My research focuses on the interface between mechanical engineering and biological anthropology, in an effort to better understand functional morphology from an engineering perspective. In particular, I am interested in tooth biomechanics, dietary mechanical properties, cross-sectional geometry and long bones, and the application of finite element analysis (FEA) to biological systems.
Currently, I am working on two projects at the MPWC. The first involves using FEA to better understand how extrinsic and intrinsic food properties affect the ways in which teeth wear. The second involves using dental topography and physical experimentation to understand the relationship between tooth shape, function, and diet, in the extant and extinct hominoids.
Dr. Michael Berthaume
Max Planck Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Postal address: Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)341 3550 870
Fax: +49 (0)341 3550 119