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Dr. Cathrin Pfaff (Schwarz), Dipl. Biol.



Curriculum vitae

Publications

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Current positions

Postdoctoral assistant at the Institute of Paleontology, University of Vienna, Austria (since 2012)
Micro-CT Specialist, Institute of Paleontology, University of Vienna, Austria (since 2012) Link
Member of the advisory board of the Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik, Germany (since 2014) Link
Member of the advisory board of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft, Germany (since 2013) Link
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Education

06.2012 Disputation and colloquium at the University of Bonn, Steinmann-Institute, Department of Paleontology, Germany
06.2012 Dissertation at the Steinmann-Institute, Department of Paleontology, University of Bonn, Germany
Thesis: Phylogenetical and functional-morphological investigations of the ear region in sciuromorphs (rodents, mammals)
09.2009-06.2012 PhD-student at the University of Bonn, Germany
12.2008 Diplom (MSc equivalent) in Biology/Zoology the Institute of Evolution and Ecology, Department of Comparative Zoology, Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen, Germany
Thesis: Functional-morphological and eco-morphological adaptations: the musculo-tendinous system of Carapus acus (Teleosts: Carapidae)
09.2004-12.2008 Diplom student (MSc equivalent) in Biology at the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen, Germany
09.2004 Vordiplom (BSc equivalent) in Biology at the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen, Germany
09.2002-09.2004 Vordiplom student (BSc equivlanet) in Biology at the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen, Germany
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Professional Background

Since 07.2012 Postdoctoral assistant at the Department of Palaeontology, University of Vienna, Austria
03.2010-03.2012 Researcher (research scholarship from the FAZIT-foundation) at the Steinmann-Institute, Department of Paleontology, University of Bonn, Germany
09.2009-03.2010 Scientific assistant at the Steinmann-Institute, Department of Paleontology, University of Bonn, Germany
10.2008-10.2010 Scientific assistant at the Department of Comparative Zoology, Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen, Germany
08.2008 Data collection in Corse (STARESO: Station de Récherches Sous-marines et Océanographiques)
10.2007-03.2008 Scientific assistant at the Department of Comparative Zoology, Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen, Germany
10.2005-10.2006 Scientific assistant at the Department of Comparative Zoology, Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen, Germany
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Membership in professional organizations

American Society of Ichtyologists and Herpetologists
International Society of Vertebrate Morphologists
Junge Systematiker
Paläontologische Gesellschaft
Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
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Research Statement

My research is focussing on palaeoecology of vertebrates and the respective functional morphological adaptations. Two topics are in my main interest: the ear region with the bony labyrinth and auditory ossicles of vertebrates and the musculotendinous system of fishes. Whereas the musculotendinous system is responsible for the locomotion mode, the semicircular canals are the sense of balance. Comparative morphological investigations of extant taxa and extinct species enable paleoecological reconstructions and explain phylogenetic relationships.
Functional-morphological adaptations in different types of locomotion modes, focussing on the semicircular canals of the inner ear
During locomotion, the semicircular canals of the inner ear sense angular rotation. In my studies, the anatomical investigations of these canals in mammals (e.g. squirrels) show remarkable adaptations, depending on the locomotion mode of the investigated species. This new approach will be continued in other groups of vertebrates.

Phylogenetic investigations of the middle ear
I. Septal compass and septal formula
In the last century, the bony septa in the recessus epitympanicus and the cavum tympani and the pneumatization of the tympanic and mastoid region were described, but their phylogenetic value was not recognized. Comparative investigations of different species of squirrels show remarkable differences in the distribution of the bony septa. For a better visualization and phylogenetic investigation, I developed the septal compass for illustrating the characteristic internal anatomy of the ear region. Supplementary to the compass, the septal formula allows a numeric description of this anatomy. This phylogenetic approach by using the septal compass and the septal formula will be continued in other groups of mammals.
II. Auditory ossicles
Since Doran 1873, anatomical investigations of the auditory ossicles are of minor interest. However, this part of the middle ear is highly conservative within different groups of mammals and enables phylogenetic assumptions. With the benefits of non-invasive micro-CT scanning, the middle ear of different groups of mammals are under consideration.

