Sheila Nicole Torres Tamayo


I am a fourth-year predoctoral research fellow in the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural Sciences (Madrid, Spain). I am currently working on my PhD dissertation entitled "Functional anatomy and evolution of the torso in the genera Australopithecus and Homo through 3D geometric morphometric techniques" under the supervision of Dr. Markus Bastir. 

I use 3D geometric morphometrics of sliding semilandmarks to address the torso variation in living Homo sapiens and extant non-human Hominoidea, with special interest on the patterns of thoraco-pelvic covariation and integration its morpho-functional implications for the evolution of the torso in hominins, with the aim of reconstructing the torso of Plio-Pleistocene hominins of the genera Australopithecus and Homo. Additionally, my knowledge and skills in the R programming language make possible to address statistical shape analyses beyond the current workflow of 3D geometric morphometrics. 

I focus my research on the study of the (co-)variation of torso structures in extant Hominoidea. I am particularly interested in understanding the patterns of thorax and pelvis covariation in humans and other primates, and their impact on the evolution of human body shape. My main approach to this research is by analizing 3D anatomically connected torsos through 3D geometric morphometric techniques. A major focus of my current research is to implement the application of 3DGM reconstruction methods in R. 

In this line, I am also interested in implementing new statistical methods not only to the study of the torso, but also to different biological systems. Because of that, I am enrolled in different courses of Statistical Shape Analysis and Statistical Shape modelling that allow me to expand my statistical knowledge. 

My other recent research has focused on the study of 3D kinematics and sexual dimorphism of the human lungs from a morpho-functional approach. My background in biomedical imaging allows me to work with CT-data by obtaining 3D models of the anatomical structures required for my research. This study has shown the potential of 3D geometric morphometric techniques when aplied to soft tissues, and my first publications are in line with this approach.

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