laura wilson
Dr Laura Wilson
Field of Research: 
Palaeontology, Evolutionary Biology
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 3866

Room 558
Biological Sciences North (D26)
UNSW, Kensington 2052

Research & Current Projects


Growth and development in vertebrates; application and development of geometric morphometric methods to study phenotypic evolution; theoretical themes in evo-devo and palaeontology


Selected current projects:

Evolution of mammalian developmental patterns in deep time

Evolution of morphological disparity, modularity and integration under domestication


The evolution of organogenesis in mammals

See also:

            Research Gateway Profile:

            Twitter: @lwilso9


Research Team


Camilo Lopez-Aguirre (PhD candidate) – Evolution and development of morphological diversity in the postcranial skeleton of bats


Andrew Townsend (Masters, 2016) - Shape and size differences in the os coxae in humans and Great Apes (Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum London)

Madeleine Geiger (Masters, 2011) – Taxonomy and ontogeny of fossil giant rodents from the Neotropics (University of Zurich)



Recent publications:

Wilson LAB. 2018. The evolution of ontogenetic allometric trajectories in mammalian domestication. Evolution (in press)

Heck L, Wilson LAB,Evin A, Stange M, Sánchez-Villagra MR. 2018. Shape variation and modularity of skull and teeth in domesticated horses and wild equids. Frontiers in Zoology (in press)

Schweizer, AV, Lebrun R, Wilson LAB, Costeur L, Schmelzle T, Sánchez-Villagra MR. 2017. Size variation under domestication: conservatism in the inner ear shape of wolves, dogs and dingoes. Scientific Reports 7: 13330

Wilson LAB, Humphrey LT. 2017. Voyaging into the third dimension: a perspective on virtual methods and their application to studies of juvenile sex estimation and the ontogeny of sexual dimorphism. Forensic Science International 278C: 32-46

Wilson LAB, Ives R, Humphrey LT. 2017. Quantification of 3D curvature in the iliac crest and its utility for sex determination in juveniles. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 162: 255-266

Wilson LAB, Hand SJ, López-Aguirre C, Archer M, Black KH, Armstrong KN, Wroe S. 2016. Cranial shape variation in extinct and extant Old World leaf-nosed bats: implications for phylogenetic relationships and the inference of ancestral forms. Alcheringa 40(4): 509-524

Archer M, Hand SJ, Black KH, Beck RMD, Arena DA, Wilson LAB, Hong T.-T., Kealy S. 2016. A new family of bizarre durophaguous carnivorous marsupials from Miocene deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland. Scientific Reports 6: 26911

Parr WCH, Wilson LAB, Wroe S, Coleman N, Crowther MS, Letnic M. 2016. Cranial shape and the modularity of hybridization in dingoes and dogs; hybridization does not spell the end for native morphology. Evolutionary Biology 43: 171-187

Archer M, Christmas O, Hand SJ, Black KH, Creaser P, Godthelp H, Graham I, Cohen D, Arena DA, Anderson C, Soares G, Machin N, Beck RMD, Wilson LAB, Myers TJ, Gillespie AK, Khoo B, Travouillon KJ. 2015. Earliest known record of a hypercarnivorous dasyurid (Marsupialia), from newly discovered carbonates beyond the                Riversleigh World Heritage Area, north Queensland. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 74: 137-150

Attard MRG, Wilson LAB, Worthy TH, Scofield P, Johnston P, Parr WCH, Wroe W. 2015. Moa diet fits the bill: virtual reconstruction incorporating mummified remains and prediction of biomechanical performance in avian giants. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 283: 20152043

Wilson LAB, Colombo M, Sánchez-Villagra MR, Salzburger W. 2015. Evolution of opercle bone shape in cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika – uncovering adaptive trait interactions in extant and extinct species flocks.Scientific Reports 5:16909

López-Aguirre C, Pérez-Torres J, Wilson LAB. 2015. Cranial and mandibular shape variation in the genus Carollia (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from Colombia: biogeographic patterns and morphological modularity. PeerJ 3e: 1197 (supervised student first author)

Wilson LAB, Humphrey LT. 2015. A virtual geometric morphometric approach to the quantification of long bone bilateral asymmetry and cross-sectional shape. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 158(4): 541-556

Wilson LAB, Ives R, Cardoso HFV, Humphrey LT. 2015. Shape, size and maturity trajectories of the human ilium. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156(1): 19-34

Werneburg I, Wilson LAB, Parr WCH, Joyce WG. 2015. Evolution of neck vertebrae shape and neck retraction at the transition to modern turtles: a geometric morphometric approach. Systematic Biology 64(2): 187-204 *journal cover artwork