Functional-morphological adaptations in different types of locomotion modes, focussing on the musculotendinous system
This project focuses on the myosepta between the myomeres of the trunk in teleosts, which can possess bony tendons. Depending on the locomotion mode, the distribution of these tendons and the course of the myosepta may vary. By using different methods of investigation (clearing & staining; iodine staining combined with micro-CT scanning; reconstruction ancestral states), paleoecological assumptions and diversification pattern in extant and extinct taxa are made.
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Academic Grants and Awards

11.2015Scientific & Technological Cooperation with France (Amandée: OEAD: No: FR 09/2016): 2 years (2016-2017) in cooperation with N. Schnell (Muséum national d´Histoire naturelle Paris, France): ´Diel vertical migrations: how does it affect the musculotendinous system of mesopelagic fishes´
09.2011One of the best ranked candidates for the Zukunftspreis für junge Paläontologen at the 82nd Annual meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft, Vienna, Austria
10.2011Travel grant of FAZIT-foundation (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) to Las Vegas, USA (Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology)
10.2010Travel grant of FAZIT-foundation to Pittsburgh, USA (Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology)
03.2010PhD-grant of FAZIT-foundation (2 years)
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Activities

  • Campus Festival (650th Anniversary of the University of Vienna in 2015): Paläontologie - Die Entschlüsselung der Natur
  • Special exhibition of the Natural History Museum Vienna (650th Anniversary of the University of Vienna in 2015): Das Wissen der Dinge
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    Conferences and Symposia

