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Lionel Hautier


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Work interests

I am a vertebrate palaeontologist specialising in mammal evolution, notably rodents and xenarthrans. I am an anatomist time traveller, my research interests focusing on studying morphological variation through time, both at a short scale using ontogeny and at a large scale using fossils. For that, I am using high-resolution X-ray microtomography, notably diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography (DiceCT), which has proven to be a powerful tool to unravel intricate anatomical details. I am also using geometric morphometrics, which constitutes an unavoidable mean for describing phenotypic differences of complex 3D structures. The study of major morphological transformations in mammals has provided classic examples of the integration of developmental with palaeontological data. I am convinced that a precise comparison of ontogenetic and fossil data can provide new and fruitful ways to understand morphological evolution in deep time. I am also committed to sharing research on anatomy with the general public via talks and blogs.

Keywords :

Rodentia – Xenarthra – Paleontology – Development – Anatomy

Additional roles and responsibilities :

– Coordinator of the Paleontology team at ISEM
– Editor for the journals Zootaxa, Palaeontology, PCI Paleo, Palaeovertebrata et MorphoMuseum

The Institute of Evolutionary Science of Montpellier (ISEM – University of Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, EPHE, CIRAD, INRAP) has been focusing research on biodiversity origins and dynamics and the associated evolutionary mechanisms.