I am a PhD student in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and a participant of the Leipzig School of Human Origins (IMPRS).
My research interests focus on the biomechanics of motion, in particular the interactions between muscles and bones, and their changes throughout evolution.
During my undergraduate and master studies at the University of Jena, I studied the kinematics of grooming in rats. I was especially interested in understanding the multifaceted types of movement of the shoulder complex. This highly three-dimensional motion was best observed and described using XROMM (X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology). The grooming of the rats was filmed with a biplanar fluoroscope. The bone kinematics of these movies was then applied to bone models to re-animate the actual movement. With this, I was able to determine demands influencing skeletal structures and joint geometries other than locomotion.
For my doctoral research I am studying differences in shoulder function between humans and non-human apes. I use musculoskeletal models to determine the impact that skeletal geometry and muscle properties have on joint mechanics. Thereby, I am mainly interested in the arm-raising mechanism to identify musculoskeletal adaptations to vertical climbing and suspension in apes or to a shoulder that is mainly used for manipulatory tasks in humans. By this, I aim to improve our interpretation of fossil morphology and our understanding of the form-function relationship in extant forms.