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Salvador Moyà-Solà

Salvador Moyà-Solà

Institut Català de Paleontologia

Life & Medical Sciences

PhD in Geological Sciences (UAB, 1983). He was researcher of the Institute of Paleontology of Sabadell. Currently, he is ICREA research professor at the Institut Català de Paleontologia M. Crusafont (CERCA program). He was the founder and first director of this institute (2006-2017). Science, Pnas, Tree, Proc. Royal Soc., between others. He has received several national and international awards. He participates in several national and international projects, among them the RHOI Project (Revealing Hominid Origin Initiative, NSF USA) and international projects (Leakey Foundation, Wenner-Gren foundation) as well as national projects (Mineco, Agaur). He and his team are responsible for the discovery and study of key fossil hominoid specimens such as the partial skeletons of Hispanopithecus laietanus, Pierolapithecus catalaunicusand Pliobates cataloniae, the best preserved of the whole Eurasian continent.  

Research interests

The main aim of my research is the study of the origin and evolution of hominoids (Primates) from a paleontological perspective. It forms part of a wider research scope, embracing the evolutionary history of primates including Paleogene and Pleistocene primates. A major goal is the study of the paradox existing between the ancestral crown-hominoid (and hominid) morphotypes reconstructed on the basis of derived features shared by extant taxa and the more primitive morphotype found in the fossil record. This suggests that homoplasy plays a role in hominoid evolution, suggesting that orthograde adaptations could be convergent in the three hominoid lineages, gibbons, orangutans and African Apes. Morphofunctional analysis of complex structures or the application of proteomics to fossil hominoids, would help to identify homoplastic characters. Field work on the Vallès-Penedès Neogene basin with the objective to increase the current hominoid fossil record, is a priority action of my research.

Selected publications

– Almecija, S.; Hammond, A.S.; Thompson, N. E.; Pugh, K. D.; Moyâ-Solà, S.; Alba, D. M. 2021, ‘Fossil apes and human evolution’, Science, 372, 6542, 587.

Kohler, M.; Herridge, V.; Nacarino-Meneses, C.; Fortuny, J.; Moncunill-Sole, B.; Rosso, A.; Sanfilippo, R.; Palombo, M.R..; Moya-Sola, S. 2021, ‘Palaeohistology reveals a slow pace of life for the dwarfed Sicilian elephant’, Scientific Reports, 11, 1, 22862.

– Urciuoli, A.; Zanolli, C.; Almecija, S.; Beaudet, A.; Dumoncel, J.; Morimoto, N.; Nakatsukasa, M.; Moya-Sola, S.; Begun, D. R.; Alba, D. M. 2021, ‘Reassessment of the phylogenetic relationships of the late Miocene apes Hispanopithecus and Rudapithecus based on vestibular morphology’, Proceedings National Academy Sciences  USA, 118, 5, e2015215118.

– Urciuoli, A.; Zanolli, C.; Beaudet, A.; Pina, M.; Almecija, S.; Moyà-Solà, S.; Alba, D. M. 2021, ‘A comparative analysis of the vestibular apparatus in Epipliopithecus vindobonensis: Phylogenetic implications’, Journal Human Evolution, 151, 102930.

– Arias-Martorell, J.; Almecija, S.; Urciuoli, A.; Nakatsukasa, M.; Moyà-Solà, S.; Alba, D. M. 2021, ‘A proximal radius of Barberapithecus huerzeleri from Castell de Barbera: Implications for locomotor diversity among pliopithecoids’, Journal Human Evolution, 157, 103032.

– Bouchet, F.; Urciuoli, A.; Beaudet, A.; Pina, M.; Moya-Sola, S.; Alba, D. M. 2021, ‘Comparative anatomy of the carotid canal in the Miocene small-bodied catarrhine Pliobates cataloniae’, Journal Human Evolution, 161, 103073.

Selected research activities

Associate professor of the Biological Anthropology unit, BADVE departement, UAB; Professor of the official Master of Paleobiology and Fossil Record of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona/Universitat de Barcelona; Professor of the official Master of Biological anthropology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona/ Universitat de Barcelona. During 2021, 5 research projects were active.

ICREA Memoir 2021