UCL Division of Biosciences

Prof Christopher Dean

Prof Christopher Dean

Emeritus Professor of Anatomy

Div of Biosciences

Faculty of Life Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Jan 1985

Research summary

My principal research aim is to determine where, when and why modern humans evolved an extended ~20 year period of growth and development. To research this problem I have pioneered ways of studying incremental markings in fossil primate tooth tissues. Teeth are abundant in the fossil record and contain incremental markings that allow us to retrieve information about the rates of and direction of cell movement during tooth development. Some of the mechanisms of morphological change during human evolution have been described in this way and it has been possible to determine the timing of key events during the period of growth and development in certain fossil primates. This research theme drives an extensive international interdisciplinary research effort with collaborations that draw on clinical science, comparative anatomy and palaeoanthropology.

Teaching summary

Anatomy in the context of clinical medicine and dentistry. Anatomy in the context of human and evolutionary biology. Anatomy in the context of the visual arts and humanities.


Royal College of Surgeons of England
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Diploma in General Dental Practice | 1993
University of London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1983
University of Oxford
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Diploma in Human Biology | 1977
University College London
Doctorate, Bachelor of Dental Surgery | 1975