Webb, Nicole M.

Function: Postdoctoral researcher

Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment
Institute for Archaeological Sciences
Department of Palaeoanthropology
Rümelinstr. 23
72070 Tübingen

 Room 504, Hauptgebäude, 2. OG


Nicole Webb is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Paleoanthropology. Her research focuses on primate postcranial functional morphology with an emphasis on pelvic anatomy. Using a combination of 3D geometric morphometrics, finite element analysis and trabecular bone assessment she explores functional trade-offs and their biomechanical implications. Specifically, she is interested in the origins of bipedalism and the evolution of the complex birth pattern characteristic of modern humans. She also utilizes phylogenetically informed comparative methods to reconstruct locomotor behavior within the primate fossil record. Her current research involves collaborations with obstetricians and endurance athletes to test assumptions relevant to the “obstetrical dilemma” hypothesis.

Academic Trajectory

2021 - 2025
Postdoctoral Researcher

The Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, Institute of Archaeological Sciences, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

2018 - 2021
Postdoctoral Researcher

Evolutionary Morphology and Adaptation Group, Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

2017 - 2021
Guest Researcher

Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Ph.D. in Anthropology

City University of New York Graduate Center Dept. of Anthropology & New York Consortium on Evolutionary Primatology


Selected Recent Publications

Frémondière, P., Thollon, L., Francois, M., Fornai, C., Webb, N.M. and Haeusler, M. (in press) Dynamic finite-element simulations reveal early origin of complex human birth pattern. Communications Biology.

Fornai, C.*,Webb, N.*, Krenn, V., Urciuoli, A. and Haeusler, M. (2021). New insights on hip bone sexual
dimorphism utilizing deformation-based geometric morphometrics. Journal of Anthropological Sciences 99:117- 134. doi: 10.4436/JASS.99017.

Webb, N.M.* (2021) The functional and allometric implications of hipbone trabecular microarchitecture in a sample of eutherian and metatherian mammals. Evolutionary Biology. doi:10.1007/s11692-021-09543-z.

Haeusler, M., Grunstra, N., Martin, R., Krenn, V., Fornai, C.; Webb, N.M.* (2021). The obstetrical dilemma: There’s life in the old dog yet. Biological Reviews. doi/10.1111/brv.12744.

Kozma, E.E., Webb, N.M., Harcourt-Smith, W.E.H., Raichlen, DA., D’Aout, K., Brown, M.H., Finestone,
E., Ross, S.R., Aerts, P. and Pontzer, H. (2017) Mechanics of hip extension characterize arboreal-terrestrial trade-offs in hominin evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 10.1073/pnas.1715120115.