Category Archives: Students


A new PhD student at the paleoneuro lab! María Silva is an archaeologist, and she did a master in human evolution, working on cognitive archaeology and visuospatial integration. Now she will keep on making research in this field, working on visuospatial capacity and experiemental archaeology. She is now fully enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Burgos, Spain. She will integrate concepts in archaeology, cognitive sciences, and psychology, as to investigate issues in brain-body-environment functional relationships. She will work in a joint team with Annapaola, further integrating this group that mixes fossils and behavior. She is also one of the editors of our blog on evolution and prehistory. So, more and more cognition here in this lab!


Paleoneuro 2017

Brainstorming today at the Laboratory of Hominid Paleoneurobiology! Talks and chats on several doctoral projects, integrating brain anatomy, functional craniology, vascular morphology and cognitive archaeology. From the left: Emiliano Bruner, Gizéh Rangel de Lázaro, María Silva Gago, Annapaola Fedato, Alannah Pearson, and Sofia Pereira-Pedro.


A new PhD student in the team working on craniovascular anatomy! Stanislava Eisová was in our laboratory few years ago, publishing a paper on parietal bone and vessels in which she investigated correlations between craniovascular morphology, skull size, and bone thickness. She got a Master Degree in Anthropology of Past Populations at the University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic. Now she begins a PhD program on Anthropology and Human Genetics at the Faculty of Science of the Charles University, Prague. Her project will be on craniovascular traits, anthropology, paleoanthropology, and paleopathology. She will investigate craniovascular characters in normal samples, pathological conditions, and fossil specimens. The project is co-directed by Petr Velemínský.


New member of the lab! Annapaola Fedato did her master thesis on cognitive archaeology and visuospatial integration in our laboratory, as a student from the University of Padua (Italy). And now she will keep on working on the same issue with a PhD grant, dealing with experimental archaeology, affordance, and hand-tool relationships. About this topic, here a perspective paper on visuospatial integration and human evolution, and a review on visuospatial behaviours and fossil evidence. Because this blog deals mainly with brain and skull anatomy, she will be in charge of posting news and information on those brain areas involved in visuospatial functions. Welcome! [Affiliation Info]


Alannah PearsonNew PhD student in our network! Alannah Pearson is now beginning her project on temporal lobes evolution in human and non-human primates, with a special focus on paleoneurology and functional craniology. She will be supervised by an amazing team of experts, including David Polly (Indiana University) and  Colin Groves, Alison Behie and Katharine Balolia (Australian National University). A short presentation, in her own words: “I was born in Australia in 1985 and I am currently a PhD candidate at the Australian National University in Canberra. I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology before an Honours year specialising in Biological Anthropology analysing pre-collected craniometric data from populations in India before comparing these to William White Howells’ global craniometric datasets to assess population affinities. I recently completed a Master of Philosophy in Palaeoanthropology using CT of hominoid cranial bones examining inter- and intraspecific shape variation, phylogenetic signal, allometric and non-allometric differences. I also conducted phylogenetic analyses using Neighbour-Joining and Continuous Trait Maximum Likelihood methods. I am interested in the evolution of extant and fossil primate cranial morphology, shape and size differences between taxa. I recently became fascinated with primate cerebral evolution and shape variation with this being the direction of my PhD project. When not studying physical anthropology, I like to write fiction novels and I am currently working toward publication. I also have a keen interest in digital photography, particularly landscape and wildlife photography.” Welcome at the Laboratory of Hominid Paleoneurobiology!

[Academia]     [ResearchGate]


Yameng Zhang 2015New student in town! Yameng Zhang is now beginning his PhD in human paleoneurology, with a joint collaboration between our lab and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Science (IVPP – Beijing), and under the supervision of Xiujie Wu. We recently celebrated this project with a meeting entitled “Evolving Humans between Europe and Asia”. Yameng got his Master Degree working on cranial capacity estimation in fragmented fossil specimens, and collaborating in projects on fossils like Jingchuan 1, Qihe Cave and Lantian, on sexual dimorphisms in Chinese crania, and on temporal bony labyrinthine morphology. He works with digital anatomy and computed morphometrics, and his studies will focus on the spatial relationships between brain and braincase in the human genus.

Welcome on board, Mr. Zhang!