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Contact

Department of Human Evolution

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 350
fax: +49 (0341) 3550 - 399

e-mail: streiber@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de


Tracy Kivell

Post-Doctoral Researcher

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

e-mail: tracy_kivell@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae
Publications

Research Interests

Tracy Kivell is a palaeoanthropologist who studies the functional morphology of the wrist and hand in extant and fossil primates. Her research focuses on extant and fossil hominoids, including fossil hominins, to further our understanding of the evolution of human bipedalism and hand use throughout our evolutionary history. She aims to understand functional morphology of this skeletal area through analyses of ontogeny, trabecular and cortical bone structure and the biomechanics of primate locomotion. Some of her current projects include:

  1. Functional morphology of fossil hominin hands, including Homo naledi and Australopithecus sediba
  2. Trabecular and cortical bone structure in extant and fossil primate hands to better understandlocomotion and tool-use in early hominins
  3. Biomechanical analyses of terrestrial and arboreal locomotion in apes

Tracy collaborates on these projects and others with several researchers both inside and outside of MPI-EVA, including Matthew Skinner (Kent), Dieter Pahr (Vienna University of Technology), Evie Vereecke (Leuven) Daniel Schmitt and Steve Churchill (Duke University), Lee Berger (University of the Witswatersrand) and David Begun (University of Toronto).

Tracy obtained her PhD at the University of Toronto on the ontogenetic morphology the hominoid midcarpal joint, focusing on Miocene hominoid wrist morphology and the origin of human bipedalism. Before coming to MPI-EVA, Tracy was a postdoctoral Research Associate in the Duke University Animal Locomotion Lab, studying primate locomotion through analyses of pressure, force and kinematics with Drs Daniel Schmitt and Roshna Wunderlich. She is currently PI on a European Research Council Starting Grant entitled “The evolution of the human hand: grasping trees and tools” and Director of the Animal Postcranial Evolution (APE) Lab at the University of Kent.

Tracy has participated in field excavations of Miocene sites in Hungary as well as Plio-Pleistocene and Holocene sites in South Africa.

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Information

Citizenship: Canadian

Education

2007Ph.D.
University of Toronto, Dept. of Anthropology (Dr. David Begun)
Thesis title: Ontogeny of the hominoid midcarpal joint and implications for the origin of hominin bipedalism
2002M.A.
University of Toronto, Dept. of Anthropology (Dr. David Begun)
Thesis title: No longer enigmatic: Reevaluation of Oreopithecus bambolii positional repertoire
2001Hon. B.Sc.
University of Western Ontario/University of Toronto,
Dept. of Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Origin of human bipedal locomotion
  • Biomechanics of primate locomotion and limb morphology
  • Developmental and functional morphology in living and fossil primates
  • Miocene hominoid morphology and evolution
  • Convergent evolution and morphological integration in the primate skeleton

Current Research

2009-present

Director of research on Homo naledi and Australopithecus sediba hand fossils:
Investigation of H. naledi and Au. sediba hand remains from South Africa in collaboration with several researchers,
including Lee Berger (University of the Witswatersrand), Steve Churchill (Duke University) and Matthew Skinner (Kent).

Fossil hominin and hominoid hand use:
Comparative investigation of fossil hominin (australopiths to Neandertals) and Miocene hominoid hand remains using morphometric and micro-CT data.
This research aims to shed light on locomotor and tool-use behaviours throughout the evolution of the human lineage.
Collaborators
: Matthew Skinner (UCL), Steve Churchill (Duke University), David Begun (University of Toronto).
2009-presentFunctional signals in trabecular and cortical bone structure:
A comparative investigation of internal bony morphology of the primate hand to assess variation in joint loading patterns and how this reflects differences in locomotor and manipulative behaviours.
Collaborators
: Matthew Skinner (Kent), Dieter Pahr (Vienna University of Technology), Jean-Jacques Hublin (Max Planck Institute-EVA), Andrew Gee and Graham Treece (Cambridge) and Richard Lazenby (University of Northern British Columbia).
2008-presentBiomechanics of ape locomotion:
Investigation of variation in biomechanics of terrestrial and arboreal locomotion in gorilla, chimpanzees and bonobos in both captive and natural settings.
Collaborators: Daniel Schmitt and Brian Hare (Duke University) and Roshna Wunderlich (James Madison University) and Sandra Nauwelaerts (Antwerp).
2007-2011Biomechanics of lemur locomotion:
Experimental analyses of aye-aye locomotion, as well as other lemur species, through an analysis of pressure and force experienced by the fore- and hindlimbs on inclined and horizontal substrates at the Duke Lemur Centre.
Collaborators: Roshna Wunderlich (James Madison University), Daniel Schmitt (Duke University) and Jandy Hanna (West Virginia School of Medicine).