  • 42nd Meeting of the German working-group Vertebrate Palaeontology, Laimering, Hamburg (2015)
  • Poster Macroevolutionary patterns of the locomotor system in non-muraenoid eels (Teleostei: Elopomorpha) (co-authored by J. Kriwet)
  • Annual Meeting of the ´Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik´, Bonn (2015)
  • Poster Macroevolutionary patterns of the locomotor system in non-muraenoid eels (Teleostei: Elopomorpha) (co-authored by J. Kriwet)
  • 75th Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Dallas, U.S.A. (2015)
  • Poster The bony labyrinth of Hyaenodon exiguus and a revised description of the middle ear of a derived Hyaenodonta (Mammalia) (co-authored by K. Bastl, D. Nagel, G. Gunnell, G. Weber & M. Morlo)
    Poster Macroevolutionary patterns of the locomotor system in non-muraenoid eels (Teleostei: Elopomorpha) (co-authored by J. Kriwet)
  • Annual Meeting of the ´Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie, Berlin (2015)
  • Poster Macroevolution in living and fossil eels (Teleostei: Elopomorpha) (co-authored by J. Kriwet)
  • Annual Meeting of NOBIS Austria, Eggenburg (2015)
  • Poster Morphological convergences in the inner ear of marsupial Diprotodontia and placental mammals (co-authored by R. Baron & J. Kriwet)
    Poster Reduced ossification in the dentary bone of notothenioids (Teleostei, Perciformes) (co-authored by G. Kaineder, J. Kriwet & J.T. Eastman)
  • 74th Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Berlin, Germany (2014)
  • Poster Morphological shape diversification and evolutionary history of the bony labyrinth in aeluroid carnivora (Mammalia, Ferae) (co-authored by J. Kriwet, M. Petrasko & D. Nagel)
  • 6th Meeting of Mesozoic Fishes, Vienna, Ausria (2013)
  • Poster New information about the palaeobiology of Enchodus sp. (Actinopterygii, Teleostei) from the Cenomanian of Lebanon (co-authored by co-authored by J. Kriwet)
  • 8th Bruker Micro CT Meeting, Hasselt, Belgium (2013)
  • Talk Invasive and non-invasive methods to investigate the musculotendinous system in teleost fishes (e.g. the pearlfish) (co-authored by J. Kriwet)
  • 40th Meeting of the German working-group Vertebrate Palaeontology, Laimering, Germany (2013)
  • Talk Das Innen- und Mittelohr bei Sciuromorpha (Rodentia, Mammalia): funktionsmorphologische und phylogenetische Einblicke
  • 83rd Annual Meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany (2012)
  • Talk "Septal compass" and "septal formula" - a new method for phylogenetic investigations of the ear region in sciuromorphs (Rodentia, Mammalia).
  • 71st Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Las Vegas, USA (2011)
  • Talk Show me your ear: Locomotory adaptations in the inner ear of Sciuromorpha (Rodentia, Mammalia). (Co-authored by I. Ruf, Th. Martin)
  • 82nd Annual Meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft, Vienna, Austria (2011)
  • Talk Funktionsmorphologische Anpassungen des Innenohres bei Sciuromorpha (Rodentia, Mammalia). (Co-authored by I. Ruf, Th. Martin)
  • 38th Meeting of the German working-group Vertebrate Palaeontology, Eichstätt, Germany (2011)
  • Talk Micro-CT Analysen der Ohrregion rezenter und fossiler Hörnchen (Co-authored by I. Ruf, Th. Martin)
  • 70th Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Pittsburgh, USA (2010)
  • Poster Micro-CT analysis of the ear region in Heteroxerus costatus (Rodentia, Mammalia). (Co-authored by I. Ruf, Th. Martin)
  • 81st Annual Meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft, Munich, Germany (2010)
  • Poster 3D analysis of the inner ear in the Oligocene fossil ground squirrel Heteroxerus costatus (Rodentia, Mammalia). (Co-authored by I. Ruf, Th. Martin)
  • 37th Meeting of the German working-group Vertebrate Palaeontology, Vienna, Austria (2010)
  • Poster 3D-Analyse innerer Schädelstrukturen des oligozänen Bodenhörnchens Heteroxerus costatus (Rodentia, Mammalia). (Co-authored by I. Ruf, Th. Martin)
  • 1st Symposium of the High-resolution X-Ray CT by GE phoenix, Dresden, Germany (2010)
  • Poster From prehistoric to modern times: visualization of fossils with micro-CT scans (Co-authored by S. Engels)
  • 9th Meeting of the International Society of Vertebrate Morphologists, Punta del Este, Uruguay (2009)
  • Poster The musculotendinous system of CH-fishes: the significance of locomotion on the internal morphology
    (Co-authored by E. Parmentier, S. Wiehr, B. Pichler, S. Gemballa)
  • 36th Meeting of the German working-grouo Vertebrate Palaeontology, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany (2009)
  • 3rd Meeting of Students in Evolution and Ecology, Tübingen, Germany (2008)
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    Peer-reviewed papers

