Graduate Students

Daniel Schofield

I am a fourth year DPhil student under the supervision of Dr Susana Carvalho and Dr Dora Biro (Zoology Dept.). I am interested in cumulative culture and the evolutionary origins of technology. The focus of my project is analysing longitudinal archival video data of tool use and social networks of wild chimpanzees from Bossou, Guinea.

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Jana Muschinski

I am a second year DPhil student under the supervision of Dr Susana Carvalho, Dr Erica van de Waal and Dr Dora Biro. I am interested in social transmission and tool use in primates, particularly how these areas can inform us about human evolution and adaptability. My background is primarily in paleolithic archaeology, with additional training in primate cognition. I will be studying the presence/absence of cultural behaviors among baboons in Gorongosa National Park,Mozambique. My observations will focus on social grooming, greeting behaviors, sleeping site preparation, and food processing/preparation, with particular emphasis on the latter two categories as those behaviors are most likely to leave physical traces that could be preserved in the archaeological record. I hope that this research will improve our understanding of the evolutionary origin and age of the cognitive processes necessary for cultural behaviors to arise.

João d'Oliveira Coelho

MSc João d’Oliveira Coelho is a self-taught programmer with an academic background in biological anthropology. João did his masters in human evolution and biology at the University of Coimbra, while simultaneously creating osteomics.com where he worked extensively with 3D printing and photogrammetry, and also developed web applications for estimation of biological parameters (sex, ancestry, age-at-death, stature) from skeletal features. Recently, he also co-founded the first portuguese junior enterprise focused in data science - jest.pt - where he worked with machine learning and bioinformatics projects, and led workshops of statistics, R and Python programming. His research interests are in geospatial paleoanthropology, geometric morphometrics and osteology, from both forensic and evolutionary perspectives. João is currently on the third year of his DPhil on automated geospatial search for fossil sites in Africa: a computer vision and machine learning approach, and is supervised by Dr Susana Carvalho and Dr Robert L Anemone.

Katarina Almeida-Warren

Katarina Almeida-Warren

I am a fourth year DPhil student under the supervision of Dr. Susana Carvalho. I am interested in chimpanzee tool-use as a comparative model for the interpretation of early hominin archaeological sites and the suite of behaviours they infer. Following the paradigm of Primate Archaeology, my doctoral research will be focusing on chimpanzee nut-cracking in Guinea, where I will be using traditional archaeological methods to investigate the ecological parameters that are driving the selection and re-use of specific locations by chimpanzees for nut-cracking activities. With this information I hope to develop a model that can help reconstruct early hominin landscape use and ranging patterns. Ultimately, I want to find out how our ancestors interacted with their landscape, how they made decisions about resource exploitation, and the conditions that led to the emergence of technology in the hominin lineage.


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Lucy Baehren

I am a third year DPhil student under the supervision of Dr Susana Carvalho and Dr Harvey Whitehouse. I am interested in social anthropology and comparative primatology. I'm studying the evolution of leave-taking across humans and non-human primates. My current work focuses on the function of “goodbyes” and whether the phenomenon is unique to  Homo sapiens or shows continuity across species.


Lynn Lewis-Bevan

Lynn Lewis-Bevan

I am currently doing a third year DPhil in Zoology, jointly supervised by Dr Dora Biro (Zoology) and Dr Susana Carvalho (Anthropology). I am studying the drivers of decision making and movement in baboons in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. I will examine factors such as the heterogeneous landscape, the large number of baboon groups and the varying levels of predation throughout the park to understand what affects the ranging behaviours in these troops, and elucidate how early hominins in a similar environment would have navigated their landscapes.

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Megan Beardmore-Herd

I am a second year DPhil studentunder the supervision of Dr Susana Carvalho, Dr Julia Fisher and Dr Iain Morley. I am interested in the origin of human language and the ways in which the study of non-human primate communication can increase our understanding of this major development in human evolution. My research project is to study the vocal repertoire of vervet monkeys experiencing a shift in ecology at Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. My work will shed light on the flexibility of vervet monkey alarm call production and perception, and primate vocal communication more broadly, which in turn will inform models of the origin and evolution of human language.


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Philippa Hammond

I am a third year DPhil student under the supervision of Dr Susana Carvalho and Dr Dora Biro (Zoology Dept.). My research investigates the effects of predation pressure on primate adaptations; my fieldwork is based in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, where I am monitoring the effects of reduced predation pressure on the ranging, sleeping, and social behaviours of baboons (Papio ursinus). Insights from these field studies will further our understanding of predator-prey dynamics that might have significantly impacted the behavioural evolution of Pleistocene hominins.

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