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Matthew Skinner

Post-Doctoral Researcher

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

e-mail: skinnereva.mpgde

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae


Research Interests

Matthew Skinner is a paleoanthropologist whose research focuses on the analysis of teeth and bones to answer questions about the growth and development, diet, taxonomy and evolutionary history of living and extinct primates, including fossil hominins. Specifically, he is interested in taxonomic diversity and evolutionary history of humans and apes, dental tissue development in the present and past, and form/function relationships in the primate skeleton.

In addition to being a member of the research staff in the Department of Human Evolution, Matthew is a Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology in the School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom. 

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Information

Citizenship:Canadian/ British

Research Interests

  • Taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional implications of fossil hominin dental morphology
  • Developmental basis of tooth crown morphology in primates
  • Evolutionary trends in the dentition of primates
  • Skeletal functional morphology including trabecular bone architecture


George Washington University, Department of Anthropology
Thesis title: Enamel-dentine junction morphology of extant hominoid and fossil hominin lower molars
Supervisor: Dr. Bernard Wood
2002Hon. BA.
Simon Fraser University, Department of Archaeology
Thesis title: Age-related changes to the intervertebral discs of the modern human sacrum


Professional Appointments

2014-presentSenior Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology,
School of Anthropology and Conservation,
University of Kent
2010-presentResearch Associate,
Dept. Human Evolution,
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
2008-2010Postdoctoral Research Associate,
Dept. Human Evolution,
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Fellowships, Grants, and Scholarships

2014-2019European Research Council Starting Grant 2013
Project Member,
"GRASP The evolution of the human hand: grasping trees and tools"
2014UCL Teaching Equipment Grant Award
2013UCL Teaching Equipment Grant Award
Junta de Castilla y León, Spain
"MicroCT analysis of the Atapuerca dental remains: paleobiology and evolutionary scenarios"
2012UCL Strategic Development Fund for Small Research Grants
2012UCL School Equipment Fund Award
2012UCL Internal Faculty Bonus Award
2012UCL Teaching Equipment Grant Award

Australian Research Council Grant (DP110100726),
Evolution in tooth and claw: exploring the relationship between the radiation of marsupial herbivores and late Cenozoic climate change

2005-2007Selective Excellence Fellowship in Hominid Paleobiology
2004Cotlow Research Grant,
Dept Anthropology,
George Washington University
2003Cotlow Research Grant,
Dept Anthropology,
George Washington University ($2,100)
2002-2004Graduate Fellowship,
George Washington University
1999-2001Open Undergraduate Tuition Scholarship,
Simon Fraser University
(Tuition funded)

Teaching Experience

Areas of Teaching Expertise
  • Introduction to biological anthropology
  • Paleoanthropology – human fossil record
  • Analytical methods in paleoanthropology
  • Virtual anthropology
  • Human osteology
  • Human and non-human primate evolution
  • Human gross anatomy (dissection-based)
  • Human evolutionary anatomy
Taught Courses

University of Kent

SE302:Foundations of Biological Anthropology
SE533: Project in Anthropological Science
SE541:Evolution of Hominin Behaviour
SE567: Methodology in Anthropological Science
SE570:Current Issues in Evolutionary Anthropology

Turkana Basin Institute Field School, Kenya

Paleoanthropology Module – 2 week lecture/seminar/lab/field excursions

Doctoral Student Supervision
2014- Pending ERC Doctoral Project to begin September 2014
2013- Zewdi Tsegai,
(secondary supervisor)
2013-Nicolas Stephens,
(primary supervisor)
2012- Josephine Msindai,
UCL Anthropology
(secondary supervisor)
2011-Alejandra Ortiz,
(secondary supervisor)
2011-2014Katharine Balolia,
UCL Anthropology
(tertiary supervisor)

N. Collin Moore,
(secondary supervisor)
on to Biological Anthropology
George Washington University

Masters Student Supervision
2014Robert Martin (UCL Anthropology)
Hazel Nunn (UCL Anthropology)
Emma Bird (UCL Archaeology)
Sheona Shankland (UCL Archaeology)
2013Alexandra Foote (UCL Anthropology)
Caroline Broms (UCL Anthropology)
Rebecca Davenport (UCL Anthropology)
Rizwaan Abbas (UCL Archaeology)
Megan Arkell (UCL Archaeology)
Rhianna Drummond-Clarke (UCL Earth Sciences)
2012 Dorien de Vries (UCL Archaeology)
Charles Clarke (UCL Archaeology)
Myriam van Walsum (UCL Archaeology)
Nick Stephens (UCL Archaeology)
Zewdi Tsegai (UCL Anthropology)
2014Internship in Biological Anthropology
(Rachel Sapire, Harvard University)
2013Internship in Biological Anthropology
(Rachel Sapire, Harvard University)
2013Training in virtual anthropology and dental anthropology, UCL
(Elissa Ludemann, NYU)
2012 Internship in Biological Anthropology
(Abigail Jakobson, London) 
2011Training in virtual anthropology and morphometrics,
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology,
(Student: Sylvia Bortolucci, University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
2009Training in virtual anthropology and morphometrics,
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology,
(Student: Katherine E. Schroer, Doctoral candidate, George Washington University, Washington, USA)
2008 Training in virtual anthropology and morphometrics,
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology,
(Student: Julia Kobbe, Master’s student, University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany)


Invited Talks and Lectures
2013 University of Roehampton,
London, UK
guest lecture
2012 University of York Medical School,
York, UK
guest lecture
2012 Cambridge University,
Cambridge, UK
seminar series lecture
2011 University of Florence,
Florence, Italy: guest lecture
2009-2011 Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology,
Department of Evolutionary Genetics
guest lecture
2009 Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, Canada
guest lecture
2005Institute of Biotechnology,
Helsinki, Finland
guest lecture

Simon Fraser University,
Burnaby, Canada
graduate student seminar

Field/Laboratory Experience

Paleontological/archaeological excavations
2014Rising Star Workshop,
Evolutionary Studies Institute,
Johannesburg, South Africa
Drs. Meave Leakey and Louise Leakey
Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged
Republic of Georgia
Dr. David Lordkipanidze
Dr. David Begun
2001Geissenklosterle and Hohler Fels,
Dr. Nicolas Conard
2001Pech de L'Aze IV,
Dr. Harold Dibble and Dr. Shannon McPherron
Forensic excavations
2002RCMP Serious Crimes Unit,
Port Coquitlam,
2000United Nations Transitional Administration for East Timor,
East Timor
2001Forensic Anthropology Field Assistant,


2005Development of murine teeth,
Dr. Jukka Jernvall,
University of Helsinki
2003Dental histology,
Dr. Don Reid,
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
1997-1998Archaeology lab technician,
Department of Archaeology,
Simon Fraser University

Professional Service


2012-presentAssociate editor, Journal of Human Evolution


2007-presentGrants reviewed for National Science Foundation, Leakey Foundation
2006-presentManuscripts reviewed for Journal of Human Evolution, Journal of Anatomy, American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Academic Affiliations

  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA)
  • Canadian Association of Physical Anthropology (CAPA)
  • Paleontological Society of South Africa (PSSA)


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