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Tooth function, ecology and diet in Primates

Dental wear is a natural and inevitable process consisting in the gradual loss of the enamel layer. Different mechanisms, such as erosion, attrition and abrasion are involved in the creation of tooth wear. However, is still not clearly understood how wear patterns form and develop. Project aim/s: For this project we will use digital models of dental casts taken from Aboriginal children of the Yuendumu Reserve (Northern Territory), who were annually observed between 1951 and 1971. Thus we will have the possibility to give a clear insight on wear development variation between individuals and within the same person over time. Moreover, because the Aboriginal people from Yuendumu were at an early stage of transition from a nomadic and hunter-gatherer way of life to a more settled existence, we can further examine the relationship between craniofacial structures and occlusal loading in normal and altered (e.g. misalignment of teeth) masticatory systems. Techniques to be utilised: The project will use a well-established method called Occlusal Fingerprint Analysis (OFA), which describes the major jaw movements in a 3D space. The methods may have potential applications in medicine and orthodontics.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Human Evolution, Anthropology, Archaeology, Primatology
Biomedicine Discovery Institute (School of Biomedical Sciences)
Available options 
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Ottmar Kullmer

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