Professional Employment

2014-presentReader in Biological Anthropology,
School of Anthropology and Conservation,
The University of Kent
2013-2014Lecturer in Biological Anthropology,
School of Anthropology and Conservation,
The University of Kent
2013-present Researcher,
Dept. Human Evolution,
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
2009-2013Junior Researcher,
Dept. Human Evolution,
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
2008-2009Postdoctoral Research Associate,
Dept. Evolutionary Anthropology and Duke School of Medicine,
Duke University
2007-2009Researcher,
Duke Lemur Centre,
Duke University
2007-2008Visiting Assistant Professor,
Dept. of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy,
Duke University
2006Sessional Instructor,
Dept. of Social Sciences,
University of Toronto at Scarborough
2006Sessional Instructor,
Dept. of Anthropology,
McMaster University
2004-2005Sessional Instructor,
Dept. of Anthropology,
University of Toronto at Mississauga

Grants, Awards and Scholarships

2014-2019European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant 2013
(€1 622 053)
Principal Investigator, “GRASP, The evolution of the human hand: grasping trees and tools
Grant #336301
2009American Association of Anatomists Travel Award
($250)
2009American Association of Anatomists
Finalist for Postdoctoral Poster Presentation Award
2007University of Toronto Doctoral Dissertation Completion Grant
($1200)
2007University of Toronto Graduate Fellowship,
Conference funding ($900)
2006-2007General Motors Women in Science and Mathematics Award
(3800)
2006-2007University of Toronto Foundation Graduate Award
($600)
2006University of Toronto Fellowship
($1250)
2006University of Toronto Fellowship,
Research and Conference funding
($1000)
2004-2006Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
($21 000/yr)
2005-2006General Motors Women in Science and Mathematics Award
($4000)
2005University of Toronto,
School of Graduate Studies Travel Grant
($3000)
2005University of Toronto Graduate Fellowship,
Research/Conference funding ($500)
2002-2004Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
($21 000/yr)
2004Baden-Württemberg Research Scholarship
($3200)
2004Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
($15 000 - declined)
2003University of Toronto Graduate Fellowship,
Research/Conference funding
($500)
2003University of Toronto International Student Exchange Bursary
($220)
2002Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
($15 000 - declined)
2002-2006University of Toronto Graduate Fellowship,
Departmental top-up ($1200)
2001Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)
($15 000)
2001University of Toronto Graduate Fellowship,
Departmental top-up ($5000)

Teaching Experience

Graduate Course Instructorships

Duke University

  • Human Gross Anatomy (dissection-based), Duke School of Medicine (2008)
  • Oncoanatomy Education (Dept. of Radiation Oncology), Duke School of Medicine (2008-9)
  • Special Topics in Human Anatomy (Ophthalmology and Ob-Gyn) (2008-9)
  • Graduate Student Independent Study (2008-9)
Undergraduate Course Instructorships

Duke University

2008Introduction to Biological Anthropology
2008Human Evolution
2008Anthropology of the Skeleton
2007The Human Body (dissection-based)


University of Toronto

2006The Foundations and Theory of Human Origins
2004-2005Human Origins


McMaster University

2006Primate Evolution
2006The Human Species: Becoming and Being Human
Mentoring

Undergraduate honours thesis supervised

2008-09Michael Catalino
"Primate limb conformation: Implications for mechanical energy conservation"
2008-09Erik Stubberud
"Relative distribution of force across limbs during descent in aye-ayes"
2007-08Elizabeth Kramer
"Palmar pressure distribution during locomotion of the aye-aye"


Undergraduate honours thesis committee member

2008-09Kevin Hatala
"Cross-sectional geometry of the subtrochanteric femur"
2008-09Gail Ukato
"Gender and race difference in osteoarthritis of the knee"
2008-09Jasmine Swaniker
"Muscle fibre architecture in great apes"
2007-08Cassandra Kisby
"The anatomy of breathing"
2007-08Rita Baumgartner
"Why do sifakas gallop?"
2007-08Anita Pai
Tuning mechanisms of primate locomotion"
2007-08Elizabeth Kramer
Identifying morphological changes of the aging glenoid labrum on MRIs"
Lab Instructorships

University of Toronto

  • Palaeoanthropology (2005, 2007)
  • Human Evolutionary Anatomy (2003, 2005, 2006)
  • Human Osteology (2004)
Teaching Assistantships

University of Toronto

  • Human Biology and Evolution (2004, 2005-06)
  • Introduction to Anthropology (2003-04)
  • Health, Diet and Disease in the Past (2003)
  • Introduction to Archaeology (2003)

Fieldwork Experience

2006Rudabánya: Hungarian Geological Institute, Budapest, Hungary
Palaeontological excavation of late Miocene locality and Dryopithecus fossil remains with Dr. David Begun (University of Toronto) and Dr. Laszlo Kordos (Geological Museum of Hungary).
2003Felsõtárkány: Hungarian Geological Institute, Budapest, Hungary
Palaeontological excavation of new middle Miocene locality of Felsõtárkány with Dr. David Begun (University of Toronto) and in collaboration with Drs. Laszlo Kordos (Geological Museum of Hungary) and János Hír (Pásztó Municipal Museum, Pásztó Hungary).
2001University of Cape Town, South Africa
Collaborative research project in South Africa with Drs Susan Pfeiffer, Judy Sealy and representatives of the Khoisan Indigenous Peoples. Research included the analysis of indigenous southern African skeletal remains from a variety of Later Stone Age sites.
2000Sterkfontein: University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa Palaeontological excavation of Pliocene fossil hominin remains.
1999Sibudu Cave Shelter: University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa Archaeological excavation of Middle Stone Age site focusing on the origins of early human modernity (ACACIA Fieldschool).

Publications

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