Nicole Grunstra


Postdoc Researcher

phone: +43 1 4277 56714

 About me

I am an evolutionary anthropologist, specialized in evolutionary morphology of primates and mammals. I am interested in macroevolutionary patterns of trait evolution and how such patterns relate to microevolutionary processes and developmental constraints. My methodological and analytical skills include 3D geometric and traditional morphometrics, the use of digital imaging techniques, and comparative anatomy.

My specific research interests include the evolution of difficult childbirth in humans, female pelvic morphology (especially in primates and non-primate mammals), adaptive and phylogenetic signals in complex traits, and the evolution of generalist (i.e. geographically unstructured) versus specialist (i.e. localized) phenotypes. Within these, my focus is on primate teeth and crania and mammalian pelves. I have active collaborations with several of the scientists in the Unit.

 Selected publications

Le Maître, A., Grunstra, N.D.S., Pfaff, C., & Mitteroecker, P. (2020). Evolution of the mammalian ear: An evolvability hypothesis. Evolutionary Biology. doi:10.1007/s11692-020-09502-0

Mitteroecker, P., Bartsch, S.J., Erkinger, C., Grunstra, N.D.S., Le Maître, A., & Bookstein, F.L. (2020). Morphometric Variation at Different Spatial Scales: Coordination and Compensation in the Emergence of Organismal Form. Systematic Biology, syaa007. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syaa007 [full text

Grunstra, N.D.S., Zachos, F.E., Herdina, A.N., Pavličev, M., Fischer, B., & Mitteroecker, P. (2019). Humans as inverted bats: A comparative approach to the obstetric conundrum. American Journal of Human Biology, 31(2), e23227. doi:10.1002/ajhb.23227 [full text]

Grunstra, N.D.S., Mitteroecker, P., and Foley, R.A (2018). A multivariate ecogeographic analysis of macaque craniodental variation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 166(2): 386-400. doi:10.1002/ajpa.23439 [full text