Skip to content

Professor Emily J RayfieldBA(Oxon), PhD(Cantab)

Professor of Palaeobiology

Emily Rayfield

Professor Emily J RayfieldBA(Oxon), PhD(Cantab)

Professor of Palaeobiology

Member of

Research interests

My research focuses on how skeletal mechanics influences morphological evolution and the relationship between form and function in hard tissues - primarily, but not exclusively, the vertebrate skull.

My research uses the engineering technique finite element analysis (FEA) to deduce skeletal stress and strain during function. In particular I am interested in how FEA can inform on functional behaviour in individual taxa and elucidate functional ecology and morphological changes across evolutionary transitions such as the origin of birds and mammals. Such studies are constrained by my research on FE-validation in birds, testing how accurately our FE-models approach reality.

My group takes advantage of our facilities in tomography reconstruction, FEA software, histological thin-section preparation and strain gauge analysis.

View research connections

Postal address:
Life Sciences Building
24 Tyndall Avenue
Bristol
United Kingdom

Selected research outputs

  1. Published

    The shapes of bird beaks are highly controlled by nondietary factors

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Published
  3. Published
  4. Published

    A virtual world of paleontology

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Published
  6. Published
  7. Published
  8. Published
  9. Published
  10. Published

    Cranial design and function in a large theropod dinosaur

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View all (84) »

Selected research projects

  1. The morpho-functional evolution of bird beaks and skulls

    Project: Funded ProjectResearch project

View all (8) »