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by UNVI last modified 2007-07-13 15:03

Coordinator - University of Vienna,
Dept. of Anthropology, Virtual Anthropology Workgroup

Phone: + 43 - 1 - 4277 - 54777
Fax: + 43 - 1 - 4277 - 9547



The workgroup "Virtual Anthropology" at the Dept. of Anthropology /University of Vienna is one of the world's leading groups in the field of computer-assisted analysis of hominid anatomy and statistically based morphometry. Research concentrates on studies of external and internal cranial anatomy of extant and extinct hominoids, accommodation to strong allometry and heterochrony during evolution, comparative growth analyses of humans vs. great apes, shape reference models for hominid taxa, anatomical and statistical data-guided reconstruction of shape and form, and medical applications of the VA and GMM toolkit. The unit has a large experience in the development of many multivariate methods essential for quantitative geometric studies, in reconstruction and comparison of 3D representations of hominid crania, in early clinical diagnosis and as well as in the biological and psychological assessment of facial features. UNVI controls a large data collection of digitised volume, surface, and landmark data from important hominid fossils as well as modern hominoids.

Scientific staff:


Prof. Dr. Gerhard WEBER

professor of anthropology

Leader of workgroup "Virtual Anthropology", Scientist in charge for EVAN

Paleoanthropology, digital archives


Prof. Dr. Fred BOOKSTEIN

professor of biomathematics

Biostatistics, geometric morphometrics


Prof. Dr. Horst SEIDLER

professor of anthropology

Hominid evolution, mummies


Prof. Dr. Katrin SCHAEFER

professor of anthropology

Biometric studies, asymmetries


Prof. Dr. Karl GRAMMER

professor of human ethology

Human behaviour, facial expression, simulations




Primate ontogeny, biomathematics, missing data, programming




Cranial reconstruction, biomathematics, programming


Johann KIM


Mathematics, algorithms, programming



Weber GW, Gunz P, Mitteroecker P, Stadlmayr A, Bookstein FL, Seidler H (2005) External geometry of Mladec neurocrania compared with anatomically modern humans and Neanderthals. In: Teschler-Nicola M (ed.) Early modern humans at the Moravian gate: The Mladec caves. Wien: Springer Verlag (in press).


Gunz, P., Mitteroecker, P.,&Bookstein, F.L. (2005). Semilandmarks in Three Dimensions. In: D.E. Slice (Ed.) Modern Morphometrics in Physical Anthropology (p. 73-98). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.


Bookstein FL, Gunz P, Mitteroecker P, Prossinger H, Schaefer K, and Seidler H (2003) Cranial integration in Homo: singular warps analysis of the midsagittal plane in ontogeny and evolution. J Hum Evol 44:167-87.


Software modules for advanced morphometric analysis and biostatistics, programming software (Mathematica, Matlab, C++), 3D-navigator (Edgewarp), 3D-software packages (Amira 3.2, Analyze AVW, Analyze 7C, 3D-Viewnix), 3D-digitisers (Microscribe 2GX, Polhemus Fast Track), unix workstations, CT-, MR- and surface data of extant and extinct hominoids, CT-data of other vertebrates, digital@rchive of Fossil Hominoids

Regular teaching programme:

Introduction to Morphometric Methods for Three-Dimensional Data
Where numbers come from
Applied Shape Analysis using Geometric Morphometrics
Virtual Anthropology - Introduction to digital 3D-methods
Applied statistics for biologists
Training in Virtual Anthropology I+II: Measurement and analysis; Techniques for multivariate analysis