Emma Nelson

Emma Nelson
University of Liverpool | UoL · School of Medicine

Evolutionary Anthropology PhD
Primates, human ecology, human behaviour, human reproduction, human communication, 2D:4D, Neanderthals, cave art

About

36
Publications
16,548
Reads
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574
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2015 - present
University of Liverpool
Position
  • Researcher
January 2014 - October 2015
University of Liverpool
Position
  • Lecturer and Academic Lead Year 2 Communication for Clinical Practice (MBChB)
September 2012 - December 2013
University of Chester
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Research Excellence Framework

Publications

Publications (36)
Chapter
Despite a remarkably persistent pop culture image of Neanderthals as semi-upright, hairy, cavemen wielding clubs, science provides us with a different picture. There is no doubt that the evolutionary forces that shaped Neanderthals and Homo sapiens differed, but recent evidence of interbreeding tells us that our anatomy and physiology were compatib...
Article
Escape behaviour is a common antipredator strategy of lizards. Here, we studied the effect of several variables predicted to have a potential effect on escape behaviour of lizards. Specifically, we measured the effects of starting distance (SD), distance to cover, sex–age and the observer’s head orientation on flight initiation distance (FID) in th...
Article
Like other animals, primates respond to predation using behavioural adaptations. Hence, they should optimise their escape strategy under the risk of predation, and flee at a distance, referred to as flight initiation distance (FID), when the fitness-related benefits of staying are balanced against the costs of escape. However, there is an absence o...
Article
Full-text available
Common cuckoo Cuculus canorus is a charismatic bird species with a dominant presence in human culture: from folklore legends to nowadays there is evidence of cuckoos being a prime candidate as a surrogate of bird diversity. Recent studies demonstrated that the cuckoo can predict hotspots of taxonomic diversity and functional diversity of bird commu...
Article
Full-text available
Hand stencils are some of the most enduring images in Upper Palaeolithic rock art sites across the world; the earliest have been dated to over 40 Kya in Sulawesi and 37 Kya in Europe. The analysis of these marks may permit us to know more about who was involved in the making the of prehistoric images as well as expanding the literature on the evolu...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The shells of molluscs survive well in many sedimentary contexts and yield information about the diet of prehistoric humans. They also yield evidence of symbolic behaviours through their use as beads for body adornments. Researchers often analyse the location of perforations in shells to make judgements about their use as symbolic objec...
Data
Publications about malacological findings in archaeological contexts
Research
Full-text available
Article for The Conversation about how forensic science can unlock the mysteries of human evolution https://theconversation.com/how-forensic-science-can-unlock-the-mysteries-of-human-evolution-69662
Research
Full-text available
Article in the on-line magazine - The Conversation - about building an artificial cave to teach students about Palaeolithic cave art. https://theconversation.com/why-we-built-an-artificial-cave-to-teach-our-students-about-ancient-art-70284
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Reflective practice is a method of continual learning from clinical experience, identifying learning needs and implementing changes in practice. It is an important learning tool for both medical students and qualified doctors. Despite the importance of refection, medical students, in their earlier years, can struggle to see its value and are often...
Article
Full-text available
Background. The shells of molluscs survive well in most sedimentary contexts and yield information about the diet of prehistoric humans. They also yield evidence of symbolic behaviours, through their use as beads for body adornments. Researchers often analyse the location of perforations in shells to make judgements about their use as symbolic obje...
Article
Full-text available
Background. The shells of molluscs survive well in most sedimentary contexts and yield information about the diet of prehistoric humans. They also yield evidence of symbolic behaviours, through their use as beads for body adornments. Researchers often analyse the location of perforations in shells to make judgements about their use as symbolic obje...
Article
Full-text available
We live in paradoxical times. On the one hand, it is difficult to publish in high-level, open access, and well established journals, whilst on the other hand, an ever-increasing body of journals are being established, often based on an unscrupulous strategy of pay and publish. For publication houses, the market ecology is special (Sagarin & Pauchar...
Article
Full-text available
Vultures and humans have been sympatric for millions of years and evidence from the archaeological and historical records suggests interdependence over long periods. Like other species, early hominins probably used these birds to locate carcasses in the landscape. With the evolution of large bodied and more encephalised hominins, the quest for high...
Article
It has been proposed that digit ratio may be used as a biomarker of early developmental effects. Specifically, the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) has been linked to the effects of sex hormones and their receptor genes, but other digit ratios have also been investigated. Across taxa, patterns of sexual dimorphism in digit ratios are ambiguous...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Vultures have been sympatric with the human species for millions of years and most likely they competed alongside each other for access to food. Carnivores, such as lions and hyenas, may have used these birds to locate carcasses on the landscape. Here we discuss about the possibility that early hominins used the circling vultures as a “lighthouse”...
Chapter
Full-text available
Intrauterine sex hormones, such as the androgen testosterone, program the brain and body tissues at a cellular level according to sex-specifi c patterns (i.e., neuroendocrine axes; Fowden and Forhead 2009 ) and have long-term effects on development (Goy and McEwan 1980 ; Wallen and Baum 2002 ; Kaiser and Sachser 2005, 2009 ).
Article
Full-text available
As only limited insight into behaviour is available from the archaeological record, much of our understanding of historical changes in human cognition is restricted to identifying changes in brain size and architecture. Using both absolute and residual brain size estimates, we show that hominin brain evolution was likely to be the result of a mix o...
Article
Full-text available
Social behaviour of fossil hominoid species is notoriously difficult to predict owing to difficulties in estimating body size dimorphism from fragmentary remains and, in hominins, low canine size dimorphism. Recent studies have shown that the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D : 4D), a putative biomarker for prenatal androgen effects (PAEs), covaries...
Article
Full-text available
Female rhesus macaques exhibit matrilineal dominance structures, and high dominance rank confers fitness benefits across a lifetime and across generations. Rank effects are “inherited” through social processes that are well understood; however, biological mechanisms that might impact these processes are not well known. Recently, it has been shown t...
Article
The second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) has been proposed as a biomarker reflecting prenatal androgen effects (PAE), such that individuals with lower ratios have experienced higher PAE than those with higher ratios. 2D:4D has been correlated with a number of sex-linked traits in humans such as aggression, promiscuity, and competitiveness. In addit...
Article
Full-text available
The second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) is a putative biomarker for prenatal androgen effects, which has been widely employed to study androgenic-programming effects on shaping sex-linked traits and behaviours in humans. This approach is now increasingly applied to non-human species. Heritability studies of 2D:4D in both humans and zebra finches i...
Article
Full-text available
The second-to-fourth-digit ratio (2D:4D) may be related to prenatal testosterone and estrogen levels and pubertal face growth. Several studies have recently provided evidence that 2D:4D is associated with other-rated facial masculinity and dominance, but not with facialmetric measures of masculinity. We found that localized face shape differences,...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
We study the cuckoo as potential surrogate for different aspects of biodiversity: a) taxonomic diversity, b) host species richness, c) functional richness, d) functional evenness, e) functional divergence, and f) evolutionary distinctiveness in bird communties across Europe and Asia. The cuckoo is a charismatic species, easy to monitor and adequate for citizen science, and for these reasons, can provide new information on the paradigm of surrogacy in ecology.