Kelly van Leeuwen

PhD student at Bournemouth University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences 

Kelly’s PhD study investigates the minimal landscape requirements and constraints for hominids (i.e. chimpanzees and early hominins) in order to determine how flexibly hominids can adapt to changing environments. This information can be used to identify the impacts of landscape changes on hominid behaviour, adaptation and survival, and to provide a framework for understanding the underlying reasons for adaptation and evolution of hominids in open habitats. Because it is difficult to observe an individual’s responses to present, past, and future landscape changes directly, Kelly’s PhD study will use an individual-based modelling approach based on hominid-habitat relationships from field studies. This approach allows individuals to virtually interact with different environments and different landscape change scenarios based on rules from published literature.

Research links:

Supervisors: Professor Amanda Korstjens, Professor Ross Hill