Departmental Seminar

The shape of nature: using cutting-edge imaging techniques and geometric morphometrics to study biological forms

Date & time

Thu 30 Mar 2017, 11.30am–12.30pm



Le Couteur Seminar Room 3.17


Members of RSPE welcome
Dr Emma Sherratt
Division of Ecology & Evolution, Research School of Biology, ANU

My research is governed by the question "how did the diversity of animals we see around us evolve?". Studying biodiversity, particularly morphological diversity, in the 21st century requires cutting-edge tools. I will discuss how I use laser scanning and X-ray micro CT to capture detailed external and internal morphology of museum specimens (often rare or endangered species) to build large virtual libraries of species. Then I will talk about how I use geometric morphometrics (statistical analysis of shape, a field stemming from geometry and spatial statistics) to accurately characterise the shape of biological structures (e.g., skulls, limb bones, or egg shells) from these libraries. Finally I will give examples of how I use this shape data to answer questions about evolution.

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