UCL Anthropology


Shruti Kamath

Shruti Kamath UCL Anthropology

UCL Email: shruti.kamath.16@ucl.ac.uk
Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Shruti_Kamath3; https://ucl.academia.edu/ShrutiKamath
Year of Start: 2016
Supervisors: Dr. María Martinón-Torres and Prof. Christophe Soligo
Subject: Biological Anthropology
Fieldsite: Atapuerca, Spain
Affiliated Project: The Atapuerca Project (2019-2021)

PhD Research

Virtual Analysis of the Lower Premolar Crown Morphology of the Atapuerca Hominins – Taxonomic and Phylogenetic Inferences for the Early and Middle Pleistocene in Europe

My project focuses on two highly debated issues in Palaeoanthropology:  the identification and taxonomic position of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, and the classification and phylogenetic relationship of the Middle Pleistocene fossil record in Europe. The principle aim of this research is to shed light on the taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships of the Early and Middle Pleistocene hominins from Europe. To this end, I will characterise the morphological variability of the lower third premolar crowns of hominins (Homo antecessor, Early Pleistocene; Sima de los Huesos hominins, Middle Pleistocene) from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain, along with several other European, Asian and African populations from the Pleistocene and the Holocene, by means of micro-computed tomography (µCT). By ascertaining inter- and intra-population similarities and variations in species belonging to different geographical locations and epochs, this research will allow for a better understanding of hominin variability in the European Pleistocene. The objectives of my thesis would then be to:

  • Describe the traits of the outer and inner morphology of the lower third premolars of European Pleistocene hominins.
  • Characterise the outer and inner morphology and tissue distribution patterns of my samples through the adoption of bi- and three-dimensional variables.
  • Compare the variables of Homo antecessor and the Sima hominins with a wider hominin population, particularly from Europe, thereby ascertaining the relationships of Early Pleistocene populations to later hominins, and the phylogenetic relationship of Middle Pleistocene hominins to Neanderthals.
  • Make evolutionary inferences based on dental tissue proportions to provide a better phylogenetic and taxonomic assessment of the Atapuerca hominins by considering the role of Homo antecessor as the Last Common Ancestor to Neanderthals and modern humans, and better understand the origins and lineage of Neanderthals.

Research Interests

  • Palaeoanthropology
  • Dental Anthropology
  • Hominin diet
  • Hominin cranio-facial evolution

Education History

  • BA History, Psychology and Literature, St. Agnes College, Mangalore University, India (2011-2014)
  • MA Palaeolithic Archaeology and Human Evolution, University of Southampton, UK (2014-2015)

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant for UCL Anthropology: 

  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology – Palaeoanthropology, Primatology


  • Wadsworth International Fellowship - The Wenner-Gren Foundation (2016-present)
  • The J.N. Loan Scholarship - The J.N. Tata Endowment for the Higher Education of Indians (2016)
  • The J.N. Tata Gift Scholarship (2019)