Department of Evolutionary Anthropology
Faculty of Life Sciences
University of Vienna

Althanstrasse 14
1090 Vienna

Phone: 0043-1-4277-54747
Fax: 0043-1-4277-9547

Katrin Schaefer, Ao. Univ.-Prof.Dr.rer.nat. (M.Sc., Ph.D.)

Katrin Schaefer is Associate Professor and Deputy Head at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna.

Her interests center around the evolutionary forces and constraints that shaped and continue to shape our minds, our behaviors, and our bodies. Current research focusses on biological causes and psychological effects of modern human facial shape variation using Geometric Morphometric methods. She has also been involved in paleoanthropological field research in Ethiopia, and non-human European primate research.


For office hours, courses, more publications go to:

Short Curriculum Vitae

Academic positions

2010-present Vice head, Dept. of Evolutionary Anthropology, Univ Vienna
2015 Reorganization of working groups: establishment of the "Schaefer Lab" within the Human Behavior Division
2009 Maternity leave
2006-present Head of the "Surface Scanner Lab"
2005-present Associate professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Univ Vienna
2000-2004 Assistant professor, Institute of Anthropology
1995-1997 Research stays at the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Ethology, Andechs, Germany
1995-2000 Contract assistant, Institute of Anthropology, University of Vienna
1994 Research assistant at the LBI for Urban Ethology, Vienna, Austria

Higher Education

1986 Abitur in Hansestadt Bremen, Germany
1987 Development aid in Sao Paulo, Brazil
1988 Practical training at Centre of Human Genetics, Univ of Bremen
1994 MSc Zoology (with Greatest Distinction), University of Vienna
1997 PhD (rerum naturalium) Anthropology (with Greatest Distinction), Univ Vienna
2004 Habilitation (venia docendi for Anthropology) entitled "Quantifying evolutionary anthropology - from behavior studies to geometric morphometrics", Univ Vienna

Esteem Factors

2017 h-index 21
2015 Associate editor: Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology (MIT Press)
2015 Invited contribution to "Das Wissen der Dinge", an exhibition at the Natural History Museum Vienna on the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the Univ Vienna
2014 External reviewer and Advisory Board Member for Institut fuer Naturwissenschaftliche Archaeologie, Univ Tuebingen
2014-2019 Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Vienna and Florida State University, Initiative and Academic management
2013- Board of directors (Kuratorium), National History Museum Vienna
2013- Establishment of a Surface scanner lab, Dept. of Anthropology
2013- Editorial board: South European Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Research (SEJODR)
2013 TOP 5 of the Special Award within the INiTS Award 2013 (Innovation into Business)
2007 Invited interview for Science 317: Special issue on undergraduate education, section Austria and Germany: "Can't have a career ... without English" by John Bohannon
2000- Posthoc reviews for journals: AJPA, Am J Hum Behav, Biol Theory, Coll Antropol, J Anat, JHE, J Zool, Perception, PLoSONE, Proc R Soc B, and others

Numerous press releases, interviews and exhibitions; details available upon request.

Service, recent

2016- Advisory council of PhD studies of the Faculty of Life Sciences
2015 Anthropologist in Curricular Working Group for a new Bachelor curriculum in Biology, Univ Vienna
2014- Organization of the COSB (Center of Organismal Systems Biology) Colloquium
2013- Member of the Ethics Commission University of Vienna
2012 Head, Curricular Working Group for a new Master curriculum in Anthropology, Univ Vienna
2010- Vice-head of the Dept. of Anthropology
2009 EVAN Gender Board Workshop: Life After EVAN. Jan. 13 Athens, Greece
2007-2009 Mentor in the Mentoring Program for Women Academics and Scientists at University of Vienna
2006-2009 Gender Board activity in the EU FP6 Marie Curie Action grant EVAN

Habilitation Committee: Hermann Prossinger, 2001; Verena Winiwarter, 2003; Wolfgang Recheis, 2006; Philipp Mitteroecker, 2011; Helmut Schaschl, 2013; Ottmar Kullmer, 2013 (Goethe Uni Frankfurt); Grigory Genikhovich, 2016.

