Thomas Püschel

Thomas Püschel
University of Reading · School of Biological Sciences

PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher - Leverhulme Research Leadership Project

About

56
Publications
12,763
Reads
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294
Citations
Introduction
I am palaeoprimatologist and vertebrate palaeobiologist mainly focused on primate and mammalian evolution. My main interest is to study organismal evolution by reconstructing and comparing the palaeobiology of fossils to their living ecological relatives. To do this, I apply a combination of predictive modelling, 3D morphometrics, virtual biomechanical techniques, computational simulations, phylogenetic comparative methods, and fieldwork.
Additional affiliations
October 2018 - present
University of Oxford
Position
  • Fellow
April 2018 - September 2018
The University of Manchester
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
January 2014 - February 2018
The University of Manchester
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Biology
October 2012 - October 2013
Hull York Medical School
Field of study
  • Human Evolution
January 2007 - December 2011
University of Chile
Field of study
  • Biological Anthropology

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
Full-text available
The talus is one of the most commonly preserved post-cranial elements in the platyrrhine fossil record. Talar morphology can provide information about postural adaptations because it is the anatomical structure responsible for transmitting body mass forces from the leg to the foot. The aim of this study is to test whether the locomotor behaviour of...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, there are no living platyrrhine primates inhabiting the main Caribbean islands. Nevertheless, the fossil record of this area has provided outstanding findings of different New World monkeys that were part of a diverse radiation exhibiting remarkably unusual morphologies. Among these, the Cuban genus Paralouatta corresponds to one of the...
Article
Full-text available
Quantifying speciation times during human evolution is fundamental as it provides a timescale to test for the correlation between key evolutionary transitions and extrinsic factors such as climatic or environmental change. Here, we applied a total evidence dating approach to a hominin phylogeny to estimate divergence times under different topologic...
Article
Full-text available
In their recent communication, Mongle et al. argue that there are several problems with our recent analysis: a problematic character matrix, a problematic geochronology and questionable body mass estimates. For the sake of brevity, we only focus on these main criticisms and refer to Supplementary Table 1 for further details but note that even if on...
Article
Full-text available
Static, developmental, and evolutionary variation are different sources of morphological variation which can be quantified using morphometrics tools. In the present study we have carried out a comparative multiple level study of integration (i.e., static, developmental, and evolutionary) to acquire insight about the relationships that exist between...
Article
Objectives The morphological characteristics of the thumb are of particular interest due to its fundamental role in enhanced manipulation. Despite its possible importance regarding this issue, the body of the first metacarcapal (MC1) has not been fully characterized using morphometrics. This could provide further insights into its anatomy, as well...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Miocene is a key time in the evolution of African mammals and their ecosystems witnessing the origin of the African apes and the isolation of eastern coastal forests through an expanding biogeographic arid corridor. Until recently, however, Miocene sites from the southeastern regions of the continent were unknown. Here we report discovery of th...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To determine the effects of the cognitive and mental health factors on the outcomes following carpal tunnel release (CTR). Data sources Embase, Pubmed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, CINAHL and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) databases from inception to August 14, 2021. Study selection Randomized controlled trials and...
Article
Full-text available
Obtaining accurate values for body segment parameters (BSPs) is fundamental in many biomechanical studies, particularly for gait analysis. Convex hulling, where the smallest-possible convex object that surrounds a set of points is calculated, has been suggested as an effective and time-efficient method to estimate these parameters in extinct animal...
Article
Full-text available
Finite element analysis was applied to analyze six individuals from different primate species (Homo sapiens Linnaeus, 1758, Homo neanderthalensis King, 1864, Pan troglodytes Blumenbach, 1779, Gorilla gorilla Savage, 1847, Pongo pygmaeus Linnaeus, 1760 and Hylobates lar Linnaeus, 1771) to identify stress distribution patterns on the pollical proxima...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objectives: Extinct hominins can provide key insights into the development of tool use, with the morphological characteristics of the thumb of particular interest due to its fundamental role in enhanced manipulation. This study quantifies the shape of the first metacarpals' body in the extant Homininae and some fossil hominins to provide insights a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Wrist shape varies greatly across primates and previous studies indicate that the numerous morphological differences among them are related to a complex mixture of phylogeny and function. However, little is known about whether the variation in these various anatomical differences is linked and to what extent the wrist bones vary independently. Here...
Article
Full-text available
An on-going debate concerning the dietary adaptations of archaic hominins and early Homo has been fuelled by contradictory inferences obtained using different methodologies. This work presents an extensive comparative sample of 30 extant primate species that was assembled to perform a morpho-functional comparison of these taxa with 12 models corres...
Article
Full-text available
Inferring the locomotor behaviour of the last common ancestor (LCA) of humans and African apes is still a divisive issue. An African great-ape-like ancestor using knuckle-walking is still the most parsimonious hypothesis for the LCA, despite diverse conflicting lines of evidence. Crucial to this hypothesis is the role of the centrale in the hominoi...
Article
Full-text available
The cranium is an anatomically complex structure. One source of its complexity is due to its modular organization. Cranial modules are distinct and partially independent units that interact substantially during ontogeny thus generating morphological integration. Artificial Cranial Deformation (ACD) occurs when the human skull is intentionally defor...
Data
Phylomorphospace of the extant platyrrhine sample computed using the morphometric data.
Data