    • Schnetz, L., Kriwet, J. & Pfaff, C. in press. Virtual reconstruction of the skeletal labyrinth of two lamnid sharks (Elasmobranchii, Lamniformes). Journal of Fish Biology.
    • Pfaff, C., Nagel, D., Gunnell, G., Weber, G.W., Kriwet, J., Morlo, M. & Bastl, K. 2016 (online first). Palaeobiology of Hyaenodon exiguus (Hyaenodonta, Mammalia) based on morphometric analysis of the bony labyrinth. Journal of Anatomy. Link to article
    • Kriwet, J., Engelbrecht, A., Mörs, T., Reguero, M. & Pfaff, C. 2016. Ultimate Eocene (Priabonian) chondrichthyans (Holocephali, Elasmobranchii) of Antarctica. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 36: e1160911 (19 pages).
    • Pfaff, C., Zorzin, R. & Kriwet, J. 2016. Evolution of the locomotory system in eels (Teleostei: Elopomorpha). BMC Evolutionary Biology 16: 159 (11 pages). DOI: 10.1186/s12862-016-0728-7.
    • Schnetz, L., Pfaff, C. & Kriwet, J. 2016. Tooth development and histology patterns in lamniform sharks (Elasmobranchii, Lamniformes) revisited. Journal of Morphology 277 (12): 1584-1598.
    • Pfaff, C., Martin, T. & Ruf. I. 2015. ´Septal compass´ and ´septal formula´: A New Method for Phylogeneic Investigations of the middle ear region in the Squirre-related clade. Organisms, Diversity, and Evolution 15: 721-730. doi:10.1007/s13127-015-0222-x.
    • Pfaff, C., Martin, T. & Ruf. I. 2015. Bony labyrinth morphometry indicates locomotor adaptations in the squirrel-related clade (Rodentia, Mammalia). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0744.
    • Smith, M.M., Riley, A., Fraser, G.J., Underwood, C.J., Welten, M., Kriwet, J., Pfaff, C. & Johanson, Z. 2015, online first. Fossil ray rostrum saw-teeth reveal their early development and demonstrate convergent evolution with dentitions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.1628. Link to article
    • Billet, G., Hautier, L., Asher, R. J., Schwarz, C., Crumpton, N., Martin, Th. & Ruf, I. 2012. High morphological variation of vestibular system accompanies slow and infrequent locomotion in three-toed sloths. Proceedings of the Royal Society London, Biological Series 279: 3932-3939.
    • Schwarz, C., Parmentier, E., Wiehr, S., Gemballa, S. 2012. The locomotory system of pearlfish Carapus acus: What morphological features are characteristic for highly flexible fishes? Journal of Morphology 273(5): 519-529.
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    Non peer-reviewed papers

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    Published conference presentations

    • Johanson, Z., Underwood, C., Fraser, G., Welten, M., Kriwet, J., Pfaff, C. & Meredith Smith, M. 2016. Diversity of skin denticles in fossil and extant rays and the origins of vertebrate dentitions. Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology, Program and Abstracts: 162.
    • Pfaff, C., Kaineder, G., Czerny, S., Nagel, D. & Kriwet, J. 2016. Functional morphological adaptations of the bony labyrinth in marsupials (Mammalia: Theria). Anatomical Record 299 (Special Feature): 98.
    • Pfaff, C. & Kriwet, J. 2015. Macroevolutionary patterns of the locomotor system in non-muraenoid eels (Teleostei: Elopomorpha). Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology. Program and abstracts 2015: 194.
    • Bastl, K., Nagel, D., Gunnell, G., Weber, G., Morlo, M. & Pfaff, C. 2015. The bony labyrinth of Hyaenodon exiguus and a revised descriptions of the middle ear of a derived hyaenodonta (Mammalia). Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology. Program and abstracts 2015: 86.
    • Engelbrecht, A., Kriwet, J., Mörs, T. , Schwarz, C. & Reguero, M. 2014. New information on diversity patterns of Eocene Antarctic sharks, skates and rays (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii). XXXIII SCAR Open Science Conference and COMNAP Symposium Success through International Cooperation: 407.
    • Engelbrecht, A., Kriwet, J., Mörs, T., Schwarz, C. & Reguereo, M. 2014. Origin of Antarctic ice-fishes (Teleostei, Notothenioidei): Current controversies and facts. XXXIII SCAR Open Science Conference and COMNAP Symposium Success through International Cooperation: 716.
    • Mörs, T., Engelbrecht, A., Kriwet, J., Schwarz, C. & Reguero, M. 2014. Origin of modern Antarctic ice-fishes (Teleostei, Notothenioidei) and the identity of Eocene fish remains from Seymour Island, Antarctica. 4th International Palaeontological Congress - The history of life: A view from the Southern Hemisphere: 2019.
    • Schwarz, C., Kriwet, J., Petrasko, M. & Nagel, D. 2014. Morphological shape diversification and evolutionary history of the bony labyrinth in aeluroid Carnivora (Mammalia, Ferae). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts: 225.
    • Engelbrecht, A., Kriwet, J., Mörs, T., Schwarz, C., Reguero, M. & Tambussi, C. 2013. A revision of Eocene Antarctic fishes (Vertebrata: Neopterygii: Teleostei). In Reitner, J., Qun, Y., Yongdong, W. & Reich, M. (eds): Palaeobiology and Geobiology of Fossil Lagerstätten through Earth History: 42.
    • Kriwet, J. & Schwarz, C. 2013. Phylogenetic implications of tooth replacement patterns in stem group teleosts (Neopterygii). In Reitner, J., Qun, Y., Yongdong, W. & Reich, M. (eds): Palaeobiology and Geobiology of Fossil Lagerstätten through Earth History: 91.
    • Schwarz, C. & Kriwet, J. 2013. New information about the palaeobiology of Enchodus sp. (Actinopterygii, Teleostei) from the Cenomanian of Lebanon. In Schwarz, C. & Kriwet, J. (eds): Abstracts 6th International Meeting on Mesozoic Fishes: 59.
    • Schwarz, C. & Kriwet, J. 2013. Invasive and non-invasive methods to investigate the musculotendinous system in teleost fishes (e.g. the peralfish). Bruker microCT User Meeting 2013: 1 p. Hasselt, Belgium.
    • Schwarz, C. 2012. "Septal compass" and "septal formula" - a new method for phylogenetic investigations of the ear region in sciuromorphs (Rodentia, Mammalia). Terra Nostra 2012 (3): 162.
    • Schwarz, C., Ruf, I. & Martin, Th. 2011. Show me your ear: Locomotory adaptations in the inner ear of Sciuromorpha (Rodentia, Mammalia). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31 (SVP Programm and Abstracts Book): 190A.
    • Schwarz, C., Ruf, I. & Martin, Th. 2011. Funktionsmorphologische Anpassungen des Innenohres bei Sciuromorpha. Beiträge zur Paläontologie 32: 36.
    • Schwarz, C., Ruf, I. & Martin, Th. 2010. Micro-CT analysis of the ear region in Heteroxerus costatus (Rodentia, Mammalia). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30 (supplement 2): 160A.
    • Schwarz, C., Ruf, I. & Martin, Th. 2010. 3D analysis of the inner ear in the Oligocene fossil ground squirrel Heteroxerus costatus (Rodentia, Mammalia). Zitteliana B 29: 95.
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    Unpublished conference presentations

