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Personal profile


Justin W. Adams, PhD is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Human Anatomy Education of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology. Since 2003, Dr Adams has led fieldwork and faunal analysis at multiple sites in and around the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site. His ongoing research projects and collaborations address outstanding questions on the palaeobiology of Pliocene and early Pleistocene South African mammalian faunas and the taphonomy and palaeoecology of palaeocave sites. His Integrated Morphology and Palaeontology lab brings together comparative methods and advanced 3D imaging resources to the study of living and fossil mammal anatomy.

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Research interests

Neogene and Quarternary mammal palaeontology and evolution, Australian marsupial anatomy and evolution, South African faunal palaeoecology and taphonomy, human and comparative anatomy, comparative methods, imaging studies, biochronology

External positions

Research Associate, University of Johannesburg

1 Jan 2017 → …


  • Comparative mammalian anatomy
  • Neogene mammal palaeontology
  • Comparative methods
  • Imaging studies
  • Biochronology
  • Palaeoecology
  • Taphonomy

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2020

Evolving landscapes of our early South African ancestors

Herries, A., Adams, J., Strait, D., Fink, D., Joannes-Boyau, R., Menter, C. & Birkett-Rees, J.


Project: Research

The Haasgat hominin site (South Africa): excavation and palaeobiological integration

Adams, J., Kegley, A., Tallman, M. & Herries, A.

Leakey Foundation


Project: Research

Research Output 2009 2019

Combining legacy data with new drone and DGPS mapping to identify the provenance of Plio-Pleistocene fossils from Bolt’s Farm, Cradle of Humankind (South Africa)

Edwards, T. R., Armstrong, B., Birkett-Rees, J., Blackwood, A. F., Herries, A. I. R., Penzo-Kajewski, P., Pickering, R. & Adams, J. W., 14 Jan 2019, In : PeerJ. 7, 23 p., 6202.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Fossil mammals from the Gondolin Dump A ex situ hominin deposits, South Africa

Adams, J. W., 6 Aug 2018, In : PeerJ. 2018, 8, 42 p., e5393.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Geoarchaeological and 3D visualisation approaches for contextualising in-situ fossil bearing palaeokarst in South Africa: A case study from the ∼2.61 Ma Drimolen Makondo

Herries, A. I. R., Murszewski, A., Pickering, R., Mallett, T., Joannes-Boyau, R., Armstrong, B., Adams, J. W., Baker, S., Blackwood, A. F., Penzo-Kajewski, P., Kappen, P., Leece, AB., Martin, J., Rovinsky, D. & Boschian, G., 30 Jul 2018, In : Quaternary International. 483, p. 90-110 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Rebuttal letter in response to Professor R.H. Anderson's letter ‘Evolution of the vertebrate heart’

Stephenson, A., Adams, J. W. & Vaccarezza, M., 1 May 2018, In : Journal of Anatomy. 232, 5, p. 888-889 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterOtherpeer-review