Sophie Sanchez, universitetslektor
I defended my PhD thesis in 2008 at the Natural History Museum in Paris (France), using traditional sectioning bone histology as a tool to investigate the palaeobiology of 300 million-year-old temnospondyls and seymouriamorphs. In 2009-2012, I did two postdocs at Uppsala University and at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (France) where I developed three-dimensional bone histology in collaboration with P. Tafforeau and P. Ahlberg. I was then employed as a researcher at Uppsala University until I obtained a tenure track position from SciLife Lab in 2014. I was awarded funding from the Swedish Research Council and the Wenner-Gren Foundations to start developing my research group. I was granted a permanent position as a senior lecturer at Uppsala University in 2018. I am keen on developing and learning new methods to investigate the emergence of tetrapod skeletal features. I have set up a 3D histology lab with four 3D workstations (with large RAM capacity) to segment synchrotron data, perform biomechanical analyses and cellular 3D measurements. I was nominated as a board member for the Center for Photon Science at Uppsala University.
Sifra Bijl, PhD student (Swedish Research Council, Sweden)
I started my education at the VU University Amsterdam, doing a bachelor in Earth Sciences (2011-2015), where I was able to do my final thesis on the bone histology of an Allosaurus. After this I started my master in Palaeobiology at Uppsala University (2016-2019). Here I worked in the Sanchez lab on several projects using synchrotron scans, first as a Master student on the vascularisation of mammalian humeral epiphyses, and later as a project assistant (2018-2019) I branched out into another project studying the microanatomy of secondary ossification centres in birds and mammals. At the end of my Master, these experiences led me to complete my thesis on the virtual bone histology of a T. rex. I started my PhD in the Sanchez lab in April 2021, during which I am focussing on the water-to-land transition in early tetrapods. My aim is to shed some light on the internal structures of these tetrapod’s fossilized limb bones to reconstruct how these animals lived and died. I am investigating, among other things, how adapted to life on land they were. Using technologies such as synchrotron microtomography and 3D modelling, I currently do non-destructive research on bone evolution.
Jake Leyhr, co-supervised PhD student (Uppsala University, Sweden)
I received my Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences (2016) from the University of Exeter in the UK, before coming to Sweden for a Master in Biology (Evolutionary Biology, 2018). Much of my focus was in molecular biology and genomics, but for my Master’s thesis I began research in evolutionary developmental biology, using zebrafish as a model for skeletal development in jawed vertebrates. The main subject of my PhD research is a continuation of the skeletal evo-devo work I began in my Master’s thesis: how do particular key transcription factors influence the development of cartilage, especially craniofacial, fin, and joint cartilage, and how is the expression of transcription factors regulated? I also use synchrotron microtomography to study the effects of gene mutations on zebrafish cartilage and other soft tissues, and survey the 3D histology of cartilage from a range of vertebrate species, both extant and extinct, in order to quantitatively describe cartilage development and evolution.
Antoine Logghe, co-supervised PhD student (Sorbonne University, France)
Roberta Vakruchev, Master student (Erasmus, Program PANGEA)
Investigating the diversity of humeral epiphyses in mammals