Suzanna White (UCL) - 2014-15 Students

Investigation of Craniofacial Variation within Homo heidelbergensis sensu lato in a Comparative Framework

This project aims to investigate the level of intra-group variation within Homo heidelbergensis sensu lato in comparison to other hominoids, both extant and archaeological, with an aim to aiding the taxonomic assessment of this group. The study will use 3D geometric morphometric methods, including the use of semi-landmarks, to document and compare the variation in the morphology of the supraorbital region and the anterior superior face in a large number of specimens from the following groups: H. heidelbergensis sensu lato; H. sapiens; H. neanderthalensis; Gorilla gorilla (all subspecies); Pan troglodytes (all subspecies); Papionins (various species and subspecies). The comparative samples will hopefully document analogous variation arising from different factors, for instance: hybridisation, geographic and temporal range, geographic isolation, inter- and intra-subspecific variation, inter- and intra-specific variation, and variation between two closely-related sister species.

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