Katya Stansfield


Postdoc researcher

phone +43-1-4277-56706

External links

Profile in ResearchGate

 About me

My research interests lie in the evolution and ecology of humans and our relative species. Thanks to the background in both, biology and physics, I apply engineering and statistical techniques to investigate processes that underlie evolutionary change. My current project is related to biomechanical modelling of the human pelvic floor muscles and investigation into their evolutionary input in the phoeto-pelvic disproportion in humans. I use finite element analysis to model the response of the soft tissue in normal and extreme conditions and how this response may change given the variation in the shape and morphology of the pelvic floor.

Although investigating evolutionary constraints on the relief of the difficult childbirth in humans is my main focus presently, I am also involved in the study of biomechanical changes in human masticatory system in transition to agriculture. This project now involves an international community of researchers, including the group led by Dr Hila May, Tel Aviv University (Israel), Prof. Paul O'Higgins, University of York (UK), Dr Ricardo Godhino Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behaviour (Faro, Portugal) and Dr Viviana Toro, Universidad de Chile (Chilie).

Thanks to the collaboration with Dr Lauren Butaric, Des Moines University (USA) on her work with the Upper Palaeolithic man from Sunghir and my collaboration with Dr Sergei Vasiliev, the insitute of Enthnopology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Science (Russia), I have been recently also involved in the analysis of how the shape of the respiratory tract in the Upper Palaeolithic modern humans may reflect adaptations to climate.

Biomechanics of the pelvis floor


2019 to present FWF Lise Meitner funding for the incoming researchers (No. AM 0277221) "Das DIilemma der menschlichen Geburt und des Beckenbodens"

2015 – 2017    European Commission Research Grant (No. PIIF-GA-2013-622846) “BIOMAN: Biomechanics of the Mandible in Mesolithic, Neolithic and Modern humans in transition to agriculture”.  Department of Archaeology, University of York, UK

2012 – 2015    Russian Foundation for the Basic Research Grant (No. 13-06-00045) “Population History of Mesolithic People of Russia and Ukraine: Testing the Hypothesis on Asian Component Using Geometric Morphometric Methods”. Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

 Selected publications

Stansfield E, Butaric LN, Vasilyev AY, Vasilyev A. (in review). Respiratory adaptation to climate in Upper Palaeolithic Europe: a 3D comparative analysis. Journal of Human Evolution.

Butaric LN, Stansfield E, Vasilyev AY, Vasilyev A. (2019) CT-based descriptions of the paranasal complex of Sungir-1, an Upper Paleolithic European. PaleoAnthropology, 389–399. DOI: 10.4207/PA.2019.ART137 

Stansfield E, Parker J, O’Higgins P. (2018) A sensitivity study of human mandibular biting simulations using finite element analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 22, 420–432. DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.04.026

Stansfield E, Evteev A, O’Higgins P. (2018) Can diet be inferred from the biomechanical response to simulated biting in modern and pre-historic human mandibles? Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 22, 433–443. DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.07.019

Stansfield E, Rasskasova A, Berezina N, Soficaru A. (2017) Resolving relationships between several Neolithic and Mesolithic populations in Northern Eurasia using geometric morphometrics. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 164(1), 163–183. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23264

Gunz P, Bulygina E. (2012) The Mousterian child from Teshik-Tash is a Neanderthal: a geometric morphometric study of the frontal bone. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 149(3), 365–379. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22133

Stansfield (née Bulygina) E, Gunz P. (2011) Skhodnya, Khvalynsk, Satanay and Podkumok calvaria: possible Upper Palaeolithic Hominins from European Russia. Journal of Human Evolution, 60(2), 129–144. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.05.001

Benazzi S, Stansfield E, Milani C, Gruppioni G. (2009) Geometric morphometric methods for three-dimensional virtual reconstruction of a fragmented cranium: the case of Angelo Poliziano. International Journal of Legal Medicine, 123(4), 333–344. DOI: 10.1007/s00414-009-0339-6

Bulygina E, Mitteroecker P, Aiello L. (2006) Ontogeny of facial dimorphism and patterns of individual development within one human population. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 131(3), 432–443. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20317