At the university I studied Physical Anthropology with a special focus on Primatology. I received my PhD in 1992 (thesis title: Mating success of Hamadryas, Anubis and Hybrid male baboons in a "mixed" social group in the Awash National Park, Ethiopia). Following graduation I held a postdoctoral research position in the Neurobiology Department at Harvard Medical School studying primate neurobiology and the effects of stress on the brain and behaviour.
I moved to the UK in 1994 to take up a post as a visiting lecturer at the University of Liverpool and joined the University of Sheffield in 1995. I have conducted research projects in Europe (the Czech Republic, Romania) and in Africa (Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa).
Member of the following:
- American Association of Physical Anthropology
- British Association of Biological Anthropology
- International Primatological Society
- Primate Society of Great Britain
- North of England Primate Group.
I have many research interests but there are three topics which are of special interest:
- examination of skeletal pathology in non-human primates using standards developed for the human species, examining the influence of age, sex, positional behaviour, and captivity. The aim is to establish if non-human primates suffer from the same range of skeletal pathologies as frequently noted in extant, historic and prehistoric human populations
- reconstruction of diet in past societies, especially on an individual level, and how diet impact on individual health, wealth and position within a population
- the position of children in past societies, their health and well-being and how well integrated they were within the adult social world
I have supervised and co-supervised PhD and MSc dissertations on a wide range of topics within the remit of Biological Anthropology including diet, health and well-being in past human populations, growth and development in humans and non-human primates, laterality and origins of language, use of primate behavior as models for hominins.
My interests are fairly broad, but I would be especially interested in supervision research students who have interests in:
- growth and development, especially from a comparative primate perspective
- diet, health and well-being in past human populations
- skeletal pathology in non-human primates especially as it pertains to degenerative disease
- Harrison RM, Nystrom P. 2010. Handedness in captive gorillas (Gorilla gorilla). Primates 51(3):251-261
- Mahoney-Swales D, Nystrom P. 2009. Skeletal manifestation of non-adult scurvy from early medieval Northumbria: The Black Gate Cemetery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In ME Lewis and M Clegg editors. Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, pp. 31-41. British Archaeology Reports International Series 1918. Oxford: Archaeopress
- Nystrom P. 2008. Dental microwear signatures of an early LBK population from Vedrovice, Moravia, the Czeck Republic. Anthropologie 46 (2-3):161-173
- Nystrom P, Ashmore P. 2008. The Life of Primates. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
- Harrison RM, Nystrom P. 2008. Handedness in captive bonobos (Pan paniscus). Folia Primatologica 79(5):253-268.
- Nystrom P, Phillips-Conroy JE, Jolly CJ. 2004. Dental microwear in anubis and hybrid baboons (Papio hamadryas, sensu lato) living in Awash National Park, Ethiopia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 125:279-291.
- Archaeology in the Laboratory
- Introduction to Biological Anthropology
- Primate Evolution and Behaviour
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