Quantifying the shape of growth

Quantifying the shape of growth


The process of ontogeny plays a fundamental role in the emergence, magnitude and patterning of adult sexual dimorphism. Untangling the complex interaction between shape, size and age over the course of ontogeny is potentially difficult due to the large morphological variability in size and shape within different populations. This is a particular problem in the study of juveniles, for which few skeletal elements exhibit enough dimorphism to enable sex assignment and subtle age-size-shape differences may have a relatively marked influence on the success of the method applied. Morphological features of the ilium have consistently been more successful for juvenile sex determination than have techniques applied to other skeletal elements, however relatively little is known about the ontogeny and maturation of size and shape dimorphism in the ilium. In this talk, I outline geometric morphometric (shape-based) approaches that I have developed to improve the success of sex estimation in juveniles and to dissect the ontogenetic pathways leading to the pronounced differences observed between adult males and females. I suggest that approaches aimed at quantifying the rate of size and shape maturation between males and females will improve the success of juvenile sex estimation.


Speaker bio

Dr Laura Wilson completed a BSc in Palaeobiology at University College London and an MRes in Biosystematics at Imperial College London and The Natural History Museum. She completed her PhD in Natural Sciences at the University of Zurich, Switzerland (Dr.sc.nat, 2010). In 2011, she worked in Japan as a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow at Kyoto University. Since 2012, she has been conducting research at the University of New South Wales on fellowships that further her interests in advancing quantitative methods to study skeletal growth and development on different timescales. Having recently completed an ARC DECRA, she is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. She has taken part in palaeontological fieldwork in Germany, Switzerland, Venezuela, Morocco, and Australia.



Please e-mail Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz  Justyna.Miszkiewicz@anu.edu.au to register and obtain Zoom link

Date & time

Thu 06 Aug 2020, 4–5pm


Online event – please email Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz Justyna.Miszkiewicz@anu.edu.au to obtain Zoom link


Dr Laura Wilson, University of New South Wales


Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz


Updated:  22 July 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications