Nicole D. S. Grunstra

Assoziierte Wissenschaftlerin

Sep 2019 – present Postdoctoral Fellow at the Konrad Lorenz Institute (KLI) for Evolution and Cognition Research in Klosterneuburg (AT).

Jan 2019 – present Affiliated scientist in the Mammal Collection at the Natural History Museum Vienna.

Feb 2018 – Aug 2019 Postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna (AT).

Feb 2018 Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge (UK).

Jan 2016 – Feb 2018 Postgraduate researcher in the Department of Theoretical Biology at the University of Vienna (AT).

Aug – Dec 2012 Visiting Scholar in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley (USA).

Sep 2009 Master of Science in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxord (UK).

Jun 2008 Bachelor of Arts in Science & Social Science (interdepartmental major in anthropology, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and linguistics at University College Utrecht), University of Utrecht (NL).

Grunstra, N.D.S., Zachos, F.E., Herdina, A.N., Pavličev, M., Fischer, B., & Mitteroecker, P. (2019). Humans as inverted bats: A comparative approach to the obstetric conundrum. American Journal of Human Biology, 31(2), e23227. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23227

Grunstra, N.D.S., Mitteroecker, P., & Foley, R.A. (2018). A multivariate ecogeographic analysis of macaque craniodental variation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 166(2), 386-400. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23439

Grunstra, N.D.S. (2018). What’s in a Tooth? Signals of Ecogeography and Phylogeny in the Dentition of Macaques (Cercopithecidae: Macaca). Doctoral dissertation, University of Cambridge, UK. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.18511

I am an evolutionary anthropologist and my area of expertise is comparative and evolutionary morphology of primates and other mammals and collection-based research. Presently, I conduct empirical and theoretical work on the mammalian pelvis in pursuit of understanding the evolution of the narrow pelvis and difficult childbirth in humans (the "obstetric conundrum").

Additional projects within this research framework include pelvic morphology in bats (Chiroptera), finite element analysis (FEA) of the pelvic floor, and a comparative study of mammalian pubic symphysis morphology.

During my earlier postdoctoral research (Dept. Theoretical Biology, University of Vienna), I used digital imaging techniques and 3D geometric morphometrics to investigate phylogenetic signal and ontogenetic patterns in primate cranial morphology by means of a novel decomposition of shape.

My PhD in biological anthropology (University of Cambridge, UK, under the supervision of Robert Foley) focused on the ecomorphology and variational constraints of the craniodental phenotype of macaques (Primates: Macaca), for which I used traditional morphometrics, multivariate statistics, and phylogenetic comparative methods.






Dept. Theoretical Biology, University of Vienna: Barbara Fischer, Philipp Mitteroecker, Mihaela Pavličev, Katya Stansfield, and Silvester Bartsch.

Mammal Collection, NHM Wien: Frank Zachos.

Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zürich: Martin Häusler and Nicole Webb.

Dept. Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas at Austin (USA): Krishna Kumar.


I have received 14 national and international grants, including a Wenner-Gren Post-PhD Research Grant ($18,805) in 2019 (US), the Ernst Mach grant (€8,460) for postgraduate research in Austria (OeAD, Austria) in 2015, and a study-abroad grant (€10,000) from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds for talented young researchers in 2010 (Netherlands).

Since 2019, I have been on the editorial board of the international journal Mammalian Biology as a Subject Editor.

1. Zoologie

Ahnelt Harald
Assoziierter Wissenschaftler
Bacher Florian
Berg Hans-Martin
Bibl Alexander
Bogutskaya Nina
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
Ernst Karin
Franz Melina
Gassner Georg
Grillitsch Heinz
Assoziierter Wissenschaftler
Hofbauer Eduard
Technischer Assistent
Hofmann Gerhard
Illek Robert
Leiter der Zoologischen Hauptpräparation
Kirchner Sandra
Kothbauer Renate
wiss. Hilfskraft
Lutz Daniela
Werkvertrag CMS und Datenbanken
Mikschi Ernst
Palandacic Anja
Pavlovic Mirjana
Pilat Melanie
wiss. Hilfskraft
Pollmann Christian
Technischer Assistent
Reier Susanne
Reithofer Matthias
Technischer Assistent
Renner Swen
Kurator, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Riedel Bettina
Sammlungsassistentin, Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
Rubin Iris
Modell- und Dioramenbauerin
Saliari Konstantina
wiss. Angestellte und Kuratorin
Schiller Katharina
Angestellte Projekt Digitalisierung
Schweiger Silke
Kuratorin, wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
Stefke Katharina
Assistentin der Sammlungsleitung
Taschler Nadine
Lehrling Präparation
Wallner Nathalie
Weiß Veronika
Lehrling Präparation
Wicke Johannes
Wöss Günther
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Wurzinger Nora
Projektmitarbeiterin Vogelsammlung
Zachos Frank Emmanuel
Kurator, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter