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Aurelien Mounier
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Dept. of Archaeology & Anthropology
University of Cambridge


PhD in Biological Anthropology (2009)
Validity of the taxon Homo heidelbergensis Schoetensack, 1908
Université de la Méditerrannée, Marseille.

Research Interest Funding
Diversity of the Pleistocene fossil record: origin and evolution of Homo
From morphological similarity to Phylogenesis.
How Homo became sapiens?
Fyssen Foundation
In-Africa Project

As a paleoanthropologist my primary research interests are focused on the evolutionary history of the genus Homo. I am trying to understand what makes us humans and how it happened.
My work first concentrates on the re-assessment of the genus Homo fossil record biological diversity. Main objective is to reconsider the systematic of our genus which is still debated in palaeoanthropology. Particularly, the evolutionary history of the genus Homo is constantly disturbed by the invention of numerous species. Testing the validity of these taxa is an important preliminary work to improve our understanding of hominid evolution. I am combining phenetic and cladistic approaches based on both morphological features and 3D landmarks to test the validity of palaeoanthropological Homo species. My past research focused on middle Pleistocene fossil record and on the species H. heidelbergensis for which I proposed a revised diagnosis and evolutionary history. My current work concentrates more closely on the end of middle Pleistocene and on the origin of modern Humans. In this scope, I recently started a project on the evolution of the human brain. As one of the most distinctive features of H. sapiens it represents a key to the understanding of our species origin and evolution.
Additionally and to better understand what makes us humans, I am interested in the selective forces that shaped the evolution of our genus. Identification of selective pressures requires the combination of environmental and cultural data with palaeoanthropological evidence. This work is completed by my participation to the In-Africa project directed by Marta Mirazon Lahr and the excavations and fossils' description currently going on in West-Turkana.



Mounier A. 2012. Le massif facial supérieur d’Homo heidelbergensis Schoetensack, 1908 : l’apport de la morphométrie géométrique. Bulletins et Mémoire de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris, 24, 51-68.
Mounier A. 2011. Définition du taxon Homo heidelbergensis Schoetensack, 1908 : analyse phénétique du massif facial supérieur des fossiles du genre Homo du Pléistocène moyen. Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris 23, 115-151.
Mounier A., Condemi S., Manzi G. 2011, The Stem Species of our Species: A Place for the Archaic Cranium from Ceprano Italy. PLoS ONE 6, e18821.
Mounier A., Marchal F., Condemi S. 2009, Is Homo heidelbergensis a distinct species? New insight on the Mauer mandible. Journal of Human Evolution 56, 219-246.





© 2012 Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of Cambridge