Erica Kempf MSc
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 Erica Kempf BA (Hons) MSc 

Functional Morphology and Evolution

Marie Curie Early Stage Research Fellow PALAEO

Hull York Medical School

University of York


YO10 5YW



Research Project

Ecology and Hominin Behaviour: Investigating Differences in Aquatic Components of Hominin Environments

For my MSc dissertation I studied extant primate interactions with aquatic environments and analyzed these for common causal factors and patterns.  Although modern primate behaviour is often used to better understand and model hominin behaviour, I found that these types of analyses were very limited in regards to aquatic behaviours. 


I am currently employed as a Marie Curie EST Research Fellow within the PALAEO group at the University of York, supervised by Dr. Sarah Elton.  My research deals with hominin evolution and aquatic environments. 


I aim to investigate aquatic components associated with different hominin specimens to develop a more complete reconstruction of hominin environments.  I will use associated faunal remains and sedimentation patterns to reconstruct the aquatic components of the environment for each hominin site. These aquatic environment reconstructions can then be analyzed to look for differences between aquatic environment types associated with different hominin species, different time periods, or different geographical locations.  If such differences are found they may have important implications for hominin behaviour in and around aquatic environments, and may indicate that these interactions changed over time.


Research Interests:


Hominin Evolution


Environmental Reconstruction

Aquatic ecology

Taphonomy and Preservation