Correlation of brain blood flow and brain size with behaviour in primates

Professor Seymour’s research lab explores how whole animals and plants interact with their environments and have evolved adaptations to survive, often in severe conditions.

Skulls - Roger Seymour

Hominin skull casts (L-R) Australopithecus afarensis, Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis - Roger Seymour/South Australian Museum

We focus mainly on the effects of body size on energy requirements, temperature regulation, exchange of respiratory gases and the structure and function of the circulatory system. We study mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and even heat-producing flowers and dinosaurs.

Our recent focus has been on the relationships between the metabolic rate of certain tissues - brains and bone - and the rate of blood flow to them. We can measure this flow from the holes in skulls and limb bones where blood vessels pass through. Remarkably, this technique can be applied to museum specimens of recent and extinct vertebrates, including human ancestors and dinosaurs.

Most recent honours student projects from the lab have concerned this project and have been published in reputable journals. 

An honours student would be working with existing PhD and honours students on this project, which is funded by the Australian Research Council. A $5,000 honours scholarship and travel to overseas museums is available for an especially motivated student working under this umbrella.

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Professor Roger Seymour

Supervisors

Professor Roger Seymour

Research area: Physiological ecology

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Ecology & Environmental Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Evolution and palaeobiology, Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Ecology and environmental science, Honours projects - Roger Seymour