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Zewdi Tesgai

Zewdi Tsegai

I am a PhD student in the Department of Human Evolution, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. I am primarily interested in the biomechanics of locomotion and functional morphology of extant and fossil hominoids, including hominins. Specifically, my research focuses on the form-function relationship between the internal structure of bone, both cortical and trabecular bone, and locomotor behaviour. This is of significance for palaeoanthropology, as understanding this relationship can enable reconstruction of joint loading conditions and thus of locomotor behaviour and therefore can resolve questions regarding locomotor transitions in hominoid evolution, including the origins of hominin bipedalism.

For my doctoral research, I investigate systemic variation in trabecular bone structure throughout the chimpanzee skeleton. In particular, my aim is to understand how trabecular structure varies 1) across a joint surface, 2) within an individual across skeletal elements, and 3) whether variation between individuals can be related to their ontogenetic stage, to sexual dimorphism or to behavioural differences. Through ascertaining the extent of intra-individual and intra-specific variability of internal bone structure, and the factors which cause this variability, my research aims to assess the functional relevance of trabecular bone analysis for reconstructing locomotor evolution in fossil primates.


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

phone: 0049 (0) 341 3550 749
fax: 0049 (0) 341 3550 399
email: zewdi_tsegaieva.mpg.de