Kimberly Plomp

Kimberly Plomp
Simon Fraser University · Department of Archaeology

PhD
drkimberlyplomp.com

About

18
Publications
4,441
Reads
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147
Citations
Introduction
I am a biological anthropologist with expertise in bioarchaeology, human evolution, and palaeopathology. My research interests align under an overriding theme: investigating how evolutionary adaptations have shaped modern human skeletal variation and how this variation influences human health and disease. To answer these questions, I analyze the morphological variation of the skeleton of archaeological and modern humans, extant non-human primates, and extinct fossil hominins using cutting-edge approaches, such as photogrammetry and geometric morphometrics. The outcomes of my research are not only relevant for the field of biological anthropology, but also have the potential to impact the lives of people today.
Additional affiliations
July 2013 - present
Simon Fraser University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2009 - June 2013
Durham University
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
October 2009 - September 2012
Durham University
Field of study
  • Anthropology and Archaeology
October 2008 - September 2009
University of Bradford
Field of study
  • Human Osteology and Palaeopathology
September 2002 - June 2007
University of Alberta
Field of study
  • Physical Anthropology

Publications

Publications (18)
Article
In 1923, Sir Arthur Keith proposed that many common back problems are due to the stresses caused by our evolutionarily novel form of locomotion, bipedalism. In this article, we introduce an updated version of Keith’s hypothesis with a focus on acquired spinal conditions. We begin by outlining the main ways in which the human spine differs from thos...
Chapter
Back pain has serious impacts on individual people and society, but its causes remain poorly understood. One long-standing hypothesis contends that many common back problems may be due at least partly to the stresses caused by our evolutionarily novel form of bipedalism. This chapter discusses this hypothesis and shows how recent palaeopathological...
Article
Analyses of human skeletal shape and geometry are used to investigate questions related to habitual activities and physical lifeways, as well as biological distance and relatedness. Recently, these methods have been applied to research concerning human evolutionary predisposition for disease, as well as functional experiences of pathological condit...
Article
Full-text available
The settlement of Great Britain by Germanic-speaking people from continental northwest Europe in the Early Medieval period (early 5 th to mid 11 th centuries CE) has long been recognised as an important event, but uncertainty remains about the number of settlers and the nature of their relationship with the preexisting inhabitants of the island. In...
Article
Full-text available
The settlement of Iceland in the Viking Age has been the focus of much research, but the composition of the founding population remains the subject of debate. Some lines of evidence suggest that almost all the founding population were Scandinavian, while others indicate a mix of Scandinavians and people of Scottish and Irish ancestry. To explore th...
Article
Full-text available
Background and objectives: The study reported here focused on the aetiology of spondylolysis, a vertebral pathology usually caused by a fatigue fracture. The goal was to test the ‘Overshoot Hypothesis’, which proposes that people develop spondylolysis because their vertebral shape is at the highly derived end of the range of variation within Homo s...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Recently we proposed an evolutionary explanation for a spinal pathology that afflicts many people, intervertebral disc herniation (Plomp et al. [2015] BMC Evolutionary Biology 15, 68). Using 2D data, we found that the bodies and pedicles of lower vertebrae of pathological humans were more similar in shape to those of chimpanzees than w...
Chapter
Back pain is a major health issue in modern populations, with most people experiencing it at some point in their lives. Spinal lesions are also commonly identified in archaeological populations. However, the association of these lesions with clinical symptoms of pain and disability can be unclear. This chapter provides a brief summary of spinal pat...
Article
Osteoarthritis is one of the most frequently identified lesions in palaeopathological research. It has been extensively studied by both bioarchaeologists and medical researchers for decades, yet the aetiology of osteoarthritis remains unclear. One of the most important aspects of osteoarthritic studies is identifying the distribution patterns of th...
Article
Background: Recent studies suggest there is a relationship between intervertebral disc herniation and vertebral shape. The nature of this relationship is unclear, however. Humans are more commonly afflicted with spinal disease than are non-human primates and one suggested explanation for this is the stress placed on the spine by bipedalism. With t...
Article
Schmorl's nodes are depressions on vertebrae due to herniation of the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disc into the vertebral body. This study provides an extension of our previous study which analyzed the shape of the lower thoracic spine and found that vertebral morphology was associated with the presence of Schmorl's nodes. Ninety adult i...
Article
Osteoarthritis is a major health concern in living populations, as well as being one of the most common pathological lesions identified in the archaeological record. The aetiology of the disease remains unclear, with a multi-factorial influence of physical strain, age, genetics, and obesity. Previous studies have identified a relationship between t...
Article
Schmorl's nodes are the result of herniations of the nucleus pulposus into the adjacent vertebral body and are commonly identified in both clinical and archaeological contexts. The current study aims to identify aspects of vertebral shape that correlate with Schmorl's nodes. Two-dimensional statistical shape analysis was performed on digital images...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
The Ancestral Shape Hypothesis investigates the relationship between vertebral morphology, bipedalism, and human spinal health by comparing the 3D shape of vertebrae of humans with and without spinal pathologies with those of non-human primates and fossil hominins.