Funded Research and Research Activities

2015 Submission of a full proposal (invited after short proposal) to the WWTF (Cognitive Sciences call 2015)
2015-2017 Investitionsprojekt Univ Vienna: Morphogenetics in Comparative Anthropology (PI)
2014 Investitionsprojekt Univ Vienna: Konfokales Raman Mikroskop fuer in vivo Messungen (Co-PI, PI Claudia Valenta)
2013-2016 Comparative Human Life History: A multilevel approach. Emerging Field, Faculty of Life Sciences (Kirchengast, Schaefer, Mueller)
2013- Installation of a surface scanning unit at Zubni Rendgen, Split (10001 Dalmatians Project, Croatian National Biobank)
2009 EFS (industry grant) Ethiopian Face Perception (PI)
2009-2012 BM.W_F (for MUSE) grant Euphorische Anfaenge -- dysphorische Gegenwart: Anthropologische Sammlung im Spannungsfeld von Wissenschaft und Ethik (Co-PI, PI M. Teschler-Nicola, NHM)
2008 EFS (industry grant) Bewertungsstudie zur Wahrnehmung von Fahrzeugfronten in Aethiopien (PI)
2007-2012 DFG Emmy-Noether Research Programm: Evolutionary Psychology of Human Physical Appearance & Body Movement (international collaborator, PI B. Fink, Goettingen)
2006-2009 EU FP6 Marie Curie Actions grant EVAN (European Virtual Anthropology Network, Human Resource & Mobility Activity) MRTN-CT-2005-019564 (Gender Board, PI G. Weber)
2006 UNInfrastruktur III Programm: Optical surface scanner optoTOP, Breuckmann Company (PI)
2004-2007 bm:bwk grant GZ200.093/1-VI/2004 "Centre for Morphometrics" Austrian Council for Science & Technology (Co-PI, PI H. Seidler)
2003 and 2004 Paleoanthropological ?Red Bed Exploration Survey-mission into the Danakil Depression, Afar Region, Ethiopia (PI).
2003, Feb. Comparative studies of the Galili specimens at National Museum Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2002 Investigations of the Pleistocene hominid teeth from Okladnikov and Denisova caves, Siberia (PI)
2000-2007 Annual conduction of fieldwork in the PaleoAnthropological Research-(PAR-) Team mission, surveying Pliocene deposits at the hominid locality Galili, Somali Region, Ethiopia (Co-PI, field director)
1999 MA18 project (Stadtentwicklung und Stadtplanung, Wissenschaft W/650/98): Walking Speed and Depression (Co-PI)
1999 University-Anniversary Foundation of the City of Vienna project (MA8 H-1/98): Future of Urban Living (Co-PI)
1999 Austrian National Bank project (OeNB 7270/1): Quality and Quantity of Human Interactions on Public Square (PI)
1998 Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Pace project (Co-PI, PI K. Atzwanger)
1998 MA18 project (Stadtentwicklung & Stadtplanung, Wissenschaft WI/1012/97): Satisfaction & Cooperation in Public Spaces (Co-PI)
1997-1999 Johann Jacobs Foundation Zurich; Switzerland: Individual and Cultural Diversity (PI)
1996 Investigations of Peruvian ice-mummies at the Universidad Catolica Santa Maria de Arequipa and mummies at the Centro Mallqui in Ilo, Peru (PI: H Seidler)


Centre for Global Health, Medical School, University of Split: Genetics and human facial shape
Faculty of Biology and Psychology, University of Goettingen: Human facial appearance and androgens.
Dept. of Scientific Computing, Florida State University, Tallahassee: GMM analyses and surfaces
Dept. of Theoretical Biology, UV: Conceptual and methodological advances in three-dimensional shape analysis
Dept. of Behavioral Biology, UV: Salivary testosterone, cortisol and human facial shape
VetCORE (Facility for Research) University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna: Genetics and human behaviour
Dept. of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmaceutics, University of Vienna, Austria: analysis of skin composition via RAMAN spectroscopy
Dept. of Human Evolution, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany:
Growth allometry and sexual dimorphism in the hominoid skull
Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia: Facial growth and asymmetry
Vienna University Clinic of Dentistry, Department of Orthodontics, Vienna: Secular changes of cranio-facial shape.
University of Cambridge, Division of Biological Anthropology and Anthropological Institute & Museum, Universitaet Zuerich, Switzerland: comparative analyses of allometry in humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos
Breuckmann-Company, Meersburg, Germany: Optical 3D-metrology of human faces and bodies
Dept. of Anthropology, University of Durham, UK: Craniofacial sexual dimorphism in humans
Archaeologische Biologie & Anthropologie, Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna: Human Evolution

Selected Publications

Mayer et al 2017 BMI and WHR in female facial siape
Meindl et al 2012 2D4D and facial shape in boys_Proc R Soc B
Mitteroecker et al 2013 Allometry and human facial morphology_Hystrix
Mitteroecker et al 2015 Morphometrics of facial masculinity_PLOS ONE
Schaefer et al 1999 Urban dwelling features_Coll Antropol
Schaefer et al 2005 2D4D Testosterone and facial shape Coll Anthropol
Schaefer et al 2006 Dental arch asymmetry AJPA
Schaefer et al 2009 Psychomorphospace Biological Theory
Windhager_Patocka_Schaefer 2013 Body fat and facial shape AJHB
Windhager et al 2011 Grip strength facial shape AJHB
Windhager et al 2014 Asymmetry and homozygosity PLOS ONE
Windhager et al 2017 Patterns of facial scaling


- About 12 courses/year in the Bachelor and Master curriculum in Anthropology

- Since the habitation in 2004: Supervisor, examiner, second examiner, head of committee and referee of numerous Diploma and Master theses and exams

- About five Masters students per year

- PhD Committee: Miriam Mayr, Mar. 23., 2006; Beatrix Haslinger Nov. 13, 2007; Philipp Mitteroecker, Jul. 24 2007; Ruth Zoehrer, Oct. 23, 2007; Birgit Buchinger, Nov. 24, 2008; Alessandro Pellegrini, Jul. 2, 2009; Cornelia Schrauf, Jul. 22, 2010; Doris Schamall, Dec. 22, 2010; Sonja Windhager, Nov. 9, 2012; Anja Spang, May 14, 2013; Peter Abend, Nov 2013; Johanna Gaul, Aug 26 2015; Cinzia Fornei, Oct 16 2015.