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Dr Emily Rayfield
Dr Emily Rayfield
Reader in Palaeobiology
My research focuses on how skeletal mechanics influences morphological evolution and the relationship between form and function in hard tissues - primarily, but not exclusively, the vertebrate skull.
My research uses the engineering technique finite element analysis (FEA) to deduce skeletal stress and strain during function. In particular I am interested in how FEA can inform on functional behaviour in individual taxa and elucidate functional ecology and morphological changes across evolutionary transitions such as the origin of birds and mammals. Such studies are constrained by my research on FE-validation in birds, testing how accurately our FE-models approach reality.
My group takes advantage of our facilities in tomography reconstruction, FEA software, histological thin-section preparation and strain gauge analysis.
I am responsible for the M-Level courses EASC M0024 Biomechanics and Functional Morphology, and M0036 Vertebrate Palaeobiology and Evolution, available to all single and joint honours students and to students on the MSc Palaeobiology course.
I am unit organiser for the Evolution of Earth and Life subunit of the Level 1 Geology 1 unit EASC 10001 and also teach on the first year Arran field trip during the Easter vacation.
I supervise a number of MSc Palaeobiology research projects each year, and teach occasional lectures on other taught courses.
- skeletal mechanics
- finite element analysis
- Panagiotopoulou, O, Wilshin, S, Rayfield, E, Shefelbine, S & Hutchinson, J 2012, What makes an accurate and reliable subject-specific finite element model? A case study of an elephant femur. Journal of the Royal Society Interface., pp. 351 - 361
- Anderson, P, Bright, J, Gill, P, Palmer, C & Rayfield, E 2012, Models in palaeontological functional analysis. Biology Letters, vol 8., pp. 119 - 122
- Close, RA & Rayfield, EJ 2012, Functional Morphometric Analysis of the Furcula in Mesozoic Birds. Plos one, vol 7., pp. -
- Anderson, PSL & Rayfield, EJ 2012, Virtual experiments, physical validation: dental morphology at the intersection of experiment and theory. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, vol 9., pp. 1846-1855
- Young, MT, Rayfield, EJ, Holliday, CM, Witmer, LM, Button, DJ, Upchurch, P & Barrett, PM 2012, Cranial biomechanics of Diplodocus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda): testing hypotheses of feeding behaviour in an extinct megaherbivore. Naturwissenschaften, vol 99., pp. 637-643
- Jones, D, Evans, AR, Rayfield, EJ, Siu, KKW & Donoghue, PCJ 2012, Testing microstructural adaptation in the earliest dental tools. Biology Letters, vol 8., pp. 952-955
- Jones, D, Evans, AR, Siu, KKW, Rayfield, EJ & Donoghue, PCJ 2012, The sharpest tools in the box? Quantitative analysis of conodont element functional morphology. Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences, vol 279., pp. 2849-2854
- Anderson, P, Rayfield, EJ & Renaud, S 2012, Diet-Based Biomechanical Plasticity in Mouse Mandibles. in: Integrative and Comparative Biology., pp. E5-E5
- Cox, PG, Rayfield, EJ, Fagan, MJ, Herrel, A, Pataky, TC & Jeffery, N 2012, Functional Evolution of the Feeding System in Rodents. PLoS ONE, vol 7., pp. -
- Rayfield, E 2011, Strain in the ostrich mandible during simulated pecking and validation of specimen-specific finite element models. Journal of Anatomy, vol 218., pp. 47 - 58
Dr Rayfield currently teaches 11 courses:
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