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Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna

Djerassiplatz 1
1030 Wien

Phone: 0043-1-4277-54748

Mag. Dr. Sonja Windhager (MSc, PhD)

Post Doc, Lecturer,
Member of the Surface Scanner Lab (URL below)

Webpage last modified:

For office hours, courses, more publications go to:

Short Curriculum Vitae

Current & Previous Positions

2010-current Lecturer at the Dept. of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna
2016-2019 Postdoctoral researcher at the Dept. of Theoretical Biology, University of Vienna (FWF P29397 Developmental canalization in the human head)
2014-2016 Postdoctoral researcher at the Dept. of Anthropology, University of Vienna
2014 Visiting scientist at the Courant Research Center "Evolution of Social Behavior", Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, Germany
2013 Fellow at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Klosterneuburg, Austria
2010 Scientific project staff at the Dept. of Anthropology, University of Vienna
2007-2010 Research and teaching assistant (Studienassistent) at the Dept. of Anthropology, University of Vienna
2006-2007 Research associate at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Urban Ethology, Vienna, Austria
2005-2014 Scientific research (Rating and morphometric studies) at EFS Unternehmensberatung GmbH, Vienna, Austria


Young Investigator Award 2013 and 2018 Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Austria
TOP 5 of the Special Award within the INiTS Award 2013 (Innovation into Business), INiTS Universitaeres Gruenderservice Wien GmbH
Linda Mealey Award 2012 (awarded biannually to young scientists "for outstanding new research in Human Ethology"), International Society for Human Ethology (ISHE)
Dissemination - Support of Conference Attendances of PhD Students. University of Vienna Program for Student Mobility (four times)
Research Advancement Program "International Communication"
Austrian Research Association (five times)
_More information upon request_

Field work

2013 Split, Croatia: 3D surface scans of human faces in relation to the 10001 Dalmatians project.
2009 Addis Ababa and surrounding areas, Ethiopia: Morphometric study on human facial growth, rating study on the cross-cultural perception of car fronts.
2008 Addis Abebba and surrounding areas, Ethiopia: Rating study on car fronts, morphometric study on human facial shape variation.

Teaching Experience

Since 2005-current Regular teaching within the Curriculum of Anthropology (Bachelor and Master) and within the Bachelor Teacher Training Programme: Biology and Environmental Studies, for a detailed course list see:
Oct 2007-Feb 2010 Teaching assistance in Digital Acquisition of Human Surface Morphology and Behavior (Lecture + Practicum); Basic Human Ethology Course for Anthropologists (Practicum); Practical Course IV (formerly V): Human ethology (Practicum); Human Behavioral Ecology (Lecture); Palaeoethology (Seminar); Seminar for Masters, Diploma and PhD-students in Anthropology.
2005-2007 Tutorials in human ethological practical courses


African Journal of Agricultural Research, American Journal of Human Biology, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Body Image, Economics and Human Biology, Evolution and Human Behavior, Evolutionary Psychology, Frontiers Evolutionary Psychology and Neuroscience, Journal of Anthropology, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Perception, Personality and Individual Differences, PLoS One, Science of Nature

Public outreach

_upon request_


2005-2012 PhD at the Department of Anthropology, University of Vienna: Focusing on perception and morphology of faces in humans and artefacts. Title of PhD thesis: Geometric morphometric approaches to facial shape and trait attribution. Supervisor: Ao.Univ.-Prof.Dr. Katrin Schaefer; Degree in Anthropology; with distinction.
2000-2012 Studies in Zoology and Anthropology at the University of Vienna: Focusing on animal and human behaviour.Title of Master thesis: Fishing for attention - An ethological experiment on human biophilia in a real-life situation. Degree in Zoology, University of Vienna; with distinction.
2000 Matura Neusprachliches Bundesrealgymnasium Wien

Current Research Interests

Combining anthropometry with studies of human perception (using geometric morphometrics) => causes and consequences of human facial shape variation; face overgeneralization; postnatal facial growth and ageing, trait attribution to faces and face-like objects
Direct behavioral observation of human social behavior, esp. Biophilia, in the urban environment.


Appointment request via email.