Department of Life Sciences

Visiting address
1073 Parkstead House, Whitelands

Phone: +44 (0)20 8392 3726



Research interests

My primary research interests are in three major areas:

- Craniofacial morphology
- Evolution of anthropoid primates, and
- Theory and method of phylogenetic inference

My interest in the evolution of the Anthropoidea (monkeys and apes, including humans) led me early in my career to consider the facial skeleton as a key region for the explication of the pattern of evolutionary relationships among this group of primates. Composed of many different bones and linked to both individual and species recognition, the face can provide a wealth of information from which evolutionary inferences can be made. I have used craniofacial data to test previous hypotheses of phylogeny of extant and extinct catarrhines, or Old World anthropoid primates.

I am currently exploring these topics further, in two distinct directions. My facial work has led to a collaboration with Thomas Koppe of the Institute of Anatomy, Ernst Moritz Arndt University, Greifswald (Germany), to investigate the evolution of craniofacial pneumatization (the paranasal sinuses). Together, we have begun to explain the pattern of change in sinus presence and size in extant and extinct primates, including hominins. I also maintain a keen interest in techniques of phylogenetic reconstruction; this has spawned further work in morphometrics (the science of quantifying anatomical shape), including the treatment of metric characters in phylogenetic systematics.

Professional affiliations

American Association of Physical Anthropologists (

British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (

Primate Society of Great Britain (


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