Department of Human Evolution Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Deutscher Platz 6 04103 Leipzig GERMANY Phone:+ 49 (0) 341 3550 751 Fax:+ 49 (0) 341 3550 399 email@example.com
Simon Neubauer was
employed as a Marie Curie doctoral fellow (EVAN Training Network) at the
Department of Human Evolution of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
Anthropology in Leipzig.
For his PhD project, he is working on endocranial form variation in hominoids.
As brains themselves
are not preserved in the fossil record, so called endocasts (i.e. casts of the
internal braincase) are used as a proxy for brain size and outer brain
morphology. This project documents and compares ontogenetic as well as adult
endocranial shape and size variation in humans and chimpanzees. During
ontogeny, the brain grows and develops according to a species-specific pattern.
This pattern contributes to adult morphology and therefore can be used to
inform evolutionary analyses. Fossil hominins for which only a few specimens
are preserved, can be interpreted within this framework.
For quantification of
endocranial form differences and changes, CT scans of dried crania are used, virtual
endocasts generated, and three-dimensional landmarks including semilandmarks on
curves and surfaces measured. The coordinates of landmarks are then analyzed
using geometric morphometric methods.