Shelley Stoakes

Postgraduate Research Student


During the 2nd year of her PhD, Shelley was awarded a place on the AHRC International Placement Scheme for a three month fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. 

Outside of her studies, Shelley is involved in writing articles for Science and Technology websites.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"A study of post-cranial indicators of primate sexual dimorphism: implications for understanding hominin palaeoecology."

Body mass differences within species have an important role in determining breeding systems, social dynamics and energetic requirements. Accurate estimation methods for understanding the level of sexual dimorphism in body mass amongst fossil hominin species allows for the evaluation of multiple aspects of hominin palaeoecology. A problem with the analysis of ecological correlates of extinct hominin body mass is the uncertainty caused by the multiplication of regression error terms. Here a large dataset with species representing the primate order have been used to explore the structure of sexual dimorphism. By analysing the relationship between body mass dimorphism and various skeletal metrics, variation in the structure of sexual dimorphism within the primate order has been identified, suggesting an evolutionary difference in the freedom of morphology for primate species.

Research Funding 

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).