Projects per year
My research focuses on the function of living and extinct animals. In my lab we use biomechanical analysis, including the engineering technique finite element analysis (FEA), to deduce how skeletons function. From this we can infer and estimate the function of living and extinct animals and explore the evolution of form and function, for example, in response to major environmental change and across evolutionary transitions. Current research projects focus on non-avian dinosaurs and birds, the water-to-land transition and the origin of mammals amongst other topics. Research is not exclusively focused on vertebrates. I have been or am involved in projects exploring the function of hard tissues in sponges, coralline algae, foraminiferans, bivalves and scaphopods - particularly exploring the resilience of the skeleton in acidifying oceans.
To achieve this aim we use computed tomography (CT) scanning including our in-house Nikon XT H 225 ST scanner, digital reconstruction and computational biomechanical methods (FEA, MDA), geometric morphometric methods, alongside material property testing and experimental strain gauge analysis in order to validate our computational models.
- 1 Similar Profiles
Dive into details
Select a country/territory to view shared publications and projects
Functional evolution of the mammalian middle ear and jaw joint across the cynodont-mammaliaform transition
1/10/13 → 30/09/17
The morpho-functional evolution of bird beaks and skulls
1/09/11 → 1/04/15
The shapes of bird beaks are highly controlled by nondietary factorsBright, J., Cobb, S., Marugán-Lobón, J. & Rayfield, E., 10 May 2016, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 113, 19, p. 5352-5357 6 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article (Academic Journal) › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile140 Citations (Scopus)476 Downloads (Pure)
Combining geometric morphometrics and finite element analysis with evolutionary modeling: towards a synthesisPolly, P. D., Stayton, C. T., Dumont, E. R., Pierce, S. E., Rayfield, E. J. & Angielczyk, K. D., Apr 2016, In: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 36, 4, 23 p., e1111225.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article (Academic Journal) › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile76 Citations (Scopus)669 Downloads (Pure)
Dietary specializations and diversity in feeding ecology of the earliest stem mammalsGill, P. G., Purnell, M. A., Crumpton, N., Brown, K. R., Gostling, N. J., Stampanoni, M. & Rayfield, E. J., 21 Aug 2014, In: Nature. 512, 7514, p. 303-305 3 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article (Academic Journal) › peer-review112 Citations (Scopus)
Ballell et al Dental form and function in the early feeding diversification of dinosaurs Sci Adv
Ballell Mayoral, A. (Creator), Benton, M. J. (Contributor) & Rayfield, E. J. (Data Manager), University of Bristol, 16 Dec 2022
DOI: 10.5523/bris.fdi6ee6kby0s2hkxd5izwik9m, http://data.bris.ac.uk/data/dataset/fdi6ee6kby0s2hkxd5izwik9m
Lautenschlager et al 2023 Functional reorganisation cranial skeleton
Rayfield, E. J. (Creator) & Gill, P. (Creator), University of Bristol, 26 Jan 2023
DOI: 10.5523/bris.21ypbecdc308m2c32nqpown5y0, http://data.bris.ac.uk/data/dataset/21ypbecdc308m2c32nqpown5y0
Data from: Craniodental functional evolution in sauropodomorph dinosaurs
Button, D. J. (Contributor), Barrett, P. M. (Contributor) & Rayfield, E. J. (Contributor), Dryad, 6 Feb 2017
DOI: 10.5061/dryad.350v2, http://datadryad.org/stash/dataset/doi:10.5061/dryad.350v2