DR. ASHLEY HAMMOND, George Washington University, Washington, DC, received a grant in October 2015 to aid research on 'The Hominid Pelvis: Testing Alternative Evolutionary Hypotheses for the Pan-Hominin LCA Pelvis Shape.' The pelvic shape of the Pan-hominin last common ancestor (LCA) is important for understanding ape and human evolution, but predictions about pelvic shape in the LCA are highly controversial and ultimately depend on different evolutionary scenarios. The grant along with research colleagues scanned more than 200 hipbones of great apes and humans using a high-resolution surface scanner. These scan data were used to generate three-dimensional (3D) high-fidelity digital models. The project sampled a wide range of ecogeographic human populations, as well as relatively rare ape taxa (e.g., Gorilla beringei beringei, G. beringei graueri, Pan paniscus), in order to quantify hipbone shape variation. These data are being used to quantitatively reconstruct ancestral 3D pelvic shapes at internal nodes in the ape and human tree, by combining 3D shape data and phylogenetically informed evolutionary modeling. This will allow the researchers to generate 3D visualizations of expected pelvic morphologies for key hominid ancestors (i.e., internal nodes in the tree), and provide a range of alternative pelvic anatomies for the LCAs by using different models of evolution and different phylogenetic hypotheses (with/without fossils, and different phylogenetic positions of fossils).
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
George Washington U.
Hammond, Dr. Ashley Suzanne, George Washington U., Washington DC - To aid research on 'The Hominid Pelvis: Testing Alternative Evolutionary Hypotheses for the Pan-hominin LCA Pelvis Shape'