    • Engelbrecht, A., Kriwet, J., Mörs, T., Reguero, M. & Schwarz, C. 2013. New information on the cranial anatomy of ice-fishes (Teleostei, Notothenioidei) from Antarctica based on micro-CT analyse. 10. Tagung der Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie (GfI): 15.
    • Engels, S. & Schwarz, C. 2010. From prehistoric to modern times: visualization of fossils with micro-CT scans. 1st Symposium of the High-resolution X-Ray CT by GE phoenix IxI ray, Dresden, Germany
    • Schwarz, C., Parmentier, E., Wiehr, S., Pichler, B. & Gemballa, S. 2009. The musculotendinous system of CH-fishes: the significance of locomotion on the internal morphology. 9th Meeting of the International Society of Vertebrate Morphologists, Punta del Este, Uruguay.
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    Miscellaneous

    • Doctoral thesis (2012, unpublished)
      Phylogenetische und funktionsmorphologische Untersuchungen der Ohrregion bei Sciuromorpha (Rodentia, Mammalia)
      [Phylogenetical and functional-morphological investigations of the ear region in sciuromorphs (rodents, mammals)]
    • Diploma thesis (2008, unpublished)
      Funktionsmorphologische und ökomorphologische Anpassungen eines Lokomotionsspezialisten: Das muskuloskeletale System des Rumpfes von Carapus acus (Teleostei: Carapidae)
      [Functional-morphological and eco-morphological adaptations: the musculo-tendinous system of Carapus acus (Teleosts: Carapidae)]
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    Contact

    Department of Paleontology
    University of Vienna
    Geozentrum
    Althanstrasse 14
    1090 Vienna
    Austria
    phone: +43 (0)1 4277 535 21
    fax: +43 (0)1 4277 9535



    mail: cathrin.pfaff@univie.ac.at