Phil graduated from the University of York in 2012 with a first class BSc in Archaeology. During his undergraduate course his primary interests were osteology and palaeoanthropology. This lead him to write an undergraduate dissertation examining the role of species concepts on the understanding of Neanderthal and Homo sapiens taxonomy, which was nominated for the Prehistoric Society prize for best undergraduate dissertation. In 2013 Phil completed his MSc in Human Evolution with the Hull York Medical School, with a research project on elucidating the differences in feeding ecology of extant and extinct primates using finite element analysis. After the completion of his Masters, Phil was offered a University of Hull PhD Scholarship for the project “The functional constraints of rodent-like feeding systems” with Dr Phil Cox and Dr Sam Cobb as supervisors.
The preliminary title of Phil’s PhD thesis is “The functional constraints of rodent-like feeding systems”. This will involve morphometric analysis of the covariation of the mandible and crania of rodent-like specimens, finite element analysis of the mandible to examine the mechanical impact of the length of incisor root on patterns and magnitudes of strain, and the examination of the impact of incisor curvature on the mechanical advantage of the mandible.