UCL Anthropology


Anas Yahaya

Anas Yahaya Photo

Qualifications: MBBS, M.Sc. (Anatomy), ADCTA.
Country of origin: Nigeria
State: Kano State
Course of study: MPhil/PhD Anthropology
Supervisor: Dr Christophe Soligo

PhD Research

The interface between genotype and phenotype is of key interest for a wide range of disciplines, including, for example, medicine and evolutionary biology and facial morphology in humans is arguably one of the most important aspects of our morphology, since it provides the medium for visual communication between individuals. Data on the quantification of differences in the levels of facial asymmetry amongst Hausa ethnic group in Nigeria with correlation between socio-economic status and medical history is not available in the literature and scanty even in the world and therefore Thornhill and Moller (1997a) highlighted the need for more detailed studies on the effect of parents' socio-economic status on fluctuating asymmetry. This study will therefore among other elements address this issue with improved protocol for data collection.

This project aims at: Quantifying the effect of environment (diseases and socio-economic status) on facial morphology and exploring some of the potential effects of that influence on behavioral consequences of developmental differences, specifically in the context of mate choice.

The Hausas are preferred over a domestic UK sample as study group as their sub-Saharan environment is more challenging, access to health care is more variable and differences in a socioeconomic status are more pronounced. There are three distinct hypotheses set for the study: 1) People from lower socio-economic status have higher levels of facial asymmetry than those from higher socio-economic status. 2) There are higher levels of facial asymmetry in people who experienced serious postnatal medical problems and/or whose mothers were affected by serious medical conditions during pregnancy, than those without such a background. 3) Individuals in non-arranged partnerships are more similar to each other than to the rest of the population in the shape of their face and/or in their levels of asymmetry.

This study is significant on several grounds: First, the result may be used in monitoring of population health and its consequences and, consequently inform future local health care strategies. Second, results may highlight the social consequences of socioeconomic deprivation. Third, results will contribute to our understanding of modern human development and effects of the interaction between environment and the consequences of our unique human history on individual development. Fourth, results will contribute to our understanding of fluctuating asymmetry as a predictor of modern human performance in fecundity and its interaction with morbidity.

Materials and methods

Random sampling of the Hausa ethnic group from both poor and high socio-economic status, enough to represent the population will be taken. Socio-economic status will be determined using wealth ranking (Muherjee 1992) according to what determines wealth in the environment. A Questionnaire will be used to record individual medical histories, socio-economic and demographic data (see attached). Wherever possible, individuals in partnership will both be recorded and mothers or other older relatives will be consulted to enquire about medical problems that may have occurred while a participant was in the womb or during his/her early life. Specifically, quantification of facial morphology will be based on 3D digital models of participants' faces acquired with a handheld surface laser scanner (see www.handyscan3d.com) and a digital camera will be used to scan and photograph the subjects. The two sources of quantitative data will be used to compare results of our new method of quantification of facial asymmetry with previously applied protocols in the same sample. Fourteen somatometric landmarks (based on the protocols developed by Grammer and Thornhill 1994) will be marked on each photograph and scans and measurements will then be taken. Geomagic studio and qualify software will be used for comparison between mirror imaged facial models of individuals and between partners. Statistical analysis of the data will be done in SPSS.


This study is not only focusing on physical (biological) anthropology but also social and anthropological fields. It combines state of the art morphometric data collection with questionnaire-based research focused on socio-economic and health data. The combination of the two should result in new knowledge regarding the role of developmental stability in determining reproductive success in humans, with implications for evolutionary biology, but also support the development of new diagnostic tools and, more locally, to data on health and development in the Hausa ethnic group of Nigeria.


