I am a PhD student in the IMPRS program at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in the Department of Human Evolution.
I am broadly interested in the evolution and origins of modern humans. For my master’s thesis project at the University of Bordeaux, I worked on the virtual reconstruction of a new specimen from the Qafzeh site (Israel, 90-100 ka; mandible Qafzeh 25), which provided new data on the morphological variability from the Middle Palaeolithic in the Levant.
For my PhD project, I focus on facial ontogeny to try to understand how large-scale changes in facial growth and development are linked with specific patterns at the microstructural levels. For this purpose, I am using methods in 3D imaging (CT scans and semilandmarks techniques) to analyse differences in shape, and surface histology (confocal microscopy) to observe the cellular activity at the surface of the bone, a process called bone modelling. The first step in this project is to work on a large ontogenetic sample to have a better understanding of the variability within the species Homo sapiens in terms of bone modelling patterns, in order to apply these findings to the fossil record. A second step is the quantification of these processes, to help us understand how they are changing through time.
As it is already known that bone modelling patterns are species specific, the study of cellular activity through ontogeny is of particular interest in terms of phylogeny. Indeed, by combining these two approaches we can better differentiate morphological features that develop homologously between taxa from those that may look similar, but result from different ontogenetic processes.
I also have experience in field work, mostly excavating in cave environments.