PhD project: Assessing the variability and complexity of occlusal tooth patterning in primate enamel-dentine junction morphology as it relates to current systems of tooth-crown nomenclature
Simon is studying dental morphology and development in extant and fossil primates. Using micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) to image the internal and external surfaces of primate teeth, his research will reassess the morphological and developmental complexity of the primate tooth crown and, in doing so, address growing concerns regarding current tooth crown terminologies used to describe these features. As crown morphology is used extensively in systematics, taxonomy and the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of the primates, these concerns have crucial implications for the confident use of these morphological structures in future anthropological work. This will also allow for reconsiderations of the developmental processes and rules underlying the observed variability in tooth shape in primates and contribute to broader understandings of tooth morphogenesis in multicuspid teeth.
Prior to starting his PhD, Simon completed a BSc in Biological Anthropology and a Masters by Research in Anthropology at the University of Kent. His undergraduate dissertation looked at socio-economic differences in musculoskeletal stress-marker expression in a medieval sample of human remains. His Master’s project used histological techniques to study incremental growth lines in human tooth enamel and examine how these poorly understood features of enamel growth are correlated with measures of skeletal height and body mass.
University of Kent Vice Chancellor's Research Scholarship