Rebecca HaywoodRebecca Haywood

Email: pra08rkh@sheffield.ac.uk

PhD Title

The perennial or occasional ‘Nutcracker Man’? Does dietary adaptation explain the derived craniofacial morphology of Paranthropus?

PhD Abstract

Conventional explanations of morphological variation focus on adaptive differences, such as those relating to dietary ecology. In this context, the highly derived craniofacial morphology of Paranthropus has long been regarded as a specialist dietary adaptation to aide with the consumption of hard foods, and the striking differences in morphology between Paranthropus and Australopithecus interpreted as a reflection of significant differences in the masticatory requirements of diet. However, evidence from stable carbon isotopes and dental microwear texture analyses challenge this interpretation, suggesting that the species of both hominid genera exploited more similar but varied omnivorous diets. Consequently, other evolutionary scenarios need to be considered to further our understanding of potential mechanisms involved in the evolution of Paranthropus mandibular and masticatory morphology. This project is a comparative study of extant nonhuman primates, exploring a variety of underlying factors potentially affecting morphology, including diet/ fallback foods, and sexual dimorphism. A series of metric and non-metric variables of the dentition and mandible will be used to describe and compare morphological variation among different Catarrhine and Platyrrhine primate species.

To date, research has been completed at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Powell-Cotton Museum, Kent, Royal Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren, the Museum of Natural History, Vienna and the Anthropological Institute and Museum, University of Zurich with a current sample size totalling 907 extant nonhuman primate specimens. Preliminary analysis indicates that variations in diet and the degree of sexual dimorphism are important factors affecting the masticatory morphology of nonhuman primates. Application of these factors will be made in reference to Paranthropus and Australopithecus.

Research

Research Interests

I am interested in many aspects of palaeoanthropology, in particular understanding morphological variation in relation to adaptive pressures in Paranthropus and Australopithecus. While my main focus of research is on Australopithecus and Paranthropus, I am also very interested in nonhuman primates, both as aides for furthering our understanding of human evolution, and also from a conservation viewpoint.

Qualifications

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Archaeological Science: 1st Class (University of Sheffield, 2011)
Dissertation: ‘On our doorstep, the creationism ‘movement’ in the UK and the USA – what should (or should not) be taught in our schools?’
MSc Palaeoanthropology: Distinction (The University of Sheffield 2012)
MSc dissertation: Metric analysis of sexual dimorphism in Homo sapiens, Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes and Gorilla gorilla and its potential utility for evaluating australopithecines.

Awards and Scholarships

Awards and Scholarships

2011 Kay Harvey Prize for Archaeological Science
2013 Arts and Humanities Faculty Postgraduate Research Scholarship: PhD (The University of Sheffield)

Conferences and Papers

Conferences and Papers

2013 Attitudes toward teaching ID and Evolution in British Schools: results of a survey questionnaire, SSHB Proffered Papers Conference (Oxford Brookes University, October 2013).
2014 The perennial or occasional ‘Nutcracker Man’. An analysis into the proposed use of Fallback Foods in the australopithecines (Postgraduate Research Student Workshop, University of Sheffield).
EFP Conference (Roma Tre University, August 2015) [POSTER]
Member of the organising committee for the BABAO conference held at the University of Sheffield, September 2015.

Teaching Experience

Teaching Experience

2013 - 2014 World Civilisations (AAP108), Tutor, University of Sheffield (Undergraduate)
2014 - 2015 Origins of Humanity (AAP107), Tutor, University of Sheffield (Undergraduate)
2014-15 Human Anatomy, Demonstrator, University of Sheffield (Masters)*
2015 Human Osteology: An Introduction (Short Course)**Assistant.
2015-16 Human Anatomy, Demonstrator, University of Sheffield

Student Roles

Student Roles

2010-11 Third Year Representative (Staff Student Committee), Undergraduate Student Representative (Staff Meetings),
2014-present Member of the Department of Archaeology Green Impact Team

Further

Further

Member of British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO), Paleoanthropology Society, Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB), Society for the Study of Human Biology (SSHB).