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Matthew Skinner is a paleoanthropologist whose research focuses on the analysis of teeth to answer questions about the growth and development, diet, taxonomy and evolutionary history of living and extinct primates, including fossil hominins. His current projects focus on analyses of the morphology of the two primary tissues of primate teeth, enamel and dentine to address the following questions:

  • How can the study of dentine topography improve our understanding of the developmental processes responsible for tooth crown morphology?
  • What bearing does dentine topography have on the systematics of fossil hominins?
  • To what degree are developmental models of tooth growth derived from developmental genetic studies of model organisms applicable to the interpretation of morphological variation in primate teeth?
  • What are the relative contributions of dentine and enamel to the functional morphology of tooth crowns?

Minor research projects involve the analysis of trabecular bone architecture in living primates and fossil hominins to address questions regarding their functional skeletal biology.

Matthew has participated in field excavations in Ethiopia, Canada, France, Germany, East Timor, Republic of Georgia, and Hungary.


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

phone: 0049 (0) 341 3550 767
fax: 0049 (0) 341 3550 399