Ryan N. Felice

Group Leader

I’m a evolutionary biologist with focus on using phylogentic comparate methods to understand the macroevolution of the vertebrate skeleton. I am particularly interested in geometric morphometrics, Bayesian evolutionary modelling, and understanding how trait covariation (e.g., modularity and integration) influences macroevolutionary tempo and mode.

Ryan D. Marek

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ryan has been investigating regionalisation of the avian cervical column since his PhD in 2015. He is currently researching the evolution of regionalisation and modularity in the neck of theropod dinosaurs and birds. Ryan shares a general passion for palaeontology, anatomy and biomechanics, and has previously published on ichthyosaur neurobiology and pliosaur dental ontogeny. Outside of work, Ryan can be found at gigs, craft beer bars or reading at home.

Matthew Mitchell

PhD Student

My main areas of interest are evolution, conservation and the crossover between them. My PhD centres on the effects of long-term captivity on extinct-in-the-wild species, with a focus on morphological, genetic and behavioural changes that may result from adaptation to captivity or reduced selection pressures. I aim to determine how these effects may impact a species’ recovery potential.

Maricci Basa

PhD Student

My research interests surround the craniofacial anatomy and its evolution, with a current focus on the wide gapes of snakes. I use 3D geometric morphometrics (Felice Lab, UCL) to analyse lower jaw shapes across Serpentes to determine the ecological factors which drive jaw trait differences. I also use immunohistochemical methods (Tucker Lab, KCL) to investigate the snake mandible during embryonic development to identify the biological mechanisms involved in shaping its distinctive form. Using this interdisciplinary approach, I aim to garner a better understanding of the complex development and evolutionary history of the mandible.

Andrew Knapp

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am an evolutionary biologist who is interested in the diversity of form and what causes things evolve the range of shapes and sizes that we see in nature. I use 3D shape analysis and comparative phylogenetic techniques to explore shape within and between species, and have worked on groups as diverse as fishes, dinosaurs, mammals, birds, reptiles and butterflies. I am especially interested in the role that sexual selection plays in evolution, and what effects it has on speciation, extinction and the generation of sexually selected traits such as horns, ornaments and other display structures. I am currently exploring the evolution of the brain in birds and mammals, and what role the contrasting functions of skull shape and jaw musculature play in constraining its size and shape.