Modelling Shape Variance Geometric Morphometric Applications in Evolutionary Biology

http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022014000300041

Abstract

The comparison of anatomical traits between organisms has been a central topic in comparative biology. Historically, taxanomic classification and biological diversity understanding have been based on morphological descriptions. Derived from a mathematical quantitative revolution, morphological studies have experienced an important renewal due to the development of shape analysis rooted in statistical multivariate methods and novel visualisation techniques. The aim of the present review is to provide an updated perspective regarding the progress in geometric morphometrics (GMM) applied to evolutionary biology, as well as introducing to cutting-edge subjects (e.g. developmental stability, modularity, morphological integration, among other themes). Thus, it is expected to provide a broad point of view with respect to the appliaction of geometric morphometrics in evolutionary biology, highlighting its usefulness as an effective, accurate, user-friendly and inexpensive method to quantify and study shape variation.

Publication
In International Journal of Morphology 32, 3(2014)
Thomas A. Püschel
Thomas A. Püschel
Postdoctoral researcher

I am a palaeoprimatologist and vertebrate palaeobiologist mainly focused on primate and mammalian evolution. My main interest is to study organismal evolution by reconstructing and comparing the palaeobiology of fossils to their living ecological relatives. In order to do this, I apply a combination of predictive modelling, 3D morphometrics, virtual biomechanical techniques, computational simulations, phylogenetic comparative methods, and fieldwork. I have recently joined the Venditti group, University of Reading, within the framework of the Leverhulme project ‘The evolutionary and biogeographical routes to hominin diversity’. I am also a research affiliate at the Institute of Human Sciences, University of Oxford, where I work together with the Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa, Mozambique.

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