Principal Investigator

Me and thylacine in shadow

Christy Anna Hipsley

Associate Professor
Section for Ecology & Evolution, Department of Biology
University of Copenhagen

I combine state-of-the-art bioimaging with molecular phylogenetics to reconstruct evolutionary transformations in vertebrate history. I am also active in science communication, using examples from my work to illustrate biological processes such as reproduction and morphogenesis. In addition to leading the Evolutionary Morphology group at University of Copenhagen, I am co-PI on the Villum Synergy funded project Stochastic Morphometry, for which we founded the Center for Computational Evolutionary Morphometry.

My first love was lizards, but I work on pretty much anything with bones (and sometimes without).

Current lab members


Sarah du Plessis
DFF-funded Postdoc

Genomics of wolf-dog domestication

Sarah compares genomes from ancient and modern wolves to dogs with their skull morphology to identify genomic signatures of domestication. Recently completed PhD at Cardiff University on conservation genomics of otters, including an EMBO exchange at KU.

Merin_culture night

Merin Joji
PhD student

Impacts of developmental stress on Indian freshwater turtles

Merin is an integrated MSc/PhD student studying 3D asymmetry of Indian freshwater turtle shells caused by pollution and invasive species, in hopes of developing a new conservation monitoring tool.


Stine Keibel Blom
PhD student

Primate evolution in light of incomplete lineage sorting

Stine combines genetics and morphology to search for signatures of incomplete lineage sorting in the phenotypes of great apes. Co-supervised by Guojie Zhang (Zhejiang University, China).


Michael Lind Severinsen
PhD student

Stochastic modeling of morphological evolution

Michael applies statistical models to test evolutionary hypotheses on biological forms ranging from butterfly wing symmetry to dog domestication. Co-supervised by Rasmus Nielsen (Globe Institute/University of California, Berkeley).


Dominika Bujnáková
PhD student

Large carnivores: perception, genetics, and adaptations

Domi explores wolverine genetics and wolf morphology, using her research to raise awareness of the importance of these controversial, yet ecologically important carnivores. Co-supervised by Laura Kvist & Jouni Aspi (University of Oulu, Finland).


Christoffer Toft Hviid Jensen
MSc student

Large carnivores: perception, genetics, and adaptations

Christoffer studies how reestablishment of the gray wolf impacts ecological stability of European ecosystems, with comparisons to wolf restoration projects in North America.

Carolina L. Paiva

Carolina Paiva
PhD student

Evolutionary diversification of the amphisbaenian skull

Carolina uses 3D CT combined with geometric morphometrics and molecular phylogenetics to investigate evolutionary patterns of skull shape in living amphisbaenians (worm lizards), and describe their Pleistocene fossil record in Brazil. Co-supervised by Henrique Costa (Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil).


Nathaniel Nguyen
MSc student

Preservation of anti-predator behaviour in thylacine prey species of Tasmania

Nat is a keen environmentalist and aspiring conservationist, using camera traps to determine if prey species like wallabies react to models of the extinct thylacine on Tasmania. Co-supervised by Prof Andrew Pask (University of Melbourne).


Sarah Saboya de Medeiros
BSc student

Kangia ringed seal cranial morphology

Sarah studies recent and subfossil bones of marine mammals using techniques in zooarchaeology, geometric morphometrics, and population genetics to inform conservation efforts of these fascinating animals.


Anne Hjortlund Hansen
BSc student

3D skull anatomy of the extinct Dodo

Anne studies the extinct flightless bird dodo (Raphis cucullatus) from Mauritius using microCT scans. By comparing skull morphology of the Danish specimen to the only other complete skull from Oxford, she aims to link beak morphology to foraging ecology in this enigmatic species.

Past Lab members

Clara Emilie Twile

BSc project, Biology
University of Copenhagen

Comparison of brain models and neuroanatomy in marine mammal species based on cranial endocasts

Marco Camaiti

PhD Monash University, Australia

Evolutionary patterns, morphology and ecology of limb reduction in skinks

Rocio Aguilar

Research Assistant
Melbourne Museum

Assisted in museum specimen preparation, CT scanning, and digital data processing. A Modern Day Renaissance Woman!

Frederikke Lund Olskær

BSc project, Biology
University of Copenhagen

Using geometric morphometrics to study shape variation on the ilia of extant and extinct Australian frogs

Carl Frederik Lærkholm

BSc project, Geology
University of Copenhagen

The evolution of secondarily aquatic vertebrates

James Sun

MSc BioSciences
University of Melbourne

The interaction between equine forelimb hoof shape, exercise and environment

Axel Newton

PhD BioSciences
University of Melbourne

The genetic, molecular and developmental basis of convergent evolution in the extinct marsupial thylacine and placental wolf

Sakib Kazi

MSc BioSciences
University of Melbourne

Bones and biogeography: geometric morphometric analyses of Caribbean Island amphisbaenians (Squamata: Amphisbaenia)

Louise Szpak

BSc project, Biology
University of Copenhagen

Intracolumnar shape analysis as a tool for identifying isolated snake vertebrae

Till Ramm

PhD BioSciences
University of Melbourne/ Humboldt University Berlin

Quaternary diversity dynamics of Australian reptiles