Emma Sherratt

Dr Emma Sherratt

Postdoctoral Fellow

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Research Fellow on the DVC early career research fellowship scheme.

I am an expert in morphometrics - the statistical analysis of organismal form (shape and size), which I apply to the study of morphological evolution at macroevolutionary scales. I also use these method to answer questions pertaining to systematics and phylogenetics, biogeography, environmental adaptation, developmental biology and palaeontology.

My day-to-day research is computer based and museum based. I used cutting-edge 3D technology, such as X-ray microCT and laser scanning, to get digital anatomical information from museum specimens. Then I take precise measurements on these structures and use statistical analysis to test specific hypotheses.

From 2013-2017 I was co-author of the widely used R package 'geomorph' for statistical analysis of multivariate and multidimensional data. I continue to write code for my own research projects and teach workshops in morphometrics.

Reptiles and amphibians are my passion, but I have worked on a diverse array of animals including snakes, rabbits and mice, caecilian amphibians, Anolis lizards, bivalved scallops, and frogs (and their tadpoles). I have also supervised students studying morphological evolution of lizards, marsupials, primates, bird eggs and even plant leaves.

Contact me for research collaboration opportunities and morphometrics training.

I am happy to take students at all levels (undergraduate student summer scholarships, undergraduate honours, masters and PhD). I have projects available using morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative methods to answer questions in evolutionary biology, developmental biology, palaeontology and ecology. Email me for details.

I am an evolutionary biologist, focussed on developing and applying comparative methods and morphometric tools to studying phenotypic evolution. I research macroevolutionary trends in the morphological evolution of vertebrates to understand the historical factors responsible for biodiversity. My empirical research has focused primarily with reptiles and amphibians, and recently includes mammals and molluscs. I apply my expertise in 3D digital imaging (micro-CT, surface scanning and microscopy) to characterising morphological variation, and also use these data to contribute to systematics (taxonomy) and phylogenetics. I am currently building my research interests to include theoretical evolutionary biology: I am learning to develop morphometric and comparative tools to quantitatively assess phenotypic variation in a macroevolutionary context. In particular, I am working to better integrate 3D digital reconstructions of anatomy into morphometrics, and expanding comparative methods to included multidimensional data.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2017 Research Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2016 - 2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Australian National University, Canberra
    2014 - 2016 Lecturer in Zoology University of New England
    2013 - 2014 Postdoctoral Research Assistant Iowa State University, Ames
    2011 - 2013 Postdoctoral Research Assistant Harvard University, Cambridge
    2006 - 2007 Research Technician University of Manchester, Manchester
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2017 Fellowship Early Career Research Fellowship The University of Adelaide Australia
    2012 Award Postdoctoral Award for Professional Development Harvard University United States US$1,000
    2007 Scholarship PhD Scholarship, National Environmental Research Council (NERC) industrial collaborative awards in science and engineering (CASE) University of Manchester United Kingdom
    2006 Award Zoology Prize of Excellence University of Manchester United Kingdom
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    French Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
    German Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2007 - 2011 University of Manchester, Manchester United Kingdom Ph.D. Animal Biology
    2002 - 2006 University of Manchester, Manchester United Kingdom B.Sc. Zoology with Industrial Experience
  • Research Interests

2017 ECR Fellowship, DVC Fellowship scheme, The University of Adelaide, SA AUS - Stipend and research funds (AU$10,000)

2017 ECR International Conference Travel Scheme, The University of Adelaide, SA AUS - Travel grant (AU$2,000) to attend Evolution, Portland OR USA            

2016 ECR Fellowship, DVC Fellowship scheme, The University of Adelaide, SA AUS - Stipend and research funds (AU$10,000)

2012 Postdoctoral Award for Professional Development, Harvard University, MA USA - Travel grant (US$1,000) to attend World Congress of Herpetology, Vancouver Canada           

2007 Ph.D. studentship, National Environmental Research Council (NERC) industrial collaborative awards in science and engineering (CASE) studentship, UK   (Stipend and research funds)

Unit coordinator and instructor

University of New England, NSW AUS. Undergraduate student course

   Principles in Zoology (ZOOL 100)  (12 week course; 1-week intensive school, plus 9 labs and 23 lectures; 52 Students -27 on campus, 25 off campus) 2014-2015

 

Primary instructor

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Dallas TX USA. Graduate student and above workshop

   Short course in Geometric Morphometrics (1 day, 35 participants)  2015

Australian National University, ACT AUS. Graduate student and above course

   Short course in Geometric Morphometrics (1 day, 12 participants)  2015

University of Adelaide, SA AUS. Graduate student and above course

   Short course in Geometric Morphometrics (1 day, 36 participants)   2015

University of Queensland, QLD AUS. Graduate student and above course

   Short course in Geometric Morphometrics (1 day, 13 participants)  2014

University of New England, NSW AUS. Graduate student and above course

   Short course in Geometric Morphometrics (2 days, 21 participants)   2014

The Natural History Museum, London, University of Manchester, and Harvard University

   Training in micro-Computed Tomography Scanning and Processing Software (1 day each, 11 participants overall)  2009-2013

The Natural History Museum, London. Graduate student and above course

   Micro-CT Processing and Software Workshop (1 day, 5 participants)   2010

   Endnote Tricks and Tips Workshops (1 day each, 8 participants overall)  2009

Co-instructor

University of Iowa, IA USA. Graduate & above course

   Short course in Geometric Morphometrics, (assisting Prof. D.C. Adams) (1 day, 11 participants)   2013

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Graduate & above course

   Geometric Morphometrics & Phylogeny (assisting Prof. C.P. Klingenberg) (1 week, 25 participants) 2010

Guest lectures

Australian National University, ACT AUS

   Lecture and lab for Australian Vertebrates course (BIOL 2111)  2016

   Lecture for 3D visualisations for Cyberculture course (ARTV 2018)  2016

University of New England, NSW AUS. Undergraduate student course

   Lecture for Evolution and Biogeography (EVOL211/411) 2015

Iowa State University, IA USA

   Two lectures for Vertebrate Biology course (BIOL 365)  2013

Harvard University, MA USA

   Lecture and lab on caecilians for Herpetology course (OEB 167)  2012

Teaching assistant

University of Manchester, UK. Undergraduate student courses

   Anatomy Student Research Skills (lab-based, 1 semester)  2010, 2011

   Data handling skills (lab- and computer-based, 1 semester)   2011

   Analysis of Organismal Form (in person & online, 1 semester)  2009, 2010

   Tropical Biology Field course, Ecuador (3 weeks)  2009

   Behaviour & Ecology Field course, France (2 weeks)  2007

   Marine Biology Field course, Scotland (1 week)  2007

  • Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Phone: 83131466
  • Email: emma.sherratt@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Benham Laboratories
  • Room: B 12B
  • Org Unit: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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