UCL Division of Biosciences


UCL Centre for Integrative Anatomy

We use diverse and cutting-edge approaches to study anatomy in order to understand structure and function, embryonic development, phylogenetic relationships, ecology and evolution. The skeletal anatomy of fossil organisms provides us with clues to appearance and ecology, which in turn tells us how the modern biosphere came to be and how living animals will respond to ongoing environmental changes. Medical and forensic researchers use the study of human anatomy to understand how we live and grow, as well as ageing, disease and death. The Centre is led by Professor Susan Evans, and more details of our research, our people and our recent news appear below.


Research Themes

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The study of organismal form is the core of evolutionary and comparative anatomy. How variable are populations, species, and clades? How does form change through embryonic development and later growth? What can anatomy tell us about how extinct organisms looked and behaved?

We use traditional and modern techniques to describe and quantify the structure of the vertebrate body. 

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Biomechanics is the study of structure and function. Using experimental and digital modelling techniques, we study how diverse morphologies result in differences in performance, behaviour and, ultimately, fitness.

This is key to understanding adaptation and evolution of anatomy. Biomechanics also interfaces with biomedical research into kinesiology, sports medicine, and prosthetics. 

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The overarching goal of the Centre for Integrative Anatomy (the Centre) is to understand the diversification of vertebrate anatomy in deep time.                  

This includes investigating the link between ecology and morphology, using modern species to understand fossil taxa, studying major transitions (e.g., the first terrestrial vertebrates, the origin of flight), and human origins.


Susan Evans

Evolution of key morphological features in reptiles and amphibians

Sara Abad Guaman

Bioinspired adaptable robotics

Julie Barrett

Centre Assistant, responsible for administration, social media, etc.

Wendy Birch

Forensic anatomy and osteology & the preservation of animal remains

Philip Cox

Morphological and functional variation of the mammalian skeleton

Ryan Felice

Archosaur evo-devo, geometric morphometrics

Marc Jones

Fossil reptiles curation at the Natural History Museum

Sandra Martelli

Evolution & comparison of head, neck & spine anatomy in apes

Mehran Moazen

Bones and joints: growth and repair; biomedical engineering

Romain Perera

Clinical and functional human anatomy.

Laura Porro

Anatomy and biomechanics of living and fossil animals

Yoshiyuki Yamamoto

Molecular mechanisms of evolutionary morphologies



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