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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. W., Strait, D., Fink, D., Joannes-Boyau, R., Menter, C. & Birkett-Rees, J.


Project: Research

Research Output 2009 2018

Technical Note: The use of 3D printing in dental anthropology collections

Fiorenza, L., Yong, R., Ranjitkar, S., Huges, T., Quayle, M., McMenamin, P. G., Kaidonis, J., Townsend, G. C. & Adams, J. W. 20 Aug 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Skull shape reflects prey size niche in toothed whales

McCurry, M. R., Fitzgerald, E. M. G., Evans, A. R., Adams, J. W. & McHenry, C. R. 10 May 2017 In : Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 121, 4, p. 936-946 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

The remarkable convergence of skull shape in crocodilians and toothed whales

McCurry, M., Evans, A. R., Fitzgerald, E., Adams, J., Clausen, P. D. & McHenry, C. 15 Mar 2017 In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 284, 1850, 9 p., 20162348

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Macromammalian faunas, biochronology and palaeoecology of the early Pleistocene Main Quarry hominin-bearing deposits of the Drimolen Palaeocave System, South Africa

Adams, J. W., Rovinsky, D. S., Herries, A. I. R. & Menter, C. G. 2016 In : PeerJ. 2016, 4, 46 p., e1941

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

The first hominin from the early Pleistocene paleocave of Haasgat, South Africa

Leece, AB., Kegley, A. D. T., Lacruz, R. S., Herries, A. I. R., Hemingway, J., Kgasi, L., Potze, S. & Adams, J. W. 11 May 2016 In : PeerJ. 2016, 5, 18 p., e2024

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access