PhD candidate, Paleoanthropology Department of the Insitute for Archaeological Sciences at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen. Supervised by Prof. Katerina Harvati.
The topic of Alexandra’s PhD research is sexual dimorphism of the bony labyrinth. The bony labyrinth was recently shown to be sexually dimorphic in a Greek population by Osipov et al. (2013). Alexandra’s research aims to assess whether sexual dimorphism is also present across samples of diverse geography and ontogeny. She uses Avizo software to virtually extract the bony labyrinth from CT scans of crania. Using the pythagorean theorem, the distances between certain landmarks can be calculated (for example the canal height and width). These non-invasive methods leave skeletal material completely unharmed and intact. Since the petrous portion of the temporal bone (which houses the bony labyrinth) is often preserved in the fossil and archaeological records, the development of a sex estimation method based on this structure could provide an important tool, applicable across several fields.