Member: Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (Postgraduate membership) Member: Anatomical Society of Nigeria Member: Nigeria Medical Association Member: University College London Union 


2011  Joint Anatomical Societies Conference, Bursa, Turkey
2010   8th National Annual Conference-BUK Anatomical society of Nigeria (ASN)

2010   7th National Annual Conference-Ikenne Remo Anatomical society of Nigeria (ASN)

2008   6th National Annual Conference-Zaria Anatomical society of Nigeria (ASN)

2007  First Conjoint International Conference on Fertility, Anatomy and Morphological Sciences, Featuring:

· 5th Annual Conference of the Anatomical Society of Nigeria (ASN)

· 1st Conference of Association of Anatomist in Africa (AAA)

· 11th Annual Conference of the Anatomical Society of West Africa (ASWAN)

· 2nd International Workshop on Assisted Conception by Nigerian Fertility Society (NFS)

· Extraordinary International Symposium on Morphological Sciences (ISMS) (LagosNigeria)

2005   3rd National Annual Conference-Ilorin Anatomical society of Nigeria (ASN)

2004   2nd National Annual Conference-Calabar Anatomical society of Nigeria (ASN) 



Anas IY, Esomonu UG, And Zagga AD (2010). Prediction of Stature of Hausa Ethnic Group Using Hand Measurements based on a study of Medical Students at Bayero University Kano. Journal of Medicine in the Tropics. Vol. 12

Anas YI, Esomonu UG, Dimitrov ND, Rabiu FI, Modibbo MH (2010). Osteochondroma of the Proximal Femur: A case Study. International Journal of Biomedical and Health Sciences. Vol.6 No. 2

Anas YI, Esomonu UG, Dimitrov ND, Rabiu FI, Modibbo MH and Saleh MS (2010). Anatomical Variation of the Spinous Process of the Cervical Vertebrae: A case Study. International Journal of Biomedical and Health Sciences. Vol.6 No. 2 

Anas IY (2010). Nasal index of the Hausa ethnic group: A study conducted on students at Bayero University Kano. Journal of Medicine in the Tropics. Vol. 12

Anas IY, Esomonu UG, Sagir MS (2010). Canthal Dimensions of the Hausa Ethnic Group: A study conducted on students at Bayero University. Bayero Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. Vol.

Anas IY, Esomonu UG, Sagir MS (). Height Approximation of Hausa Ethnic Group Using Hand Length: Based on a Study of Students at Bayero University, Kano. Bayero Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

Anas IY (2009). Canthal Dimensions of Yoruba Students at the Bayero University, Kano. Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal for the Tropics (BEST). Vol.6 No.3

Anas IY, Esomonu UG, Modibbo MH, and Dimitrov ND (2009). Accessory transversarium foramina of cervical vertebrae. Journal of Experimental and Clinical Anatomy (JECA). Vol.8 No. 2

Anas IY and Esomonu UG (2009). Femoral Angle of Inclination of Adult Hausa ethnic Group in Nigeria. Journal of Anatomical Sciences. Vol.2 No.1

Anas YI, Esomonu UG, Dimitrov ND, Rabiu FI, and Saleh MS (2009). Post Traumatic Tibiofibula Synostosis of the distal 1/3 of the leg: A case Study. Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences (BAJOPAS). Vol.2. No. 2

Anas IY and Esomonu UG (2009). Anthropometric Study of the Proximal Femur of the Adult Hausa Ethnic Group in Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Basic and clinical Sciences. vol.6 No. 1

Anas IY and Esomonu UG (2008). Facial Dimensions among Hausa Ethnic Group. Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal for the Tropics (BEST) Vol.5 No.3 Esomonu UG and Anas IY (2008). Effect of ingestion of ethanol extracts of Garcinia Kola seed on leucocytes in Wister rats. Nigerian Journal of Clinical and Biomedical Researches. Vol.3 No. 1

Zagga AD and Anas IY (2007). Body Mass Index (BMI) of Adult Hausa-Fulani in Northern Nigeria. Sahel Medical journal. Vol.10 No.4

2. BOOKS Anas IY (2010). General Embryology: Essay Questions and Answers for Medical and Allied Students. Ibadan University Printery, Nigeria. Vol.1. ISBN 978-978-908-392-3

Awaiting publication: 

Anas IY, And Dimitrov ND. Anatomy Multiple Choice questions and Answers for the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Medical Students.

Dimitrov ND, Anas IY, Sagir MS, Taura MG, Esomonu UG, Fage RI. Dissection Manual for Medical Students.