2020-01-20 - 2020-01-31 | Research area: EvoDevo
This proposal concerns conducting research of the cranial anatomy in modern humans, focusing specifically on the functional morphology of particular craniovascular elements. The vascular system of the human head includes several interconnected structures; and some of them can be studied on dry skulls (Píšová et al. 2017). Middle meningeal vessels and dural venous sinuses leave their imprints in the inner surface of cranial bones, diploic veins create traces in diploe within bone matrix, and emissary veins pass the endocranial and ectocranial space through cranial foramina (e.g. Hershkovitz et al. 1999; Bruner & Sherkat, 2008; Píšová et al. 2017). The anatomy and morphology of these structures vary among modern humans and hominins (e.g. Bruner & Sherkat, 2008; Eisová et al. 2019). Cranial deformities and cultural modifications of the skull may also alter the development of craniovascular traits (Dean, 1995; O’Loughlin, 1996). The aim of the current project is to evaluate the influence of altitude on the variation and expression of craniovascular traits in a sample of South American populations. The study is based on cooperation with KLI fellow Dr. Lumila Menéndez, who will provide material for the research, participate in its design, as well as contribute with the interpretation related to the evolution and variation of South American specimens.