Ekaterina Stansfield
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Experienced Researcher



I received my PhD in Anthropology and Human Evolution in 2007 from University College London. I have since worked at the Senckenberg Naturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, and the Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Moscow State University, while still raising a young family. I began to collaborate with Prof. Paul O’Higgins on questions of biomechanics of mastication in primates in 2009. I have completed a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research fellowship at the University of York in 2015-2017 and am now an honorary fellow of the Department of Archaeology, University of York.



My prime interest is evolution and adaptation processes in modern humans. I am currently engaged in preparation of a project on the biomechanical effect of female pelvis size on the efficiency of the upright locomotion and the function of the pelvic floor muscles.

My recent research has addressed the question of the impact on jaw size and function of the changes in diet that occurred in the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture. I studied this problem from a biomechanical point of view, investigating, in Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and modern humans, morphological variation and biomechanical performance during biting. I used finite element analysis and geometric morphometrics for the research. This project was funded from the European Union's FP7 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement 622846 PIIF-GA-2013-622846, Acronym: BIOMAN. It was carried out under the supervision of Prof Paul O’Higgins and in collaboration with colleagues in PALAEO and researchers from the Institute and Museum of Anthropology of Moscow State University (Russia), the “Francis I. Rainer” Anthropology Institute of the Romanian Academy (Romania), and the Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Biohistory and Evolutionary Medicine Laboratory (Israel). The major achievements and results of the project can be found at https://biomanweb.wordpress.com/.

FEA process

My long standing interests in how geography, climate and ecology interact with morphological variation in recent and fossil modern humans, including Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. This work is in collaboration with Dr Lauren Butaric (Des Moines University, USA) and Dr Sergei Vasiliev (Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences).


Full publications list


Stansfield E., Rasskasova A., Berezina N., Soficaru A. 2017. Resolving relationships between several Neolithic and Mesolithic populations in Northern Eurasia using geometric morphometrics. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23264

Bulygina, E., Beresina, N., Rasskasova, A. 2016. Comparison of the cranial morphology in modern and archaeological populations with the help of the methods of geometric morphometrics. Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta, 1: 63-75.

Gunz P., Bulygina, E. 2012. The Mousterian child from Teshik-Tash is a Neanderthal: a geometric morphometric study of the frontal bone. American Journal of Physical Anthropology: 149: 365-379.

Bulygina, E. 2012. Comparative analysis of juvenile hominin remains and analysis of interspecific differences in frontal bone ontogenetic trajectories carried out with the help of geometric morphometrics. (in Russian). Moscow University Herald, Series XXIII. Anthropology: . 3: 12-25.

Stansfield (nee Bulygina), E., Gunz, P. 2011. Skhodnya, Khvalynsk, Satanay and Podkumok calvaria: possible Upper Palaeolithic Hominins from European Russia. Journal of Human Evolution 60: 129-144.

Benazzi S., Stansfield E., Kullmer O., Fiorenza L., Gruppioni G. 2009. Geometric morphometric methods for bone reconstruction: the mandibular condylar process of Pico della Mirandola. The Anatomical Record 292(8), 1088-1097.

Benazzi S., Stansfield E., Milani C., Gruppioni G. 2009. Geometric morphometric methods for three-dimensional virtual reconstruction of a fragmented cranium: the case of Angelo Poliziano. International Journal of Legal Medicine 123 (4), 333-344.

Bulygina, E. 2009. 3D Reconstruction in Palaeoanthropology. OPUS: Interdisciplinary archaeological research. 6: 170-179.

Bulygina, E., Mitteroecker, P., Aiello, L. 2006. Ontogeny of facial dimorphism and patterns of individual development within one human population. American Journal of Physical Anthropology..131: 432-443.

Behar, D.M., Thomas, M.G., Skorecki, K.,  Hammer, M.F., Bulygina E., Rosengarten, D., Jones, A.L., Held, K., Moses, V., Goldstein, D., Bradman, N., Weale, M.E. 2003. Multiple Origins of Ashkenazi Levites: Y Chromosome Evidence for Both Near Eastern and European Ancestries. American Journal of Human Genetics 73: 768-779.


Stansfield E, O’Higgins P 2017. Biomechanics of the lower jaw in Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic hunter gatherers. PALAEOdiet meeting on the 24th of April, hosted by the hosted by the Centre for Human Palaeoecology and Evolutionary Origins, University of York.

Stansfield E, O’Higgins P. 2016. Modern humans before the transition to agriculture: What are the implications for the evolution of our species? Publication of the 6th  Annual meeting European Society for study of the Human Evolution (ESHE) 14-18 September 2016, Madrid.

Bulygina (Stansfield) E, O’Higgins, P. 2016. Towards understanding biomechanics of mastication in hunter-gatherers: a geometric morphometric study of the FEA sensitivity. MORPH 16 Morphometric Applications in Archaeology and Anthropology, University College London, UK, on 26 May 2016.

Bulygina E, Rasskasova A, Pezhemski D. 2015. Mesolithic populations from the Eastern Europe and Siberia: cranial shape analysis with the help of geometric morphometric methodology. Publication of the 5th  Annual meeting European Society for study of the Human Evolution (ESHE) 10-12 September 2015, London.

Bulygina E, Pezhemski D, Rasskasova A. 2014. Cranial vault morphology of Eastern Europe and Eastern Siberia mesolithic population: comparative analysis. 19th Congress Of The European Anthropological Association Association Anthropology: Unity In Diversity, Lomonosov Moscow State University Research Institute And Museum Of Anthropology, Russia, 25-29 August 2014.

Pezhemski, P., Bulygina E. 2013. Peschanitsa Mesolithic Man from Northern Russia according to craniometric data. 3rd Annual meeting European Society for study of the Human Evolution (ESHE) 20-22 September 2013, Vienna.

Bulygina, E, Fitton, L, O’Higgins, P. 2013. Biomechanical aspects of facial ontogeny in Macaque fascicularis as revealed by Finite Element modelling. European Society for study of the Human Evolution (ESHE) 20-22 September 2013, Vienna.

Stansfield, E. (nee Bulygina). 2009. The problem of dichotomy of the frontal bone morphology in the Late Pleistocene hominids from the Western Asia. Poster presentation at the meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society, Chicago.

Stansfield, E. (nee Bulygina), Benazzi, S., Grupponi, G. 2009. Reconstruction of the Poliziano skull using geometric morphometric methods for further application in forensic analysis. Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Chicago. Am J Phys Anthropol. S47: 246.

Bulygina, E., Gunz, P. 2008. Mousterian Children from Teshik-Tash and Staroselie: a 3D geometric morphometric analysis. Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Columbus, OH, April 2008. Am J Phys Anthropol S46: 40-41.

Bulygina, E., Aiello, L. 2006. A 3D morphometric analysis of Upper Palaeolithic hominin. Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Anchorage, AK, March 2006. Am J Phys Anthropol S42: 70.

Bulygina, E., Mitteroecker, Ph, Aiello, L. 2004. Intra-populational pattern of facial growth in humans: A geometric morphometric analysis. Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Tampa, FL, April 2004. Am J Phys Anthropol S38: 70-71.

Contact details

Dr Katya Stansfield
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Experienced Researcher
Hull York Medical School
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 1904 321728