Alignment procedure prior to FEA; Case-specific fossil reconstruction procedures; Description of the applied FEA statistics; Normality test for the stress percentiles; Further details about the Intervals' method; Further methodological details and brief description of the machine learning algorithms applied to classify the fossil sample into broad...
Article
Primates are interpreted to be ancestrally adapted to frugivory, although some modern groups show clear adaptations to other diets. Among them, pitheciids stand out for specifically predating seeds. This dietary specialization is known as sclerocarpy and refers to the extraction of seeds from surrounding hard tissues using the anterior dentition fo...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between primate mandibular form and diet has been previously analysed by applying a wide array of techniques and approaches. Nonetheless, most of these studies compared few species and/or infrequently aimed to elucidate function based on an explicit biomechanical framework. In this study, we generated and analysed 31 Finite Element...
Article
Full-text available
Background In this paper, we propose a new method, named the intervals’ method, to analyse data from finite element models in a comparative multivariate framework. As a case study, several armadillo mandibles are analysed, showing that the proposed method is useful to distinguish and characterise biomechanical differences related to diet/ecomorphol...
Article
Platyrrhines are a diverse group of primates that presently occupy a broad range of tropical-equatorial environments in the Americas. However, most of the fossil platyrrhine species of the early Miocene have been found at middle and high latitudes. Although the fossil record of New World monkeys has improved considerably over the past several years...
Article
Full-text available
The Mylodontidae family was once one of the most diverse Pleistocene fauna in South America. Within this family, the genus Glossotherium showed a wide distribution in the southern cone with a single record in Chile SGO.PV.2 housed at the National Museum of Natural History of Chile. Provided that the species allocation of this individual as Glossoth...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A comparative Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was carried out to study the biomechanical behaviour of the talus in 40 extant platyrrhine species to test if it was possible to distinguish locomotor behaviours (i.e. suspension, quadrupedalism and leaping).
Conference Paper
Mandibular biomechanical models of 31 different extant primate species –including hominoidea- were analysed as a planar models using Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Four different bite positions were simulated (i.e. incisive, canine, premolar and molar biting) thus obtaining von Mises stress patterns.
Article
Full-text available
Diverse hypotheses have been proposed to explain artificial cranial modification (ACM) in South America. In the Atacama area (Northern Chile), some studies have concluded that it was used to create a communal identity that could serve to resist, or to form alliances with, different external groups (Inter Site Distinction hypothesis, this work). On...
Article
Objective: The aim was to analyze the relationship between scapular form and function in hominoids by using geometric morphometrics (GM) and finite element analysis (FEA). Methods: FEA was used to analyze the biomechanical performance of different hominoid scapulae by simulating static postural scenarios. GM was used to quantify scapular shape d...
Article
Full-text available
Phytophagous insects are excellent model organisms to study the genetic and ecological components of adaptation and morphological divergence, because their host plants are one of the main environmental factors influencing their early life stages. Although many lepidopterans are highly specialized in their host use, shifts to exotic plants have been...
Article
Full-text available
Sophora toromiro (Phil) Skottsb. is a species that has been extinct in its natural habitat Easter Island (Rapa Nui) for over 50 years. However, seed collections carried out before its extinction have allowed its persistence ex-situ in different botanical gardens and private collections around the world. The progenies of these diverse collections ha...
Article
Full-text available
La comparación de caracteres anatómicos entre organismos ha sido un elemento central de la biología comparada. Históricamente, la clasificación taxonómica y la comprensión de la diversidad biológica se han basado en descripciones morfológicas. En base a una revolución matemática cuantitativa, el estudio de la morfología ha tenido un importante énfa...
Article
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The comparison of anatomical traits between organisms has been a central topic in comparative biology. Historically, taxanomic classification and biological diversity understanding have been based on morphological descriptions. Derived from a mathematical quantitative revolution, morphological studies have experienced an important renewal due to th...
Article
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Studying the association between organismal morphology and environmental conditions has been very useful to test hypothesis regarding the influence of climate on shape. It has been long recognized that different environments produce dissimilar stress levels in insects, which can be reflected on the ability of an individual to overcome these pressur...
Article
Full-text available
The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture has been associated with a gracilization in human form, especially in long bones. This has been interpreted as result of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and reduced workload in the farming populations. However the majority of these evidences have been based on the application of different...
Article
Full-text available
The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture has been associated with a gracilisation in human form, especially in long bones. This has been interpreted as result of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and reduced workload in the agriculturalist populations. However the majority of these evidences have been based on the application of d...
Article
Full-text available
Morphological Integration and modularity are concepts that refer to the covariation level between the components of a structure. Morphological modules are those structures that have components that strongly covary, which in turn are relatively independent to other modules. Morphological integration is instead, the coordinated morphological variatio...
Article
Full-text available
Morphological Integration and modularity are concepts that refer to the covariation level between the components of a structure. Morphological modules are those structures that have components that strongly covary, which in turn are relatively independent to other modules. Morphological integration is instead, the coordinated morphological variatio...

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