneke van Heteren - Masticatory adaptations of extant and extinct Ursidae: an assessment using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics (Roehampton University, Awarded 2012)
- Eric Lewitus - Placental morphology and the cellular brain in mammalian evolution (Awarded 2011)
- William Parr – Evolution of locomotor adaptations in the astragalus of hominoid primates (Awarded 2009)
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UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8633