27.06.2017 - 14:04
A  A
Contact

Department of Human Evolution

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 350
fax: +49 (0341) 3550 - 399

e-mail: streiber@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Inga Bergmann

Doctoral Student

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Evolution
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig
Germany

phone: 0049 (0) 341 3550 751
fax: 0049 (0) 341 3550 399
e-mail: inga_bergmann@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interests

I am a PhD student at the IMPRS Leipzig School of Human Origins in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. My thesis concerns the morphological variability and evolution of the mandible in Homo sapiens and its ancestors. My methodological approach benefits from the technical possibilities of geometrics morphometrics and virtual anthropology.

The mandible is the hardest and most durable bone in our skeleton, predestining it to be a valuable research object in fossil sites. Its morphology indicates a high degree of sexual dimorphism, functionality and species affiliation. Thus, our mandible carries some important signals of human evolution in the form of size and shape features, defining us as Homo sapiens. But what exactly are those traits and when did they evolve? Which ones are unique to us and how many do we share with our ancestors Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis? Although there are general morphological trends in the evolution of the Homo lineage it has never been easy to define anatomical modernity, be it in regard of the mandible, the cranium or other skeletal parts. In my thesis I try to catch mandibular morphology in a temporal and geographical aspect, investigating Middle and Late Pleistocene specimens from all over the world. Three dimensional data, derived from CT-scans, will enable me to quantify mandibular shape variation and to determine how size affects shape. This has proved to be an adequate approach in order to disentangle the complex biological pattern that has rendered the phenotype of our mandible how it is today.